Pope: Confess sins directly to God if no priests available during virus pandemic

By The Christian Post

Pope Francis leaves after delivering a speech at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park on November 24, 2019, in Nagasaki, Japan. | Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Pope Francis is saying that general absolution of sin — confessing directly to God as opposed to through a priest — applies during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

A Vatican tribunal that deals with matters of conscience, including confession, called the Apostolic Penitentiary, issued a notice Friday, stating that though absolution of sin is the usual means through which sins are forgiven by a priest, in times of "grave necessity," such as now with the ongoing spread of the virus, other solutions are needed, according to Catholic Herald (UK). Confession is considered a sacrament in the Catholic Church.

What qualifies as "grave necessity" has generally been determined by local bishops, the outlet noted; yet in the 1980s and 90s, Rome has urged adherence to stricter definitions.

Source:The Christian Post