Like every year at the beginning of Lent, the pope met with the priests who are based in Rome. The appointment was in the Cathedral of Rome, the Basilica St. John Lateran. Unexpectedly, before he began speaking, he heard the confessions of 12 of them.
He then delivered a long meditation on the importance of the priest who "grows in the faith in order to help others grow in faith," since no one can give what he does not have.
In particular, he asked them to regularly go to confession.
"I would like to repeat that a priest or a bishop who does not feel like a sinner, who does not go to confession, closes himself up, and does not advance in faith."
When he concluded, he told them that he would give them the written text of a meditation to read during Lent. He also gave them the book "Do not be afraid to forgive," by Capuchin Luis Dri. Between jokes, he told them that there was only one copy for each.
"Let there be no smart alecks, eh?"