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  • December 8, 2009

    Forgiveness–Report on Science and Religion Meeting


    I was reading Fr. Joe Wimmer’s written report of last Friday’s Science and Religion meeting–and thought that I would share the part on the Presentation:

    Robert T. Hennemeyer, one of the authors of the 2004 USCCB book Forgiveness in International Politics…an alternative road to peace, (with William Bole and Drew Christiansen, SJ) and former U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia, talked to the group about principles of political peace-making and some of the efforts underlying them. Some principles: each group should say how it suffered from the other, to show that both (or all) groups suffered and not just one; need for historical truth as opposed to the ever-common mytho-history. German boys in 1937 were taught by the Nazis even with bawdy songs to hate the French. Statements by religious leaders are important in giving local peace-makers some “cover” and authorization.

    In a subsequent Q&A; session, the importance of economic standards necessary for forgiveness was discussed, as well as the need for involving the local population in rebuilding projects. Greg Mortensen, author of Three Cups of Tea, had architects design schools for girls in a Muslim country, but built by the locals. Though some of them were destroyed by extremist groups, others were not, because the local people had assisted in the construction of those schools and defended them as their own.