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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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When to Forgive

When to Forgive

April 10, 2002

(p.373) 27 When to Forgive
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses the act of forgiveness, asking who should forgive, who should be forgiven and under what circumstances. In most cases, the party who forgives is the one who has suffered injury or to whom a debt is due. The recipient of forgiveness is the person who has committed an offense or incurred a debt. The usual conditions of forgiveness are three: that the person receiving it be sorry for any wrong committed, be resolved to desist from continuing or repeating the evil action, and be prepared to make satisfaction, as far as possible. To be disposed for forgiveness one need not expect to avoid future misdeeds, but one must be resolved to take effective measures to prevent such acts. The discussion also tackles the social and political aspects of forgiveness, as well as its burdens and benefits.

Keywords:   forgiveness, injury, offense, victim, sin, resentment

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