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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).