Pope to Brazil Prelates: Pardon at Base of Renewal

Says Real Guilt Needs to Be Acknowledged

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 26, 2010 (Zenit.org).- When guilt is denied, so is the grace of forgiveness, and this is at the root of the spiritual crisis of our times, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this reflection Saturday when he addressed bishops from one of the regions of Brazil, in Italy for their five-yearly visit.

«The nucleus of the spiritual crisis of our time has its roots in obscuring the grace of forgiveness,» the Holy Father said. And when this is not recognized as “real and efficacious,” he added, this tends to free the person from the burden of their guilt, but they know in their depths “that it is not true, that sin exists and that they themselves are sinners.”

Benedict XVI criticized those currents of psychology that “have difficulty admitting that, among the meanings of guilt, there can also be those due to real guilt.”

We all have a need of the Lord’s help in removing “the strata of dust and uncleanness that have settled on the image of God inscribed in us,» he said. «We need the forgiveness that constitutes the fulcrum of every true reform: renewing the person in his depths also becomes the center of the renewal of the community.”

Only from these depths of the renewal of the individual is the Church born, “is the community born that unites and gives support in life and death. She is a companion in the ascent, in the realization of that purification that renders us capable of the true height of being men, of the companionship of God.”

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