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The Pope at general audience explains the relationship between justice and mercy in God

2016-02-03

(ONLY VIDEO ) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the mercy according to the Bible. In this Wednesday, he explained why God is perfect righteousness.

He said the courts do not lead to true justice because it is a "retributive” justice. True justice, he said, is the merciful God imparts.

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The Sacred Scriptures present God as infinite mercy, but also as perfect justice. When we think of justice, we think of its legal administration, which seeks retribution and exacts a penalty. Such legal justice does not conquer evil, but simply stems its tide. The Bible presents true justice as a process which avoids a tribunal. It foresees the offended person going directly to the guilty party to invite them to conversion, by helping them to see the evil they have done, and by appealing to their conscience. In this way, the guilty person is able to see their wrong and be open to the forgiveness offered. This is how families forgive, how spouses and children show their love. This is not always easy, however; it requires that we be ready to forgive and desire always the salvation of those who offend us. This is God’s justice. He does not seek our condemnation, but our salvation. By making us see the wrong we have done, the Father helps us to recognize our need for his mercy revealed in Jesus Christ. God’s justice is his mercy. As God’s children, may we be open to his divine mercy, and readily and generously share it with our brothers and sisters.

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from the United States of America. May you open your lives to the Lord’s gift of mercy, and share this gift with all whom you know. May you be children of the Good Father, missionaries of his merciful love. May God bless you all!


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