The sacrament of reconciliation has evolved over the years, always in harmony with its biblical roots.
After his Resurrection, Jesus told the apostles, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:23).
The Letter of James says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful” (5:16).
Confessing one’s sins to someone designated by the Church reaffirms our belief that God can act through created things and through people. That belief helps us understand Jesus’ Incarnation and the sacraments.