Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 18: The Loss of the Sense of Sin, Part 5: Guilting The Young

It’s a small paragraph, but given the angst in the US over so-called white guilt, it seems an interesting point for Pope John Paul II to have made when he writes of The Loss of the Sense of Sin.

Finally the sense of sin disappears when-as can happen in the education of youth, in the mass media and even in education within the family-it is wrongly identified with a morbid feeling of guilt or with the mere transgression of legal norms and precepts.

To be sure, the point of slavery/Jim Crow/redlining/prison policy is actively debated in my country. Even if it were true that young white men are harmed by critics of white privilege, there are many voices stressing the importance of the other side.

It seems clear to me we need to look back to the past–not for condemnation alone, but also to identify sin where our ancestors missed it or whitewashed it.

This document is Copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Reconciliatio et Paenitentia. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s