Forgiving Sinners is the Christian Thing to Do

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

To the Editor:

Reading your coverage about the travails of Rev. Luke Melackrinos gave me pause to reflect on how to approach his situation.

Much was made of the fact that he is the father of three children and that should be taken into account. I respectfully submit that forgiveness and turning the other cheek (not the same things), which our faith implores us to demonstrate, is not conditional on how many children one has fathered.

The reverend made a mistake – or should we call it a series of mistakes? Our faith mandates that we, our hierarchs, and his presbytera forgive him, regardless of how many children he has.

While it appears that his wife has been wronged – she is commanded by faith to not only forgive but to turn the other cheek – yes, this is hard to do, but the Christian path is not an easy one. He is her husband and even many secular people would suggest forgiveness.

Our faith also dictates that man is sinful. Not even the Theotokos was born without sin – as our Catholic brethren profess through the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. So why would our community and our hierarchy expect their priests to be without sin? Any decision made by the church must take into account that all men and women are sinful; it is our inheritance from Adam and Eve. And let us not forget the admonition, that “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

When we are being urged by our archbishop to accept and love refugees, some of whom even he acknowledges may harbor ill feelings towards us, cannot we accept our priests with love and forgiveness?

Nicholas Kalis
McLean, VA