۱۴ تیر ۱۴۰۱ |۵ ذیحجهٔ ۱۴۴۳ | Jul 5, 2022
confession
‘In the Catholic confessional, the starting point is “Forgive me, for I have sinned”,’ says Kip Bennett.

Kip Bennett and Brian Thomas respond to recent letters discussing what it means to forgive.

Hawzah News Agency- As a Methodist minister, I am with Dr Kambiz Boomla (Letters, 2 June; Letters, 5 June). Confession comes before forgiveness. “Father, forgive them” is a prayer request, not a pronouncement of absolution. That God’s forgiveness is always available, even for the most heinous crimes, gives us sinners hope but requires our response to become effective. In the Catholic confessional, the starting point is “Forgive me, for I have sinned”. Only when the misdeeds have been told does the priest offer the words “I absolve you”. Forgiveness presupposes a contrite heart, and should be followed with the command to “Go, and sin no more”.
Kip Bennett
West Drayton, London

As an occasional teacher of religious education in a Kent secondary modern school, I’ve long remembered a textbook definition of forgiveness as “taking the offence, throwing it into the deepest ocean and putting up a ‘no fishing’ sign”.
Brian Thomas
Marden, Kent

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