Once get a sinner to confession, and the whole work was done.
When the sinner has expiated his crime they are ready to forgive.
The authority to grant such discharge was conceived to be included in the power of binding and loosing committed by Christ to His Church; and when in the course of time the vaguer theological conceptions of the first ages of Christianity assumed scientific form and shape at the hands of the Schoolmen, the doctrine came to prevail that this discharge of the sinner's debt was made through an application to the offender of what was called the " Treasure of the Church " (Thurston, p. 315).
The New Testament, however, does not indicate that its writers were agreed as to any formal dogma of the atonement, as regards the relation of the death of Christ to the sinner's restoration to God's favour; but various suggestions are made as to the solution of the problem.
From a remission of penance it was extended, in the 13th century, to a release from the temporal punishment exacted by God, whether in this life or in purgatory, from the repentant sinner.