Derry bishop: Condemnation without mercy is destructive

Derry bishop: Condemnation without mercy is destructive Bishop Donal McKeown

Bishop Donal McKeown has said that correcting someone is meant to help people, “not nourish my spiritual ego”.

In a homily delivered in St Eugene’s Cathedral, Co. Derry, over the weekend, Bishop McKeown spoke about Church community and the challenges of a culture that does not forgive.

He said: “John the Baptist, Jesus and the apostles were killed for telling powerful people where the system which suited the strong was heartless and without grace.

“And he reserved most of his anger, not for the little people whose lives were less than perfect but for those who professed to love God and appeared to despise their neighbour. Unless reprimand comes with love of our neighbour, it is not imbued with grace. Correcting someone is meant to help them, not to nourish my spiritual ego.”

Speaking on forgiveness he said: “It is easy to condemn and label. It is much harder to walk and work with the sinner who finds it hard to believe that things could be different. That takes time. We live in a culture that loves to condemn and never forgive. But condemnation without a radical offer of mercy and forgiveness is destructive.”