Love the sinner, hate the sin... IS NOT CATHOLIC DOCTRINE!

Contrary to much popular belief, the catchphrase "hate the sin but love the sinner" is not of biblical origin, and caution should be given to its connotations. The tendency it too often leads to today is to view the sinner as a victim of his sin, rather than the author of the sin he commits.

In truth, there are biblical teachings that contravene the above cliché, for example the following (from the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible):

-- "But to God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike" (Wisd. 14:9).

-- "Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee: nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes. Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity: thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie" (Ps. 5:6-7).

-- "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil" (Lk. 6:45).

A further teaching from Proverbs is instructive: "Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run to mischief. A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren" (6:16-19).

Note that the "things" listed that "the Lord hateth" are the sinners who commit the listed offenses. It is not a list of the sins in the abstract. The sinner attains the anger and rejection of God by the sins he commits through his own free will.

It goes without saying, then, that if you hate the evildoer's sin you cannot love the sinner who is its author. You cannot separate the sinner from his sin. The sinner is hateful when he commits the sin and this needs to be clearly understood. Sins are not condemned to Hell for eternity; it is the unrepentant sinner.

"Hate the sin but love the sinner" is a paraphrase taken from a letter written by St. Augustine giving instruction to a religious order of nuns on certain means of discipline to be observed in the correction of unlawful practices by their members: "When convicted of the fault, it is her duty to submit to the corrective discipline which may be appointed by the prioress or the prior. If she refuse to submit to this, and does not go away from you of her own accord, let her be expelled from your society. For this is not done cruelly but mercifully, to protect very many from perishing through infection of the plague with which one has been stricken. Moreover, what I have now said in regard to abstaining from wanton looks should be carefully observed, with due love for the persons and hatred of the sin, in observing, forbidding, reporting, reproving, and punishing of all other faults."

A careful reading of St. Augustine's letter makes it clear that the paraphrase "hate the sin but love the sinner" was not meant as a panacea to serve in the place of either condemnation or punishment of a wrongdoer. Its purpose, rather, was to inform that righteous condemnation and punishment, in the proper Christian sense, was not from malice but for the greater good of the offender as well as the community.

Sin is definitely not a zero-sum game as justice and rectification for every sin must be realized, whether in this life or beyond.

"Hate the sin but love the sinner" is a seemingly compassionate catchphrase tailor-made for today's milieu in which human behavior is no longer judged by the criteria of right or wrong, but rather from the vagaries of environment or psychophysiology (a pseudo-science that has been successful in masquerading psychosis and sanity as one and the same). These are delusions put forth which serve well to waylay right conscience and subvert accountability for evildoing.

In our celebrated age of psychoanalysis, however, the phrase "hate the sin but love the sinner" has objectives quite foreign to that of its author, St. Augustine. Our modernist spin-doctors have inverted its meaning to that of indulging the sinner and allaying his warranted accountability and castigation.
Love the sinner, hate the sin... IS NOT CATHOLIC DOCTRINE! Love the sinner, hate the sin... IS NOT CATHOLIC DOCTRINE! Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 16:12 Rating: 5

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