“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” – John 20:21
The sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as the sacrament of Penance or Confession.
In this sacrament, the penitent confesses their sins to the priest in the reconciliation room or confessional. The priest then gives absolution to the repentant soul, making the Sign of the Cross, and saying the words “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. It is God, through the priest, who forgives someone’s sins. As the penitent must make restitution or satisfaction for his sins, the priest gives a penance to the forgiven one – usually prayer, fasting, or almsgiving.