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


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