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The second set of questions on my latest homily came in an e-mail from an “interested parent.” So as not to make this a really long entry and to give me some more time to answer these questions I thought I would re-post the original comment below.

These are great questions and  there are two primary areas I will talk about and do my best to answer this week. These  are:

  1. They wondered if the idea is that the girls should want to forgive the priest?
  2. What is stopping people from committing more crimes, because they know they can receive “forgiveness”?

Here is the original comment and at the end I have included a clip I originally posted before the homily from Brennen Manning. It is less than 4 minutes long and it may help set the stage for my attempt to answer these very probing and thought filled questions.

Interested Parent says:

Hi Deacon Mike,
My children and I attended mass yesterday, and heard your homily. It was a thought provoking homily, to say the least. Your real example of the 47 girls who were abused caused much discussion on the way home, particularly with my teenage year old son. The kids understood that you were saying God forgives even those individuals and priests who commit the worst sins. However, they were troubled about the impact of the priest’s actions on the girls (now women). They wondered if the idea is that the girls should want to forgive the priest? But how do they overcome the physical abuse, and deal with the years of mental angst? I was then asked, if God forgives everyone’s “worst” sins, what is stopping people from committing more crimes, because they know they can receive “forgiveness”. Let me tell you, there was some lively conversation at the dinner table last night, but I couldn’t answer their questions, so I thought I’d let you know. Any comments you can share with me to help me answer their questions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Interested Parent

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