The Council of Trent (1545 - 1563)
"But our Lord instituted the sacrament of penance notably
on the occasion when after his resurrection, he breathed
upon his disciples saying: "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose
sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose
sins you shall retain, they are retained" (John 20:22).
The universal agreement of the Father has always understood
that by such a striking action and by clear words the power of
remitting and of retaining sins, and of reconciling the faithful
who have fallen after baptism was communicated to the
apostles and to their legitimate successors; ... Therefore this
holy council accepts and approves the true meaning of these
words of our Lord and condemns the false interpretation of
... those words."