Bishops and priests, those in orders designated as sacerdos, exercise the ministry of confessor.
9. a. The Church exercises the ministry of the sacrament of penance through bishops and priests. By preaching God’s word they call the faithful to conversion; in the name of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit they declare and grant the forgiveness of sins. In the exercise of this ministry priests act in communion with the bishop and share in his power and office as the one who regulates the penitential discipline. [See Lumen Gentium 26.]
The bishop is responsible for the oversight of the sacrament; the parish priest derives “power” and “office” from this.
b. The competent minister of the sacrament of penance is a priest who has the faculty to absolve in accordance with canon law. All priests, however, even though not approved to hear confessions, absolve validly and lawfully any penitents without exception who are in danger of death.
A sensible Roman exception for a needful circumstance.