Skip to comments.Pope Hears Confessions of Youth
Posted on 03/29/2007 5:24:10 PM PDT by NYer
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 29, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI, performing a key priestly duty, entered one of the confessionals of St. Peter's Basilica to hear the confessions of various young people from the Diocese of Rome.
It marked the culminating moment of today's penitential service over which the Pope presided to prepare for the diocesan-level World Youth Day, to be held Sunday in Rome.
In a basilica filled with young men and women, about 200 priests -- some seated on chairs because there were not enough confessionals -- administered the sacrament of reconciliation.
While the confessions were being heard, the choir and orchestra of the Diocese of Rome interpreted medieval penitential songs and read messages that Benedict XVI has written for World Youth Day, and other spiritual writings.
The Holy Father presented the penitential service as "an encounter around the cross, a celebration of the mercy of God that each of us can experience personally in the sacrament of confession."
"In the heart of every person," there is "thirst for love," the Pope said in the homily. "The Christian cannot live without love. Moreover, if he doesn't encounter true love, he cannot even call himself fully Christian."
State of grace
Benedict XVI explained that, in approaching the sacrament of confession, "love and the mercy of God move your hearts. You experience in this way the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with the Church, and recovery of the state of grace, if you have lost it.
"Christ attracts you to himself, to unite himself with each one of you so that, for our part, we learn to love our brethren with that same love."
"There is great necessity for a renewed capacity to love our brothers and sisters," the Pope said. He invited the young people "to dare to love in your family, in your relationships with your friends, and also with those who have offended you."
Benedict XVI will preside over World Youth Day in the morning of April 1, Palm Sunday, in St. Peter's Square. The Mass will begin with a blessing of the palms and a procession.
Next year, World Youth Day will be celebrated in Sydney, Australia, in July.
Pope Benedict XVI stands in a confessional booth during the celebration of the penance sacrament with the youth of the Rome's diocese in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 29, 2007. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano (VATICAN)
Confession to a Blessed Pope! Wow!
Do you think they pre-screened the youth ;-)
Beautiful! God Bless this faithful servant!
Maybe not pre-screened, but the commentator said the penitents confessing to the Pope were pre-selected. Otherwise the line for confession with the Pope would have gone out the door, down the Via della Conciliazione, etc.
Awesome. Great photos on this thread!
Hope you able to watch some of this on EWTN.
I think I was watching the replay because it was cut off around 10:45pm to air the replay of the St. Matthew Passion concert. I had the TV on while I was working at my computer, so I didn't see everything, but I think the event in St. Peter's was cut off before the Pope emerged from the confessional. Thanks for posting the photo. I'll bet he enjoyed being able to hear confessions which is not a regular part of his duties as Pope. In this morning's VIS newsletter it said that only six penitents were chosen to have their confession heard by Benedict XVI. What a blessing for them!
Yes, I did see the priest going to confession. Everyone needs to go to confession regularly. I certainly need all the grace I can get! ;-)