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CONFESSION: Is it Biblically necessary to confess sins to priests?

Is it Biblically necessary to confess sins to priests?

The Biblical passages that refer to confessing sins to a priest are as follows:

  1. Jesus granted Peter the authority to absolve sins, stating, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). Peter, as the leader and representative of the college of apostles, received this authority.
  2. In a post-resurrection appearance, Jesus instructed his disciples, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:23). Thus, all the apostles and their successors, the bishops, were bestowed with the authority to forgive sins on behalf of Jesus.
  3. James advises, “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven” (Jm 5:14-15). He further encourages, “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” (Jm 5:16). These verses also affirm the forgiveness of sins through the intercessory prayer of priests.


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