Dr. Enright Speaks at Padua, Italy Conference

On Saturday, Feb. 4, Dr. Robert Enright addressed an audience in Padua, Italy on the theme of healing through forgiveness. The audience consisted of people with an interest in using forgiveness as a means to become emotionally healthier as a result of injustices against them.

The largest reaction from the audience was their surprise about what forgiveness is and is not. The question and answer session (with answers from both Dr. Enright and Amber Flesch, IFI Forgiveness Program Manager) centered at first on this issue of the definition of forgiveness. Many said they thought forgiveness: a) included automatic reconciliation; b) was a simple–and distorted–idea of just saying “I forgive you,” and, c) encompassed just letting the offense go.

People seemed energized and happy to hear that forgiveness is a virtue, contered in mercy, in which one gives up resentment and offers goodness toward an offender, but does not include excusing, letting an offense go, abandoning justice, or automatically reconciling.

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