Mercy, judgement, confession and reconciliation.

In the Australian Parliament debate concerning possible executions in Bali, Shadow Foreign Minister, Tanya Plibersek, spoke about the second chance that her husband had received. Her husband, Michael Coutts-Trotter, is now a senior NSW public servant. He had been a drug dealer in the early 1980s. Tany Plibersek commented ‘I imagine what would have happened if he had been caught in Thailand instead of Australia where the crime was committeed.  … What would the world have missed out on? They would have missed out on the three most beautiful children we had together. They would have missed out on a man that spent the rest of his life making amends for the crime that he committed. ‘  Her husband commented, ‘I was afforded a second chance by our Australian justice system. I remain grateful for that every day.’

In the US there has also been discussion about mistakes and recovery. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams stepped down from his post after he admitted that he had exaggerated a story from his coverage of the Iraq invasion.

David Brooks, in the NY Times – see link below – has written what I sense is one of the most insightful articles about mercy, judgement, confession and reconciliation. Christians and particularly Catholics speak a lot about confession and reconciliation. But David Brooks in his article The Act of Rigorous Forgiving gives the best account that I can remember on this delicate but critical subject. David Brooks is not a Christian. He is Jewish.  John Menadue


John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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1 Response to Mercy, judgement, confession and reconciliation.

  1. Avatar tasi timor says:

    John. One of the unwritten lows of the Howard years was how the previous Indonesian President SBY was permitted to kill three innocent Catholics, without protest, to appease voters who would be angered by the killing of three of the Bali bombers, which Howard wanted. The Holy Father, who was very reliably informed, intervened twice, to no avail.

    Readers may also be interested to know that one of the first things Widodo did on assuming power last November was to pardon and release a JI terrorist who had been sentenced to death for the Jakarta Atrium bombing. His brother has just been killed in Minandao along with 44 of the Police involved in the operation. He was top of the FBI wanted list.

    The JI terrorist released by Widodo is Taufik bin Abdul Halim – sentenced to death, commuted to 20 years, released by Widodo after 12. His brother is Zulkifli Abdhir.

    btw you forgot Restitution.

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