Murder -- unforgivable


#1

I keep hearing, on various occasions, that murder is the one sin, that can’t be forgiven. That makes no sense to me. I can understand that the temporal consequences would be much deeper than that of a venial sin, and it’s obviously one of the most, if not the most, mortal of sins. But if someone had committed murder, if it’s unforgiveable, than what would be the point of repentance, then? or conversion, if one wasn’t a Christian at that point?

I would think that that would exclude, among others, St Paul, who, as a Pharisee, oversaw, if not partook of the persecution of many Christians, and stoning to death was part of that persecutions. I’ve got to think that when I hear that from some Catholics that they are mis-understanding something somewhere.

Thanks, and God bless,

Jeff


#2

The only unforgivable sin is the sin that is not repented. Any sin, no matter how heinous, that is repented before death will be forgiven. This is a “hard teaching” for many people, including many Christians, because it necessarily follows that even notorious sinners such as Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin could have been forgiven their sins had they repented on their deathbeds; but infinite mercy is the consequence of the shocking scandal of God’s infinite love.

Of course, sinners who repent but do not have time before their deaths to satisfy the temporal punishments attached to their sins (the eternal punishment of hell is wiped out by their repentance), will have to satisfy that temporal debt in purgatory.

A good article on the subject of mercy and its difficulty for Christians:

Jonah and God’s Call to Mercy by Mark P. Shea


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