Does catholic priest have power to forgive sins
In the Catholic Church, a person is to acknowledge and confess sins which he or she has committed after baptism to a priest so that the sins will be absolved and forgiven(aka confession, sacrament of reconciliation, sacrament of penance) . This practice has raised a very important question; Does a priest have the power to forgive sins. By the end of this article with the points and bible verses that I will be putting down, you will find answer to this question.
Firstly it was Jesus that instituted the sacrament of reconciliation in John 20:21-22 When he breathed on his disciples giving them power to forgive or retain sins. It was his will for his disciples to continue his work of forgiving sins and preaching about forgiveness and salvation when he leaves the earth, so that his work of salvation will spread all over the world.
He sent his disciples just as his heavenly father sent him.
In the old Testament, God chooses to interact with human beings using a mediator, that is someone who represents him or someone he choose to use to carry out his works.
God is omnipotent and omniscience, he doesn’t have to use a mediator nor does he need anyone to do his works for him but he does it for his own purpose which we can’t explain and that makes us human.
Jesus came to this world with the main aim of giving us salvation, when he was leaving he now gave his disciples the power to forgive sins. Note he didn’t give the power to everyone, he gave it to his disciples whom he choose to be the leaders of the church.
Power to forgive sins is like the power to heal, preach, speak in tongues and perform other miracles.
When the non Catholics ask you does your priest have the power to forgive sins, you should also ask them does your pastor, have the power to heal or perform other miracles.
Is it not God that does the wonders through them. If God can perform miracles through some people, then he can forgive sins through a priest. If he can unleash healing through his garment to heal a woman who has been bleeding for years then power of forgiveness can flow out from a priest. This is his will when he gave his disciples the power to forgive or retain sins.
Doing confession, the priest says a prayer of absolution (the moment your sins are being forgiven). The prayer goes like this “God the father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the church may God give you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit Amen. “
Note: The priest absolved the sin in the name of the Holy Trinity not in the name of Fr Timothy or Fr Titus. This means in the name of the holy trinity a Catholic priest has the power to forgive or retain sins. You should also know that God didn’t give everyone the power to forgive sins, he gave it to his disciples whom he choose to be the leaders of the church and they passed the power to the future church leaders from generation to generation to this generation (James 5:14-15) . This is what we call the apostolic succession and the Catholic Church for generations have maintained it.