The constant teaching of the Church and the Fathers of
the Church in explicit words testify to the existence and use
of the power to forgive sins in the Church.
You shall confess your offenses in church, and shall not come
forward to your prayer with a bold conscience. This is the way
Tertullian (Rome, 160-220),
, Ch 21, ML 2, 1024
"But," you say, "the church has the power of forgiving sins."
This I acknowledge and adjudge more [than you; I] who have
the Paraclete Himself in the persons of the new prophets,
saying, "The church has the power to forgive sins"