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Michael Healy

Response to “Forgiveness and Dysfunction”

Jul. 8, 2012, at 8:04pm

I figured there was no way this response would fit in the 200 word Comment section, so I may as well just do a new post.

(That does not mean I intend to be extra wordy.  Tomorrow I start three intensive summer courses, so I’ll actually have to cut back on my PP responses.  Hopefully, a few will miss me; others no doubt will rejoice!  C’est la vie!) 

First, of course, Katie elaborates on many “good” examples of dysfunctional “forgiveness”—the Penn State mess, the priestly abuse scandals, some approaches of Covenant Communities in the past, the priest’s book (which has been mentioned before), and Nora in A Doll’s House.  I too in both my comments and my posts have agreed with her examples

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Katie van Schaijik

Forgiveness and dysfunction

Jul. 8, 2012, at 1:21pm

My post on “unprincipled forgiveness” led to a lively exchange with Mike Healy that has further persuaded me of the confusion surrounding the mystery of forgiveness, and the great difficulty many Christians have not only in realizing it in practice, but understanding it in theory.  And since I believe that understanding it rightly is crucial to the task of achieving it and helping others achieve it, I’m going to keep pressing.

To be clearer and more complete about what I have in mind with the problem of "unprincipled forgiveness" let me say the following:

When it comes to the social act of reconciliation (which is the natural aim and consummation of forgiveness), to treat an unrepentant

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Katie van Schaijik

Truth as inter-personal breathing space

Jul. 7, 2009, at 12:58pm

I think I could spend the day posting the new encyclical paragraph by paragraph.  Number three raises a point that came up in the Personalist Project’s recent discussions on forgiveness.  In my experience, conventional Christian “forgiveness thinking” downplays truth in the name of charity.  But more on this later.  (Hint: The idea that to insist on truth is “harsh,” together with demands that it be set aside in the name of peace and “unity” are, I claim, prime characteristics of dysfunctional relationships—relationships where selves are suffocated for lack of due breathing space.)

Meanwhile, here’s the paragraph.

3. Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an

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