Pope to priests: Forgive, don't shut out sinners

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Pope ordains new priests
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Pope to priests: Forgive, don't shut out sinners
Pope Francis, left, puts his hands over the head of Javed Raza Gill, from Khanewal, Pakistan, as he ordains during a ceremony, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. The pontiff ordained 13 new priests. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Thirteen new priests lay on the ground during a ceremony in which Pope Francis ordained them, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Thirteen new priests lay on the ground during a ceremony in which Pope Francis ordained them, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis celebrates a Mass where he ordained 13 new priests in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Prelates attend a Mass where Pope Francis ordained 13 new priests in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis celebrates a Mass where he ordained 13 new priests in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Nuns pray as Pope Francis celebrates a Mass where he ordained 13 new priests in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Prelates pray as Pope Francis celebrates a Mass where he ordained 13 new priests in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has taken to task priests who are so harsh on sinners that faithful feel pushed away by the church.

Francis said during his homily in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday that he feels very pained when people don't go to confession anymore because they were figuratively "caned, scolded" by their confessors. He said these faithful feel as if "the church doors were closed in their face."

"Please don't do this," the pope told 13 new priests he ordained in the basilica. He urged them to follow the example of Jesus in never tiring of being merciful. Francis said priests should remember that Jesus "didn't come to condemn but to forgive."

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