Q. 1. Some of my friends, who are non-Catholic, confess their sins direct to God. They say there is no biblical support to confess one's sins to a priest as we Catholics do. Is that true?
A. 1. There is Biblical support for the Sacrament of Confession. When Jesus instituted the Catholic Church, He
(A) asked that the Sacrament of Confession be promoted on earth [Lk. 24:47],
(B) gave the authority to forgive or retain sins to man (the priesthood) [Jn. 20:23], and
(C) affirmed that through the power of the keys to the kingdom of heaven, if a priest forgives a sin on earth, it shall be forgiven in Heaven and vice versa. [Mt. 16:19, 18:18]
These are the Bible passages:
"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." [John 20:23]
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." [Mt. 16:19, 18:18]
"And that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations." [Lk. 24:47]
Having said this, it is unbiblical for non-Catholics to confess their sins direct to God. While they may try to convince themselves that their sins are forgiven, in fact, they are not. Those who confess their sins directly to God, their souls grow in the number of unforgiven sins. Such will lead to physical and spiritual death. Then on judgment day, they will receive eternal damnation.
In the Holy Bible, we read, "There is one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human." [1 Tim. 2:5] All, without exception, Catholics and non-Catholics, must go to God the Father through Jesus Christ Who instituted the Sacrament of Confession as explained above.
To reject the Sacrament of Confession is to reject Jesus Christ as our Mediator. It is to reject the Divine Will. It is to reject the teachings of God that are found in the Holy Bible. It is to reject the extremely clear commandment of Jesus Christ, to have one's sins forgiven through the Catholic priesthood.