''They affirm that they are showing great reverence for God, to Whom alone they reserve the power of forgiving sins. But in truth none do Him greater injury than they who choose to prune His commandments and reject the office entrusted to them. For inasmuch as the Lord Jesus Himself said in the Gospel:
Receive the Holy Spirit: whosesoever sins you forgive they are forgiven unto them, and whosesoeversins you retain, they are retained,John 20:22-23 who is it that honours Him most, he who obeys His bidding or he who rejects it?'' (On Repentence 6)
Gloss: It pertains to the Church of Christ to perpetuate the Incarnation of her divine founder. Our Lord descended as Saviour, the formal motive of which was mercy for miserable man in view of the ultimate end of manifesting the goodness of God. If man were to remain just and in the state of innocence, the Word would not have become flesh. Jesus did not constitute a community to merely call to mind His deeds but rather to apply the merit of those deeds to divers men throughout all nations. Satisfaction and reconciliation were the purpose of the Incarnation and this end is to be pursued in the Catholic Church until the Day of Judgement. The infinitely worthy sacrifice of the altar and the reconciliation of penitents are the two chiefs functions of the priests of our Lord, all else is secondary. The divine sending of the Apostles and their successors and collaborators is urgent and admits of no delay. Who are we to deny the commission of our Lord to men and consider this to uphold the divine majesty? What great power and dignity He has conferred upon His priests to apply to needful man today what Christ obtained for us under the sentence of Pilate?