13 Nov 2013

Confession continues the cleansing act of Baptism, Pope tells audience

“Confession is not a torture chamber, it is a celebration of the day of Baptism,” Pope Francis told his weekly audience on Wednesday, November 13.   

The Pope devoted his catechetical talk to the phrase from the Creed: “I believe in one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” Baptism, he said, is “the act of birth of a Christian in the Church.”

The entire mission of the Church, he added, could be summed up as “to evangelize and to forgive sins through sacramental Baptism.” Baptism, the Pope continued, is “a true spiritual immersion in the death of Christ.” Through Baptism the Christian has opened the door to grace. “But when the door narrows a little because of our weaknesses or our sins, Confession helps us to open it,” he said. Thus Confession should be seen as “like a second Baptism,” the Pope told his audience.    

Pope Francis asked those in attendance at his Wednesday public audience whether they could name the date of their Baptism. When only a few raised their hands in response, he remarked that Christians should be aware of that vitally important date, just as they are aware of their birthdays. He challenged everyone to look up the date of their Baptism, and celebrate it each year.

Full text of address here.


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