Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

unconditional forgiveness -- not for Christians?

Last year, I wrote and posted a paper on the forgiveness that we humans are capable of and called to.  I argued that we are called to forgive one another *unconditionally.*  Further, I take *unconditional* forgiveness to be the Christian norm.  But some Christians seem to hold the view that those who have been wronged are entitled -- or maybe even required -- to condition their granting forgiveness on the offender's apology and contrition.  I understand that view, but I don't see a basis for it in the Christian revelation.  If there is one, I'd like help finding it.  Please note that forgiveness is distinguished from reconciliation; prudence may counsel against the latter (as in cases of abuse by a spouse, for example), but prudence cannot (I argue) justify placing conditions on the act of forgiveness.  Am I wrong about the Christian understanding of forgiveness?     


Brennan, Patrick | Permalink

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