Pope Francis says to the South Koreans that forgiveness and charity are the keys to Korean unification – a noble sentiment, if someone is really asking for our forgiveness; a wonderful teaching, if it weren't for the belligerent, murderous tyrant interested in enslaving each and every one of us. We may consider it fortunate for humanity, then, that the South Koreans are backed by something stronger than Papa Francesco's kisses and homilies: most notably an armed and dangerous defender of liberty known as the United States of America. If Jesus saves men from burning in Hell, America saves men from burning on Earth. Both are leaders of charitable organizations – that is, if charity concerns not only a granting of gifts, but also a protection of person and property. And certainly we can agree that if Christians are to be charitable, our charity has to do something with our earthly happiness.Pope Francis is making a mistake that many Christians make, and that those who aren't Christian, but wish to shame or defame us make. Forgiveness is a personal act. A State can not forgive, because each person in that State may not be ready to forgive. Further, a State can not forgive another State, because each person in the other State may not be in need of forgiveness for the act for which the forgiveness is extended. Some may never be ready to forgive, and may nurse that hate all their lives on this earth.
The purpose of forgiveness is to purify our hearts, it is something we do for ourselves. We may say to someone that we forgive them, but that act will not necessarily change the other persons mind. We let go of the hurt, the anger, the hatred to God, because these emotions will destroy us if we hang onto them. We become so embittered that we no longer can see the world as it is. You probably know someone like this. So, we let go and let God. Furthermore, forgiveness does not mean that the person who hurt us, or wronged us does not deserve punishment. Just that his or her punishment is no longer our concern. Neither does it mean to forget. A woman who has just been through a trying divorce through no fault of her own may forgive her ex-husband, but she would be foolish to forget and let him back into her life.
Another aspect of Christianity that people get wrong, including many Christians is the notion that Christians should be pacifist. They often base this on the saying of Jesus to turn the other cheek. At the time, it was a common practice for a higher status person to take the back of his right hand and slap a lower status person on his left cheek. Naturally, the act was infuriating to someone who had been thus slapped. Jesus advised to turn the other cheek, which would force the slapper to use his left hand, thus shaming him. But if you are being beaten silly and you are afraid that you might be seriously injured or killed, you must defend yourself.
Now, I am not a great theologian, nor do I put myself in the august company of one who might be elected Pope, but I can read and think, and it seems to me that now even the Catholic church is going off the rails. And if they have these things wrong, what else?