Does God forgive this kind of evil?


Dear Father,

Given the recent tragedy the world is now suffering from...possibly thousands killed during the horrible acts of terrorism...I have been praying, praying for the family/friends and our nation, and the President of our country. I am however, at a stage of confusion over my Religion. God has taught us to forgive our enemies, and turn the other cheek. How Father, can we do this? I cant but help myself hating the people responsible. Does God forgive this kind of evil ? Should we ? Thank You..

Mary Ann


Dear Mary Ann,

Very good question. Sorry I'm slow getting back. It has been quite a month for all of us. God does not forgive evil at all. He hates it as you and I should because of what it does to human beings, that is, turns them away from him and from each other. It is another thing to forgive a person. When the one who harms us is remote from us - or in the case of the highjackers, dead - I am not sure what forgiveness of them would mean, except maybe to hope that they repented before they died or that if they are in purgatory, to pray for their souls. As far as their co-conspirators, both for the protection of innocent people and for their own ultimate good, we want them to be captured and made to confront their deeds. Our government and other governments should hunt them down and, if it is not possible to capture them, it would clearly be legitimate to kill them. The part that gets a bit sticky is that they are not fighting out in the open and are willing to use innocent civilians to shield themselves.

I think your emotion, Mary Ann, is not exactly hate, but very intense anger. I feel that myself. It is a good emotion, but it must be directed or instead of getting to the terrorists, you will wind up taking it out on the wrong people, the ones who are close to you. Unless you are in the CIA or military, you will probably not be able to personally get at any terrorist, but you can direct your anger into some other channel, like doing what you can to build a strong country, maybe by helping people who have lost jobs on account of this situation or spending time with your children or other peoples'. Do you see what I mean?

As far as forgiveness, I find that the the people I really have to forgive are the ones I am running into each day. Even tho many folks are making greater efforts to be civil since Sept. 11, a lot are letting their anger out in inappropriate ways. But that is where the Lord's Prayer comes in, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

My prayers, Mary Ann. God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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