ABSOLUTION - "I absolve you from your sins..." says the priest
 
Absolution is the rite in the Catholic Church by which the priest takes sin away in the name of God. The priest doesn’t ask God to pardon you when he absolves. He does it on his own authority for he says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This is an extreme case of man standing in the place of God. It is blasphemy of the highest order to suggest that God would leave people at the mercy of men. The Church will answer that God has set up this system so that man is not forcing his hand. But if your wife said she will not forgive you for adultery until you fix the dripping tap you would know that she is only pretending to forgive. So it is with this God who does not forgive until you get absolved. You forgive or you do not.
Priests say they can forgive sins. But they are not God. Nobody can forgive sins for God. It is like saying you can love a wife for her husband! Also the command of Jesus that you go and make up with everybody you have hurt and are not at peace with before you go near God or offer Mass or any sacrifice (Matthew 5:23-26) is ignored by the Church. If I beat you up, I will go and tell the priest about it and he will give me God's forgiveness. And I will feel better about what I have done and if you are waiting for your apology you will never get it. And I will still feel good for I feel God through the priest accepts me. A religion that relieves guilt and corrupts justice by getting you to apologise to the wrong person is revolting. The priest sees himself as God's channel. He has to channel God's mercy and pardon to you. But the priest decides that God should or maybe should have mercy. That is the bottom line. Whether there is a God or not, the priest is deciding that you should get away with your sins. We have seen earlier than man's talk about God is really talk about what man decides God should be. Man decides which claimed revelation from God he will accept. Man wanting to believe in the revelation is what matters - it is not really an issue if God has really given the revelation. For man to tell man that he wishes and hopes he gets off the hook for child abuse and murder and to do it as the representative of God is outrageous. It is horrible for the same reason as it would be if you told your friend who abused a child that you hope he gets off and it does not matter any more. People see it as horrible because it condones the evil and the Church can only dodge this accusation if there is a God who gives it the power to forgive sins. If there is not, then the Church is no better than you. If the evidence for God is not good enough or if the priest does not worry enough about evidence then the risk is inexcusable. Catholics will say, "But it is not your job or the priest's to punish." That is not the point. We are not talking about anybody having to punish - we are talking about a bad person deserving punishment and being told he no longer does.