Forgiveness (letter)

Forgiveness (letter)

John Schmid

Maureen Federico (November AD2000), in reference to paedophiles, mentions "tough things that Jesus said".

No mention was made of perhaps the toughest things Jesus said. "Love your enemies ... condemn nobody and you will not be condemned" (Luke Ch 6).

We should rightly support the paedophiles' victims, family and all affected by their crimes. Likewise, they should be dealt with by civil and religious authorities.

However, in the light of Luke Chapter 6, we cannot exclude paedophiles from our prayers for their repentance and their salvation. Christ died for all, including paedophiles. They must be reminded of God's mercy and given hope of God's forgiveness when they repent.

The prayer in the rosary seems particularly appropriate - "bring all souls to heaven especially those who have most need of your mercy."

Pope John Paul II in Dominum et Vivificantem (1986), quotes Mark 3.28: "All sins will be forgiven, the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of eternal sin."

The Pope also states: "If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this 'non-forgiveness' is linked as to its cause, to 'non-repentance'. In other words, to the radical refusal to be converted."

In Dives in Misericordia, Chapter VII, No 13, Pope John Paul II states: "Mercy in itself, as a perfection of the infinite God, is also infinite. Also infinite therefore and inexhaustible is the Father's readiness to receive prodigal children who return to His home. Infinite are the readiness and power of forgiveness which flow continually from the marvellous value of the sacrifice of the Son. No human sin can prevail over this power or even limit it. On the part of man, only a lack of good will can limit it, a lack of readiness to be converted and to repent, in other words persistence in obstinacy, opposing grace and truth, especially in the face of the witness of the Cross and resurrection of Christ."

Non-repentance is mentioned in both of the Pope's encyclical letters.

St Peter, second Epistle Ch 2 and St Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians give a list of those reserved for hell.

It should be obvious that these Epistles refer to unrepentant sinners. St Augustine was on this list but repentance gained him Heaven.

JOHN SCHMID
Boronia, Vic

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