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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

78- Priesthood and the authority to absolve and retain         Image: Modern Coptic icon of St. Peter (El Kedis Botros) صورة: أيقونة قبطية حديثة تصور القديس بطرس الشهيد الرسول والتلميذ Image: Modern Coptic icon of St. Peter the Apostle.

صورة: أيقونة قبطية حديثة تصور القديس بطرس الشهيد الرسول والتلميذ.

The Scriptures says:

(Mat 10:1) And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

We note that Saint Peter and Saint Paul used this power to discipline

(Acts 5:10-11) Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. {11} So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

(Acts 13:10-11) and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? {11} "And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

While these powers were miraculous, we would like to dwell on their power of sin and forgiveness. Especially we could see that the disciples had power to discipline sinners.

[1] The Priesthood Is Empowered To Confront Sinners And Discipline Them

The authority to absolve and suspend will be explained in a later chapter. And that such authority was handed over from the disciples to their successors.

[2] The Authority To Absolve Is Directly Linked To Confession. Without Confession, How Would The Priest Be In A Position To Absolve?