Katie van Schaijik
#1, Aug 15, 2013 10:13am
I was struck again by the Gospel at Mass the other day: If your brother wrongs you, approach him privately. If he denies his offense, bring witnesses, "so that the facts can be established." If he still won't repent, bring him before the Church. If he persists in his denial, treat him like you would a tax collector.
Facts matter. What happened matters.
It is this aspect of wrong-doing and reconciliation that the preachers and practitioners of "unprincipled forgiveness" want to overlook.
So, while I agree that the victim must understand herself as a violator, and agree that this opens up (in her) the possibiilty of forgiveness, we still haven't touched the problem that particularly interests me, viz., the problem of Christians demanding that the victim be reconciled to the perpetrator when the perpetrator is refusing to acknowledge his wrong.
#2, Aug 15, 2013 9:18pm
I think it did address this to some extent by saying the victim must hope for the repentance of the violator, understand the violator in context of being a violator also, and to look with charity at the wretched position of the violator.
#3, Aug 16, 2013 8:15am
Tim Cronin, Aug. 15 at 9:18pm
Perhaps to some extent. But not enough to resolve the essential problem, to my way of thinking.
It seems to me that the preachers and practitions of "unprincipled forgiveness" would basically agree with this point. They don't mind the mention of repentance. They only think that whether it happens or not is irrelevant in terms of the victim's responsisiblity to forgive.
They put a lot of stress on the importance of the victim realizing that she, too, is a sinner. What they don't like to consider is whether the failure of the violator to repent prevents reconciliation.
#4, Aug 16, 2013 8:27am
I don't think there can be reconciliation without repentance. We can only pray and hope for repentance.
#5, Aug 16, 2013 9:04am
It seems plain, doesn't it?
Yet those who preach "unprincipled forgiveness" basically deny it.
Ask them what is the cause of estrangement between two persons, and they will unfailing answer, "Unforgiveness".
If you say, "What about unrepentance?" they will answer something along the lines of, "Even if a person doesn't repent, you still have to forgive." They will remind you that the father in the parable of the prodigal son forgave his son "while he was still a long way off," before he knew whether the son was going to repent or not. They will go on to suggest that the wrongdoer may not be able to repent until he receives your repentance. And so on.
#6, Aug 16, 2013 9:35am
I see the prodigal son as repenting-metanoia-turning around when he is with the swine and heading back to the Father.
On the Father's part he was hoping for his return in charity. He ran to meet him at the first sign of his repentance.
#7, Aug 16, 2013 9:41am
That's what I see too.