Pope Francis heard confessions in a parish before Mass

On several occasions Pope Francis has spoken about the importance of the Sacrament of Penance.

Remember: Our Lord Himself established the Sacrament of Penance.  This is the ordinary means by which JESUS desires you to ask for forgiveness of sins.

During Pope Francis first visit to one of the parishes in the outskirts of Rome, he heard confessions.  HERE

It is also possible and entirely licit, and even a very good idea, where more than one priest is available, to hear confessions during Mass.   We’ve been over this ground here on the blog many times, so I won’t repeat myself.  Check this HERE.

Fathers!  Hear confessions!

Bishops!  Teach about the sacrament and ask your priests to hear confessions!  Hear confessions yourselves!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Francis, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pfreddys says:

    Wow, can you imagine you could be under the worst censure and could have it all taken care of in that confessional!
    I think back to the time I went to confession in St. Patricks and heard the unmistakable voice of Cardinal O’Connor. I does mean something to the flock when the bishop takes time to hear confessions.

    [If we turn the sock inside out: What does it mean for the bishop and the faithful if the bishop does NOT hear confessions?]

  2. Joseph-Mary says:

    Our parish did have confessions 6 days a week but we are down a priest and the retired priests that fill in do not hear them. But since confessions are sporatic or only during that little Saturday afternoon window at our other parishes in town and we have confession Saturday morning, the line is VERY long then. Sometimes I know it can be two hours since people come from other parishes where confessions are not easily had.

    Fathers: please do hear confessions more often so your faithful can grow in holiness!
    But I know of confessions cancelled for meetings, etc. As my spiritual father says: I was not ordained to attend meetings but to administer the sacraments.

  3. PA mom says:

    What a wonderful example! And meeting with the families of the newly baptized? Way to kick start a baby boom! I love also that he gave the little ones their holy communion.

  4. Lepidus says:

    Is it (ever) appropriate to say something to the priest on the way out the Sacrament, like “thanks for making this available”? This is an EF parish close to my job that I try to hit up once a week for the noon Mass. They have Confession available for a half hour (or 20 minutes) before EVERY Mass, which mean if I need / want to avail myself of the Sacrament, I just pick the day. Beats the heck out of my OF parish – 1 hour before the Saturday anticipation Mass and if you’re going, it would be wise to be there at 3:00 so Father doesn’t walk out… or by appointment, which doesn’t work all that well for a guy who won’t go face-to-face to a priest he’s never met, much less the parish priests!

  5. APX says:


    I don’t see why not. I’m in the habit of always thanking the priest on the way out. We need not be so uptight about these things that they cause us to worry. Contrary to popular belief, the majority (at least in my experience) of traditional priests are not so uptight that one need to worry about whether or not it is okay to thank them. Yeesh!

    I get that traditionalists are serious, but please, you need not be uptight and dry…like toast. It’s very draining. Smile, laugh, say thank-you, the Church won’t crumble and fall to pieces if you do. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking in egg shells to not scandalize people simple because they seem to have a broken humerus bone and thus have been rendered incapable of responding favorably to humor.

  6. chantgirl says:

    I really like it when confession is offered during Adoration. It is an especially calming environment in which to examine my conscience, and it’s so peaceful to come out of the confessional absolved and say my penance and thanksgiving in front of the Lord.

  7. DavidJ says:

    Before he passed away and after his retirement, I heard Archbishop Donoghue of Atlanta say that one of his joys in retirement was being in the confessional again. I found that both edifying, in that he rediscovered a joy in his ministry, and sad, that he had not been doing it for so long. I don’t know if he meant he never was able to prior, or just had more time to do it now; but I believe it’s important for any boss to roll up their sleeves and do the “grunt work” from time to time, especially in ministry.

  8. Pingback: The Blessed Sacrament: It's Either All or Nothing - BigPulpit.com

  9. Fr Z: “What does it mean for the bishop and the faithful if the bishop does NOT hear confessions?”

    Means that their position, for whatever reason, may be just a job rather than a vocation, or that, despite the smooth and nuanced words you hear from his office (usually at appeal time….pretty quiet otherwise) is happy to be isolated from us roiling masses out here through layers of bureaucracy and staff.

    Cdl O’Connor (RIP) delighted in hearing confessions, and was frequently ‘in the box’ whenever he could get away from the administrivia (his word) of running the Archdiocese. Heard mine more than once; always carried a stole and oil stock with him, too…just in case. Man after your own heart, Fr. Z.

  10. That is a good example by our Holy Father.

Comments are closed.