From New Advent.... Absolution is the remission of sin, or of the punishment due to sin, granted by the Church. That's how the paragraph opens up. Let's continue.... Absolution proper is that act of the priest whereby, in the Sacrament of Penance, he frees man from sin. That there is in the Church power to absolve sins committed after baptism the Council of Trent thus declares: "But the Lord then principally instituted the Sacrament of Penance, when, being raised from the dead, He breathed upon His disciples saying, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.' It sure looks to me like the RCC teaches that forgiveness comes thru them. The claim that Christ gave it to them is false, or you would have to believe that every evangelist has the power to forgive. To Peter are given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Sin is the great obstacle to entrance into the kingdom, and over sin Peter is supreme. To Peter and to all the Apostles is given the power to bind and to loose, and this again implies supreme power both legislative and judicial: power to forgive sins, power to free from sin's penalties. Over sin Peter is supreme ? I scoff. If Peter, or anyone else could be given the power to forgive, then why did Christ have to die ?