Dear Pastor Riley,
I didn't see a question in your e-mail but because you are a pastor, let me address the misperceptions you have.
While we welcome your questions or comments, instead of sending me a private e-mail question, for you to get the biggest feedback from the team, submitting your question using the form at the bottom of our AskACatholic page would ensure all the AAC team members get your question(s):
Also make sure you check out our database first since we may have already answered your question:
or for a quicker search check our Similar Issues page.
Jesus is the Only One that can forgive sins.
Here's how: John 20:21-23, especially verse 23.
We don't have to go to the pope or any priests to ask God for forgiveness.
The answer is an (and/both) not (either/or) answer.
Yes, we should always ask God for forgiveness in prayer but for serious sins, He established another means: Matthew 16:13-19, John 20:21-23.
Check out my Scripture Passages page. I think you will find it very, very interesting:
A Biblical defense for Catholic teachings
and one of its subsections:
Now I have a question for you.
The Holy Bible alone or the Holy Bible plus Oral Tradition?
Given this passage from Matthew:
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
"All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
- After giving his Great Commission to the Apostles and disciples, why didn't Jesus stay around on Earth to help them, rather then ascending into Heaven to be with the Father?
As long as Protestants reject Oral Tradition, they have to have a good answer to this question.