The Church has the power to forgive sins and this authority is exercised by the members of her clergy to whom the Church has given the permission to do so.
However, there are some sins that the Church has reserved to the Pope and bishops to forgive. Some of them are as follows:
- Physically attacking the Pope including attempting to assassinate him.
- Breaking the “Seal of the Confessional” by a priest, i.e. violating the confidentiality of the confession by revealing the sins and identity of a penitent to anyone.
- A priest absolving an accomplice in sin.
- Participating in abortion includes advising, paying for, or carrying out the act and after seeking admission into the order of priests or deacons in the Church. When someone who has committed this crime in the past wants to be ordained, they must first receive dispensation from the Pope.
- Defiling the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ is extremely grievous and can be dealt with only by the Pope.
ACT OF CONTRITION
TURN not, o Lord, a deaf ear to my supplications; be appeased by the lamentations of a heart sincerely repentant for its sins. O that my sorrow could equal their enormity. O agonizing Lord, infuse into my heart one drop of that bitterness with which Thy soul wad overflowed in the garden of Gethsemane, that I may thereby be rendered truly contrite.
Pardon me, O merciful God, for all the sins that I have committed, or to which I have been accessory; pardon me for the good which I have neglected to do, or which I have done badly; pardon me for all the sins of which I acknowledge myself guilty and those I may have forgotten. I detest them, and I wish to repair, at the price of all that is dearest to me, the misfortune of having offended Thee.