The Patrick Madrid Show – Why Confess to a Priest?

Patrick Madrid is asked by Mary about the topic of confession and why Catholics go to a priest to have their sins forgiven. He provides an explanation based on biblical references.

Patrick begins by emphasizing that Jesus came to forgive sins and save people from sin through his death on the cross. The reason for going to confession is derived from Jesus’ own words in John chapter 20. After the resurrection, Jesus appears to the apostles and tells them that just as the Father sent him to forgive sins, he is now sending them. He breathes on them, gives them the Holy Spirit, and grants them the authority to forgive or retain sins.

Patrick also refers to St. Paul’s writings in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, where Paul speaks of being reconciled to God and entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation. This ministry is seen as a special authority given to the apostles and their successors, not to all Christians in a general sense.

Additionally, he cites James chapter 5, where St. James instructs the sick to call for the priests of the church to pray over them, anoint them with oil, and forgive their sins. This connection between summoning priests and the forgiveness of sins is seen as evidence of the sacrament of confession.

Patrick refers to a story in Mark chapter 1, where a leper is healed by Jesus. After being healed, Jesus instructs the leper to go to the priest and offer the prescribed cleansing ritual as proof to the people. This highlights the communal aspect of confession, where sins not only rupture the relationship with God but also the relationship with the body of Christ. Confession is seen as a means of restoration both to the life of grace through absolution and to the community of believers.

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.