Speaking to the priests he will commission to hear confessions during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the pope outlined three particular characteristics they should practice when hearing confessions.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
Hearing a Catholic's confession should be awe-inspiring for a priest, an experience that makes him look at his own life and willingness to convert, Pope Francis told a group of seminarians, new priests and priests who hear confessions in the major basilicas of Rome.
"Let yourselves be educated by the sacrament of reconciliation," he told them Thursday.
Faith and Justice: A Louisiana court case has raised several issues in regards to whether or not a priest can reveal the content of a confession in court.
The diocese of Baton Rouge has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Louisiana Supreme Court decision that a priest may be compelled to testify as to what he heard in the confessional in 2008 concerning an abuse case.
The legal step is the latest in a case involving Fr. Jeffrey Bayhi, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Zachary, La., and the sanctity of the seal of confession.
The case involves the possible confession of a 12-year-old girl who told the priest she was abused by a church parishioner in 2008.
With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.