The Apostle John, an eyewitness,
recorded more directly
the words of Jesus giving the
power to forgive sins to all
the Apostles after the testimony
of the Resurrection.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose
sins you retain are retained.
Many Christians ask why
confession of sin is required for
forgiveness. The Church responds
that the need for personal
confession of sin is required in
order for forgiveness
because that is the only way a
confessor can judge
whether to forgive or retain
sins. A judgment cannot be made
unless the sin in question is
known and the disposition
of the penitent is also known.