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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Re: C. S. Lewis on Punishment
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1923  Thursday, 19 September 2002

From:           M. Yawney <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Sep 2002 16:07:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1915 Re: C. S. Lewis on Punishment
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1915 Re: C. S. Lewis on Punishment

 L. Swilley <
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 > writes:

>For those
>faiths that have the sacrament of Confession, the
>inviolable secrecy of
>the Confessional is evidence of its understood
>privacy and the
>separation of the public things of Caesar from the
>private things of
>God.

There is no simple civil/religious split as put forth above.

The Catholic church at least teaches that if one does not confess to
civil authorities and accept secular consequences and (even more
importantly) if one continues to enjoy the positive results of one's
crime, these are indications that one's repentance are not
sincere--which means you can confess to a priest until you are blue in
the face, but the forgiveness gives will not apply since it is accepted
in bad faith.

(Interesting in view of the recent scandals.)

So for example, if a cheating student does not come clean to the prof
and take a lower grade, no priest has the power to forgive his crime of
cheating. Or if the Enron executive keeps his ill-gotten gains and does
not turn state's evidence, any forgiveness he receives in the
confessional does not count.

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