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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Should we forgive on behalf of others? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Should we forgive on behalf of others?
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Nobody's entitled to forgiveness by definition.

Once in a while I wonder, though, if forgiveness between human beings makes a difference to the offender in some spiritual way as well. Perhaps it's a way of "dropping charges in God's court." Not that the offender will get off scot free, since God also has a bone to pick with him; but it might make things lighter somehow?

What got me wondering about that is Jesus' "Father, forgive them" prayer. I cannot imagine that prayer going unanswered. Or answered with a "no." If ever a prayer was guaranteed to get a yes, that one was. And we are never told that the perps were converted to the faith, baptized, and saved later. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. If they were, Jesus' prayer would seem to be redundant forgiveness, as all their sins would be wiped out at that point anyway. If they weren't, then to be effective it seems to me it might involve a lightening of punishment. I dunno. But perhaps our forgiveness does in some objective way benefit those who hurt us.

Charles Williams dealt with this idea in All Hallows' Eve. Interesting food for thought, though I dare not get doctrinal about it. I just don't know.

Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fr Weber
# 13472

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Even sacramental absolution doesn't relieve the sinner of the burden of restitution (if it's possible). The public confession and forgiveness extended by his congregation seems to be a kind of analogue to that, and I can't find fault in it so far as it goes--but I do think he should have been encouraged to attend a church not attended by any of his victims. It certainly seems cruel to expect them to be okay with this situation.

"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

Posts: 2512 | From: Oakland, CA | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
# 13869

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Presumably, the congregation forgave for the secondary wrong done to them - not the primary wrong? Seems bizarrely inappropriate anyway - for one thing, who knows what else the congregation as individuals were up to? Sinners who haven't been rumbled yet gloriously forgiving sinners who have is just weird. But no - the position of the victims shouldn't be undermined so.

"Sink, Burn or Take Her a Prize"

Posts: 697 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged

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