...is that Jesus gave the authority to forgive sins to his church.
In John 20:23 we read Jesus telling the apostles “If you forgive
anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they
are not forgiven.” Catholics believe that Jesus gave the apostles—and
their successors through Holy Orders—the authority to forgive sins.
unlike God at all. God’s perfectly capable of healing disease and
physical disabilities but he chooses to allow doctors to do this for
him. God’s perfectly capable of communicating full knowledge of himself
to us but he chooses to reveal himself systematically over centuries
and to have us teach each other about who he is. It’s rare in Scripture
that God acts directly (like Sodom & Gomorrah) and more common for
God to use a weak human like Moses.
God certainly can forgive
sin without the sacrament if he chooses, if you’re sorry for your sins
and the airplane you’re on is about to crash may be an example, but this
isn’t the typical method. In the same way, Catholics believe God can
recreate unbaptized martyrs and those who die while preparing for
baptism. God is greater than that Sacrament. However, baptism is still
the ordinary way of being reborn.
Jesus delegated the
authority to forgive sins to the Church and while extreme circumstances
may prompt God to act outside this arrangement it would probably be
unwise to assume he will do so simply because we didn’t really want to
get to Reconciliation.
That Jesus gave authority to forgive sins to the Church is yet another reason Catholics go to Reconciliation.