Pope Francis on Friday last week said that people who cannot manage to go to confession as a result of the lockdown implemented in their countries because of the coronavirus have to confess to God directly.
In Roman Catholicism, believers are required to confess their sins to a priest in order to be absolved from sin but official teaching allows for exceptions for specific circumstances.
Speaking in a Mass celebrated Friday that was live-streamed from Rome, Pope Francis said:
Do what the Catechism (of the Catholic Church) says. It is very clear: If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your Father, and tell Him the truth. Say, ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,’ and ask for pardon with all your heart.
His remarks come when Italy, the Roman Catholic headquarters is under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands in that country.
Many other countries are also introducing strict measures including bans on church gatherings to stop the spread and transmission of the virus.
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