Pope Francis says people who cannot forgive are not Christian
Scots Catholic - Calling Scotland's 841,000 Catholics to unite as one voice
Scots Catholic Blog

Pope Francis says people who cannot forgive are not Christian

 
It’s a pretty basic point: you can’t be Christian unless you are prepared to forgive.  It’s something that is abundantly clear in Christ’s teaching and we can be left in no doubt that we are all expected to forgive one another if we are to be true to Jesus.
 
 
Yet this call is seemingly never put into practice.  We are often prepared to talk the talk when it comes to forgiveness, but we are rarely prepared to walk the walk.  It is in this sense that the Pope’s words are timely.  As Christians we undoubtedly need to be reminded of Christ’s call to forgive all people, even when they have committed the worst crimes and atrocities against us.  This is, of course, very hard for us.  That is not in doubt.  But then Christian living is a challenge!  Living as a Christian goes against the grain of modern society and modern living.  It requires us to protect life from conception until natural death, it requires us to love all people without exception, and it requires us to forgive no matter what.
 
 
As the pope says: “If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian.  You may be a good man, a good woman….but you are not doing what our Lord did. What’s more, if you can’t forgive, you cannot receive the peace of the Lord.  And every day when we pray the ‘Our Father’: forgive us as we have forgiven those….it is a condition.” 
 
 
The pope also urged priests to make sure they are merciful otherwise they shouldn’t be hearing Confession. He said: “If you are a priest and you can’t manage to be merciful, tell your bishop who will give you a job in administration, but please don’t go into the confessional box!  A priest who is not merciful does a lot of harm in the confessional box!”
 
 
He then encouraged more humility among Christians saying: “Which of us can say this, that the other person is more of a sinner than me?  None of us can say this!  Only our Lord knows this.”
Put bluntly, there should be nothing that is incapable of forgiveness, and there should be no person who is not entitled to receive our forgiveness.
 

2 Comments to Pope Francis says people who cannot forgive are not Christian :

Comments RSS
A Common Sinner on 11 September 2015 19:19
As a victim of incestuous CSA, I have struggled most of my life with the issue of forgiveness. How could I genuinely forgive the man who fathered me for raping me when I was 3? How could I forgive him for the enormous impact it has had on every aspect of my life, leading me to prefer isolation from even my remaining family members? Bequeathing me an inability to trust anyone or tolerate company for extended periods (by 'extended' I mean >1 hour)? How could I forgive him for annihilating my chance to fall in love and marry because I simply cannot trust a man? How could I forgive him for robbing me of the chance to be a mother - a chance that, at 45 years old, I will never have now? About 10 years ago, I managed to get in touch with him (he divorced my mother and remarried when I was about 4yrs old, thank goodness). I told him I wanted to see him, and we met the following week. It was the first time I ever had the chance to confront him, and I made it very clear to him that he had ruined my life. But something else happened that day that I did not expect. No, he didn't voluntarily march off to the Police Station and hand himself in; but as he sat there listening to me, grovelling and proclaiming how he had changed, and how he said the Rosary every day, I felt pity for him. I actually felt genuinely sorry for his pain - and a bit guilty that my harsh tone was the cause of it. We haven't met or spoken since. I'm still not sure that his alleged daily recitation of the Rosary (he brought his beads with him to the meeting) is down to genuine repentance for his sins or forced contrition or just an act for my benefit. And I am still struggling to forgive him (as evidenced by words thus far). Yet I still recall the sight of him that day: a wee man, trembling, sweating, barely able to form a coherent sentence and sounding not terribly convincing when he did. Whether he was genuinely contrite or not, I pity him. At over 70, he's nearer the end of his life than the start. Faced with his impending mortality, and being a Catholic, he will no doubt be sweating buckets about Judgement Day. And the funny thing is, I don't want him to go to Hell. I don't particularly want to spend Eternity with him (assuming Saint Peter lets me through the pearly gates), but I can't abide the thought of being responsible - however incidentally - for a fellow human being tormented in Hell forever. I might not be all the way there yet, but maybe I'm farther down the road to forgiving him than I thought. Merciful God, I hope so.
Reply to comment
 
Scots Catholic on 14 September 2015 13:43
Hi there. Firstly, I would just like to say how sorry I am for what you had to go through. I can't even begin to imagine what you have experienced. Secondly, can I express gratitude for your bravery and willingness in sharing your experience with us. I know it probably wasn't an easy decision. Your incredible witness should serve as an example to many people. Thank you and God bless.

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
RSS Follow

Recent Posts

Scots support reduced abortion time limits and statutory waiting period
Catholic Bishops call for faithful to reflect on beauth and goodness of Church teaching ahead of General Election
With Christianity dying out in Europe we need the family more than ever
Cadbury, don't let the bullies win
Peaceful and prayerful: 40 Days for Life returns to Scotland this Lent

Categories

Abortion
Abortion, pro-life
Abstinence
Abuse
Adoption
Adultery
Agnosticism
Amoris Laetitia
Angels
Angelus
Annunciation
Apologetics
Art
Ascension
AsceSolemnitynsion
Assisted Dying
Assisted Suicide
Asylum
Atheism
Baptism
Beatitudes
Bible
Bishop
Buddhism
Canon Law
Capital Punishment
Catechism
Catholic
Catholic Education
Cerebral Palsy
Charity
Chastity
Children
Christian
Christian Unity
Christianity
Christmas
Church
Church Doctors
Commandments
Confession
Confirmation
Consecration
Contraception
Creation
Crime
Crucifixion
Death
Devil
Devotion
Disability
Divination
Division
Divorce
Down's Syndrome
Dwelling on the Word of God
Easter
Ecumenism
Edinburgh
Education
Encyclical
EU
Eucharist
Eugenics
Europe
European Parliament
European Union
Euthanasia
Evangelii Gaudium
Evangelisation
Events
Evil
Evolution
Excommunication
Exorcism
Exorcist
Facebook
Faith
Family
Fatherhood
Feast Days
Film
Football
Forgiveness
Gender
Gendercide
General Audience
General Election
Genocide
Glasgow
God
Gospel
Gospel Reflection
Gossip
Handing on the Faith
Health
Heaven
Hell
Holy Communion
Holy Spirit
Homosexuality
Idolatry
Incest
Infanticide
Internet
Islam
Jesus
Journalism
Joy
Judaism
Laudato Si
Law
Learn the Catholic Faith
Lent
Life
Love
Magisterium
Marriage
Martyrdom
Mary
Mass
Media
Medical Research
Mercy
Messi
Miracle
Missions
Money
Mother of God
Motu Proprio
Nativity
Natural Family Planning
News
Nightfever
Our Lady
Papacy
Parish
Passion
Peace
Persecution
Politics
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Francis
Pornography
Poverty
Prayer
Precepts
Priesthood
Pro-Choice
Pro-Life
Protestantism
Purgatory
Radio
Reconciliation
Refugee
Relativism
Religion
Rome
Ronaldo
Rosary
Sacrament
Sacrifice
Safeguarding
Saints
Salvation
Same Sex Marriage
Satan
Science
Scotland
Scottish Government
Scottish Parliament
Scripture
Sectarianism
Secularism
Sex
Sin
Soccer
Social Media
Solemnity
Sport
Stations of the Cross
Suffering
Suicide
Survey
Synod
Technology
Television
Tradition
Transgender
Trinity
Truth
Twitter
UK Parliament
UN
United Kingdom
United States
Unity
Vatican
Via Crucis
Virgin Mary
Vocations
War
Way of the Cross
Women
Word of God
World Cup
World Youth Day
Year of Faith
Youth

Archives

May 2017
April 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013

powered by

Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint