Confessors called to help Catholics recognize truth of God's love
March 07, 2013 at 8:51 AM
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The sacrament of penance, or reconciliation, helps Catholics recognize "the truth about themselves: that they are beloved children of the Father, who is rich in mercy," said Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro.
The cardinal, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican court that deals with the sacrament of penance and matters of conscience, said the sacrament is an integral part of evangelization because it is a proclamation of the good news of God's love. Cardinal Monteiro de Castro, one of the few top Vatican officials whose job does not end with the end of a pontificate, spoke to more than 500 seminarians, deacons and priests attending a March 4-8 Vatican course on the sacrament and matters of conscience.
"To evangelize is not only to teach doctrine and proclaim the truth. To evangelize is especially to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel that can touch human hearts and open them to accept the love of God," he said. Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, said the priests who are the best confessors know how to balance being a father, counselor and judge; they must know and understand church teaching and know how to convey it in the confessional with "prudence, discretion, discernment and goodness."