For a while I have been dwelling on this question, and even though I have discussed it and looked for a satisfying answer I still haven’t found one.
It’s this: When I, as a Catholic, go to confession (the sacrament of Penance), my sins are forgiven, by Jesus, through the ministry of the priest. Great.
Now I accept that when a well-meaning Protestant says sincerely to God that he is sorry for his sins and asks for forgiveness, that God forgives.
But the question I have is this: Is there any difference? Is the Protestant totally absolved?
Is the forgiveness in both cases exactly the same?
I feel like there must be SOME difference. Not because I want there to be, but because I know the power of the Sacraments.