Fratelli Tutti 251: Revenge

Not only does forgiveness defuse social destruction, but it leashes destruction within the individual.

251. Those who truly forgive do not forget. Instead, they choose not to yield to the same destructive force that caused them so much suffering. They break the vicious circle; they halt the advance of the forces of destruction. They choose not to spread in society the spirit of revenge that will sooner or later return to take its toll. Revenge never truly satisfies victims.

An important acknowledgement that human beings feel and sense:

Some crimes are so horrendous and cruel that the punishment of those who perpetrated them does not serve to repair the harm done. Even killing the criminal would not be enough, nor could any form of torture prove commensurate with the sufferings inflicted on the victim. Revenge resolves nothing.

True. It’s an aspiration sourced in human pain, and the instinct to lash out and back at a perpetrator. But as a person who was never a victim of a violent crime, I would have to cede commentary to people who were. 

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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