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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

85- The Holy Spirit Is The Source Of The Power Of Forgiveness in Priesthood


[34] The Holy Spirit Is The Source Of The Power Of Forgiveness. He Forgives the Sins of the People Through The Mouth Of The Priest

The Lord Jesus said about the Holy Spirit:

(John 16:14) "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.



(1) Take of What Is Mine

(1A) My Hypostatic Attributes of knowledge

(1B) The gift of forgiveness through My Blood

(2) And Declare It To You

Declare to you the forgiveness of your sins.


Question: But how can He tell us? Answer: Through the mouth of the priest.

The subject matter has, being clarified, can be summarised as follows:

(a) God is the Forgiver of sins through His Holy Spirit.

(b) The Holy Spirit takes from the gifts of Christs Blood to give us.

(c) The Holy Spirit grants forgiveness through the mouth of the priest.

(d) This declaration is valid to the true repentant, who become worthy of the Blood of Christ.

(e) The priest verifies the sinners repentance.

(f) When the priest prays to God to forgive, he says: May the Lord Absolve you, with His Holy Spirit through my mouth

[35] The Majority of those who Object To Confession, Are Not Basing Their Objection On Scripture, But Object out of Self Shame.

It may be that God has arranged this shame for their benefit to help them refrain from returning to the sin.

He who desires to confess directly to God, is the same person who having no shame also committed the sin directly in front of God, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. This is in contrast to Joseph who said:

(Gen 39:9) ...How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

Ones shame before the priest ought to shrink to naught when compared with shame suffered by the sinner before God.

[36] We Do Not withhold The Sinner From Confessing To God, Which Is A Must, But In Addition We Want Him To Confess To The Priest.

Confessing to the priest will not only call to someone's attention to his shame, but also it will help him gain guidance from the priest.

The priest will permit him, after verifying of his repentance, to partake of the holy sacrament of Communion.

[37] Confessing To God Direct May Lead To Ignoring Certain Matters Which In The Eyes Of The Confessor May Not Seem Sinful

(Prov 14:12) There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

How could one confess something, which may be fatal, if in the first place he does not realise it is a sin? Image: The Holy Spirit: circle stained glass.صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: الروح القدس: زجاج معشق دائري. Image: The Holy Spirit: circle stained glass.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: الروح القدس: زجاج معشق دائري.

[38] The Apostles Received Peoples Confession and Conducted The Service Of Reconciliation

(2 Cor 5:18-20) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, {19} that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

{20} Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.

It is important to note that reconciling people to God is not confined to preaching and education only. It must include a deep understanding of the soul, its wars and failures and specific guidance for each soul on how to be reconciled with God.

It is noted that many confess their sins directly to God, but they are still unable to forsake their sins and offer true repentance since they are without guidance. This is why this sacrament is called the sacrament of repentance.

[39] While Christ Sacrificed His Blood For All, Not everyone will be Worthy To Receive This Universal Salvation. For some have not Accepted Faith, Baptism and Repentance.

The priest is the faithful custodian of these sacramental treasures acquired through the Blood of Christ. He is empowered to grant them first through faith and baptism, then afterwards through repentance.

(Mark 16:16) "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

(Luke 13:3) "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

To repent, one must confess.

(Prov 28:13) He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

[40] It Is Not Logical For a Priest To absolve Sins without knowing of them first.

The priest should know what he is about to transfer to Christs account.

He cannot forgive sins in absentia. Nor can he could grant absolution without ensuring faithful repentance. How else would he ensure this, without firstly knowing the sin he is about to forgive.

If God granted this right to the priest, why are some jealous for

God, as if the priests have seized Gods own rights.

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