Saturday 1 October 2016

Pope Francis hears teenagers' confessions in surprise appearance

Published 23/04/2016 | 16:57

Pope Francis confesses a young faithful during the Youth Jubilee at Saint Peter square in Vatican (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP Photo)
Pope Francis confesses a young faithful during the Youth Jubilee at Saint Peter square in Vatican (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP Photo)
Pope Francis confesses a young faithful during the Youth Jubilee at Saint Peter square in Vatican (L'Osservatore Romano/POOL photo via AP)
Pope Francis confesses a young faithful during the Youth Jubilee at Saint Peter square in Vatican (L'Osservatore Romano/POOL photo via AP)

Pope Francis personally heard the confessions of 16 teenagers who were visiting the Vatican.

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The pontiff made a surprise appearance late on Saturday morning in St Peter's Square, where thousands of Catholics, ranging in age from 13 to 16, were participating in a special Holy Year youth day, including confession near the famed Colonnade of Bernini.

Francis and each of the 16 teenagers sat face-to-face in simple chairs set up in pairs for him and many others hearing confessions in the square.

The teenagers seemed at ease, with Francis shaking hands warmly with the youths. In all, the pope spent more than an hour in the square.

He has dedicated the Holy Year to two central themes of his papacy: mercy and reconciliation.

Press Association

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