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Published On: Mon, Mar 31st, 2014

Pope Francis shocks Catholics, kneels in public to confess sins to priest

Pope Francis I has shocked Catholics, faith leaders and his own master of ceremonies Friday when he broke protocol to do something unexpected: he bowed down in front of the crowd at St. Peter’s Basilica and confessed his sins to an ordinary priest, Reuters reported.

photo L’ Osservatore Romanot

photo L’ Osservatore Romanot

Typically, the pope goes to confession in private, so his decision was a departure from the past tradition and practices.

Francis made the noteworthy move after uttering a sermon in which he covered the importance of confession in the Catholic faith.

“Who can say he is not a sinner? Nobody. We all are,” the pope told an audience of thousands.

Afterward, he was supposed to join 60 priests around the massive church in hearing the sins of the faithful, but he kneeled in public and sent ripples through the religious waters around the globe.

When Monsignor Guido Marini, master of ceremonies, pointed Francis toward an empty booth to hear the congregants’ sins, the pope went to a different booth and knelt before a priest to share his own sins for a few minutes.

After that, Francis did hear confessions from the faithful.

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