Vatican Publishes Confession and Spiritual Direction Manual for Priests

The Vatican has published an aid for confessors and spiritual directors, reflecting an urgent need for both priests and the faithful to rediscover the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Published by the Congregation for the Clergy, “The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy — An Aid for Confessors and Spiritual Directors” is essentially a manual on how to be good confessors.

The 70 page document is a fruit of the Year for Priests during which the Holy Father urged priests to return to the confessional, both to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation but also as a place where the priest should “dwell” more often.

In this way, the Pope told confessors in March 2010, “the faithful may find compassion, advice and comfort, feel that they are loved and understood by God and experience the presence of Divine Mercy beside the real presence in the Eucharist”.

The Vatican says the document has been sent to all the world’s bishops’ conferences.

The Pope recently underlined his love for the sacrament of penance during World Youth Day when, for the first time at such an event, he heard the confessions of a small number of participants.

A PDF version of the document can be found here.

Pope Francis conferred on Catholics the lay ministries of catechist and lector at a Mass for the Sunday of the Word of God on Jan. 23.

Pope Francis: The Word of God Rekindles Hope

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the fourth-annual Sunday of the Word of God, during which he, for the first time, formally conferred upon lay Catholics the ministries of lector and catechist.