Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 257 IN BRIEF 984 The Creed links “the forgiveness of sins” with its profession of faith in the Holy Spirit, for the risen Christ entrusted to the apostles the power to forgive sins when he gave them the Holy Spirit. 985 Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgive- ness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. 986 By Christ’s will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops andpriests normally in the sacrament of Penance. 987 “In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justifi- cation” ( Roman Catechism, I, 11, 6).