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Pope Francis: to Capuchin friars, “be great forgivers”, mind “body language”

“Be men of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of peace”. This is the Pope’s instruction to the Capuchin Friars in the last part of the sermon, which today he held completely off the cuff in St Peter’s Basilica, before the remains of St Pio da Pietrelcina and St Leopold Mandic. “There are many languages in life”, Francis explained: “The language of words, there is body language too”. “If someone comes close to me, to the confessional, it is because they feel something that burdens them, that they want to get rid of”, the Pope explained: “Maybe they do not know how to say that, but that’s the gesture. If this person comes closer, it is because they would like to change, stop doing something, be different, be a different person, and they say that by coming closer. You don’t need to ask questions: ‘But, do you, do you …?’. And, if someone comes, it because in their souls they would like to stop doing that. But often they cannot, because they are affected by their psychology, by their life, by their situation”. “Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur”, the Pope commented in Latin (Nobody is held to the impossible, editor’s note). According to Francis, confessors must have “a big heart”, because “forgiveness is a seed, it is God’s touch”.

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