If you have been thinking about going to confession as part of your Lenten observance, a gold opportunity looms in the near future.
The Vatican announced March 1, 2018, that it will hold a “Celebration of Penitence” staring at 5 p.m. on Friday, Marc 9, in St. Peter’s in Rome. A small army of cardinals, bishops, priests and a pope will be on hand to hear confessions of the faithful and provide absolution.
Pope Francis participated in a similar event a year ago by first going to confession himself, then hearing the confessions of several lay people. And he did the same in previous years, in addition to instructing senior Vatican officials to regularly hear confessions.
The confessional is a place of forgiveness, not threats, Pope Francis stressed February 27, 2018, in his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. He pointed out that Lent is a time that is “helpful for conversion,” and a time for growing closer to God and making changes in life.