Wednesday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time
"Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven..."
"Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"
Bridegroom and Bride, that is Christ and the Church, are as one, be it in receiving confession or in bestowing absolution. All this makes clear why Christ had to tell each of us: “Go, show yourself to the priest” (Mt 8,4)… It follows that apart from Christ the Church cannot grant forgiveness and that Christ has no will to forgive apart from the Church. The Church's authority to forgive extends only to the repentant, to those, that is, whom Christ has already touched; Christ, on his part, has no intention of regarding as forgiven one who despises the Church.
Doubtless, Christ need accept no restraints to his power of baptizing, consecrating the Eucharist, ordaining ministers, forgiving sins and the like, but the humble and faithful Bridegroom prefers to confer such blessings with the cooperation of his Bride. "What God," then, “has joined, let no man put asunder" (Mt 19,6). "I say this is a great mystery and refers to Christ and the Church" (Eph 5,32)… To remove the Head from the Body (Col 1,18) were to ruin the whole Christ irreparably. Christ apart from the Church is no more the whole Christ than the Church is complete if separated from Christ. Head and Body go to make the whole and entire Christ.