What about verbal abuse and unforgiveness?

I have a father who has been verbally abusive to my wife and upset her terribly. He has some health issues but he’s been this way my whole life. Is it unforgiveness to not allow my wife contact with him due to not knowing when and if it might happen again? I have forgiven him and want only the best for him but I also feel a duty to protect my family. To make things more complicated, we live on the same property.

Dear friend,

You are a son, but also a man. Defending your wife does not affect your desire to forgive your father. But you have an obligation, as the head of your family, to preserve your your wife from harassment. To not do so would be uncharitable and therefore, sinful. Has it ever occurred to you to stand up to your father? Maybe it’s time you did.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.