If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
Confessedly the church has stumbled disastrously in these matters, mistaking prejudice for principle and mere human whims and preferences for the eternal will of God. All that often and scandalously. Yet...as they look back, subsequent ages watch with amazement and awe how the church has found its way through difficulties that seemed inescapable and problems that could not apparently be solved. In very truth a pillar of fire has led Christ's blundering people through the darkness of the night.
The Interpreter's Bible, 1952 (the good one)
Exposition on the Gospel of John
by Arthur John Gossip