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Pope spends an hour in the confessional for priests of his diocese

This handout picture released on March 28, 2014 by the Vatican press office shows Pope Francis sitting in a confession booth during a mass at St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO/HO RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Encourages the clergy of Rome to seek spiritual direction

As Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis met with the priests and deacons of his diocese today at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran, reported Romasette, the online information site of the diocese. During this traditional meeting at the beginning of Lent, the Sovereign Pontiff encouraged the newly ordained priests to seek to have a “spiritual father.”

Before Pope Francis spoke, there was a penitential liturgy. For more than an hour, several priests had the opportunity to go to confession to the pope.

Francis said that it is not good to be alone in priestly life. He therefore urged young priests to find a “wise man” to help them discern their own limitations—someone who can become a “traveling companion” and help them fight against “spiritual diseases.”

Peter’s Successor also advised young priests to look for their own priestly style, as a “calling card” because “each priesthood is unique.” This style is to be discovered through “face-to-face moments with the Lord” and discerning one’s “own limits.”

The head of the Catholic Church also reflected on the “ministry of listening” by asking priests, especially older ones, to be close to “human suffering and miseries.” Indeed, everyone needs to be listened to, according to Pope Francis, especially young people, who are growing up in a “virtual world, without substance, which cuts off our roots.” PAD

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