I am fortunately a life long Catholic and thank God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But I have been asked some questions from Non-Catholics and cannot readily locate solid sources to defend my understanding.
In Matthew 6, Christ taught us to pray in part** “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” ** Christ goes on to say if we forgive others, God will give us. Makes sense. But it seems to allow for partial forgiveness. It says nothing about doing penance or making amends. It says nothing about having to confess to a Priest.
In John 20: 19-23, on Easter Sunday evening, Christ empowers the Apostles with the Holy Spirit and says** “whose sins you forgive, are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain, are retained.”** Makes sense. But, it says nothing about the Lord’s Prayer sense of forgiveness: **“as we forgive our debtors.” **It says nothing about the need to do penance or the need to make amends or the need to spend time purgatory if we have not sufficiently made up for our sins. It also says nothing about Christ’s Crucifixion as full payment for our sins.
I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But I am **looking for Scripture **that supports our understanding that the amount of forgiveness we receive is predicated on the amount of forgiveness we extend to others and not just getting forgiveness from a Priest. And why, after Christ paid for our sins, we must do penance and make amends as best we can.
The several places I looked seem not to tie it all together.