The sacrament of Penance - Why do Catholics confess to a priest? The Church believes that sin is a community transgression, it lessens the strength of the whole. A priest is a representative of the community in that confessional as well as the representative of God.
“In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church” (CCC 1444).
Thus, the crowds who witnessed this new power "glorified God, who had given such authority to men" (Matt. 9:8; note the plural "men"). After his resurrection, Jesus passed on his mission to forgive sins to his ministers, telling them, "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:21–23).
Answer by dullscissors at 10:18 AM on Jul. 28, 2012
Answer by dullscissors at 12:03 PM on Jul. 28, 2012