"Let's not forget that the faithful often struggle to take part in the sacrament (of Reconciliation), both for practical reasons and because of the natural difficulty in confessing one's own sins to another person," Pope Francis said before a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica on March 28. "For that reason we have to work really hard on who we are, on our humanity, so as to never be an obstacle, but to always help people be drawn to mercy and forgiveness." Because the way the priest speaks and reacts is important, he must welcome penitents, "not with the attitude of a judge and not like a simple friend, but with the charity of God, with the love of a father who sees his son returning and then heads his way, like the shepherd who has found his lost sheep. … Confession is not a prosecuting court but an experience of forgiveness and mercy." The pope and 61 priests offered confession to individual penitents, with the Holy Father confessing to another priest first.