Participants in the Apostolic Penitentiary's annual course met with Pope Francis the day before the second anniversary of his election.
CARD. MAURO PIACENZA
"I have the pleasure to extend a respectful and filial greeting that translates into prayer for him and the fruitfulness of his Petrine ministry on the eve of the anniversary of his election. Congratulations."
The Pope gave the panel of confession experts some tips on how to best administer the sacrament. He warned that neither moral laxity nor cold legal rigorism were actually merciful.
"The sacraments, as we know, put humans in a place of closeness and tenderness to God. Reconciliation certainly renders present with special efficacy the merciful face of God."
Pope Francis said that confession cannot be "an annoying and intrusive interrogation." Rather, he continued, it is a rich gathering of humanity in which one tries to repair the evil that has been done. The good confessor, said the Pope, knows he is a sinner. He told them to try as penitental brothers to "accompany” people on their way.