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Who do Popes, Bishops and Priest confess to?
Pope Francis. Image from: www.catholicherald.co.uk

Who do Popes, Bishops and Priest confess to?

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In case you are wondering/thinking, that priests confess to bishops, bishops to cardinals, cardinals to the Pope, and Popes to God directly or anything like that, this article is to give some reasonable level of understanding about the above title.

Let’s talk about titles

“Your Holiness”, “Your eminence”, “Your grace”, “Father” are ways to address a Pope, a Cardinal, a Bishop and a Priest respectively. These titles, especially “Your Holiness”, would ordinarily lead people to think that maybe those who bear these titles do not sin at all.

The sacraments are necessary for salvation

The Pope, like every other Christian sins (not necessarily mortally.  see full list of Mortal sin here) from time to time and needs the redemptive office of the Church for freedom and growth. The Pope as well as any other Bishop or priest, confesses to any clergy he chooses as his confessor and spiritual director. It could be a priest or a bishop. It’s worth noting that the Pope or a bishop or any serious Catholic does not necessarily need to wait to commit a mortal sin to go to confession. Most Popes go to confession daily and it’s safe to believe that they confess simple day to day neglects and imperfections not necessarily mortal or even wilful venial sins.
A person CAN live a holy life free of mortal sins, indeed this is what the Church exhorts us to do and one of the ways to get there is to frequently confess even our venial sins to our confessor/spiritual director.

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