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Pope to Capuchins: Either You Do Like Jesus … or the Devil

Warns Against Alienating Faithful From Confession, Urges ‘Never Tire of Pardoning’

Either you follow the office of Jesus, who forgives with an open heart, or that of the Devil, who condemns and accuses.

Pope Francis told the worldwide community of Capuchins to reflect on which reality they practice, during the Mass for them this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica.

With the relics of the great Capuchin confessors, Saints Leopold Mandic and Padrio Pio of Pietrelcina, before him, the Pontiff told them to never tire of pardoning and warned them against underestimating the Father’s forgiveness.

Moreover, he stressed that they should not alienate faithful from confessing and told them to open their hearts and offer forgiveness.

“Forgiveness,” he explained, is “a seed” and a “caress of God.” He told them to have trust in God’s forgiveness.

“Do not fall into Pelagianism!’ he warned, with the attitude of, ‘You must do this, and this, and this, and this …”

Take up and renew always this charism of being a confessor, he recommended, stressing, “Be great forgivers, because one who does not know how to forgive ends up as these Doctors of the Gospel: he is a great condemner, always ready to accuse … And, who is the great accuser in the Bible? The devil!”

“Either you do the office of Jesus, who forgives giving his life, prayer, many hours there, seated, as those two [Saint Leopold and Saint Pio]; or you do the office of the devil who condemns, accuses … I don’t know, I am unable to say anything else to you.”

For those priests who say, ‘No, no, I celebrate Mass, clean the floor, do everything, but I do not hear confessions because I don’t know how to do it well,’ Francis told them to ask the Lord for grace.


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About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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