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.
Despite 14 years of civil war, the future of Liberia is not without hope. In partnership with Dr. Robert Enright, licensed psychologist and professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the International Forgiveness Institute, Inc., and Grace Network, the Student Mobilization Centre is seeking students and volunteers to help teach Enright’s Forgiveness Education curriculum to primary school teachers in Liberia. To read more about this opportunity click here.
Dr. Enright held a forgiveness workshop at the National Eucharistic Council in Knock, Ireland on June 24th and 25th, 2011. Download a copy of the presentation here.
The May 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine featured an article on the research of Dr. Robert Enright, PhD, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute. Read the full article on oprah.com.
Bishop Kevin Farrell, Bishop of Dallas, responded to Dr. Enright’s presentation at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross on his blog by saying, “Dr. Enright is right on target; his wording is more pragmatic than theological but two millennia before Dr. Enright, Jesus not only taught forgiveness but forgiveness without limit, not seven times but seventy times seven.” Read the full posting.