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The Sacrament of Confession was instituted by Our Lord. In John 20: 19-23, our Lord said to the Apostles, "
Peace be with you," As the Father has sent me, so I send you.". And when He had said this He breathed on them
and said to them, " Receive ye the Holy Ghost", whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you
retain are retained". As Catholics we believe that Christ gave His Church the Sacrament of Penance when He
said this quote from Holy Scripture. The sacramental signs were, and are, confession of sins to a minister of the
Church, and an expression of God's forgiveness to the repentant sinner. The Church teaches that the proper
ministers of the Sacrament of Pennance are the successors of the Apostles, the Bishops, as well as their ordained

In defense of the Apostolic doctrine, several saints wrote regarding the " forgiveness of sins", spoken in the
Creed. Writing around 398 A.D., Saint Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church tells us, " We read in Leviticus
about Lepers, where they are ordained to show themselves to the priests, and if they have leprosy, then they are
to be declared unclean by the priest. Just as in the Old Testament the priest makes the leper clean or unclean, so
in the New Testament the bishop or

presbyter( another word for priest) binds or looses not those who are innocent or guilty, but by reason of their
office, when they have heard various kinds of sins, they know who is to be bound and who is to be loosed." This
is from Saint Jerome's commentary on Matthew 3: 16:19.

Writing in the year 387, St. John Chrysostom describes the power of the priesthood to forgive sins: " Priests
have received a power which God has not given to angels or archangels. It was said to them: " Whatsoever you
shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed." Temporal rulers
have indeed the power of binding: but only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bind which pertains
to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did God not give them all the powers of heaven? Whose sins
you shall forgive, He says, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. What greater
power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this
power in the hands of men."

The Dogmatic Council of Trent has infallibly defined on the Sacrament of Pennance:

Can. 1 If anyone says that in the Catholic Church penance is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by
Christ our Lord to reconcile the faithful, as often as they fall into sin after baptism: Let him be anathema.

Can. 3 If anyone says that those words of the Lord Savior; " Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall
forgive are forgiven them; and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained" ( John 20:22), are not to be
understood of the power of remitting and retaining sins in the sacrament of penance, as the Catholic Church has
always understood from the beginning, but contrary to the institution of this sacrament , distorts them to the
authority for preaching the Gospel: Let him be anathema.

Can. 6 If anyone denies that sacramental confession was either instituted by divine law or is necessary for
salvation; or says that the manner of secretly confessing to a priest alone, which the Catholic Church has always
observed from the beginning and still observes, is alien to the institution and the mandate of Christ, and is a
human invention: Let him be anathema

Can. 9 If anyone says that the sacramental absolution of a priest is not a judicial act, but an empty service of
pronouncing and declaring to the one confessing that his sins are forgiven, provided only that he believes that he
has been absolved, or even if the priest does not absolve seriously, but in jest; or says the confession of the
penitent is not required, so that the priest may be able to absolve him: Let him be anathema.

In short, our Lord has given His priest this great power to forgive sins! How much Our Dear Lord loves us!! Go
to a priest and confess your sins so that you may be in the state of grace and receive our Lord in Holy
replied to:  catholicapoligist
Replied to:  The Sacrament of Confession was instituted by Our Lord. In John...
I am not an expert on religious matters but it seems to me that the value of the confession relates more to humility than salvation.
When you humble yourself before God, only then can the message of Christ be truly understood.
replied to:  lehmann520
Replied to:  I am not an expert on religious matters but it seems...
Of corse confffesion relies on humility... it does so because being humbul is an atrabute to salvation. Remember the humble guy in the temple... his sins were forgivin NOT the loud proud pharrase.
replied to:  catholicapoligist
Replied to:  The Sacrament of Confession was instituted by Our Lord. In John...