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The Ministry of Forgiveness and a Praxis of Reconciliation

Fr. Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S.

This article is taken from a presentation given at the International Seminar on Reconciliation August 21, 2006, Lima, Peru. In this article Fr. Schreiter focuses on a central element that is "both distinctive to the Christian tradition and at the same time one of the most difficult areas in which to work...that of forgiveness."

To approach this difficult topic, this presentation will proceed in three parts. The first part will look at the obstacles to forgiveness: why it is so difficult and hte misconceptions about forgiveness thata can block the way to understanding it. In a second part, I will try to present the Christian vision of forgiveness, concentrating on some of its distinctive features as they relate to the situation you are facing after two decades of armed conflict. In the third and final part, I will turn to the praxis of Christian forgiveness, as it is enacted in Christian communities and in the wider Church. This final part will focus on how the Church, in its ministry of forgiveness, can help heal the nation. This intent is to help priests, religous and laity lead a ministry of forgiveness within their communities.

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