How Were John's Baptisms Different Than the Sacrament?
Could John the Baptist forgive sins?
No, John could not forgive sins, or, more precisely, he could not absolve people of their sins. His baptism was a baptism of repentance, which prefigured that won by the merits of Jesus through his sacrifice of Calvary, i.e., the sacrament of baptism (CCC 700). Baptism absolves one of all his sins and gives him new life in God through the indwelling of the Holy Trinity (see CCC 1262-70).