Welby says forgive the corrupt. A reader takes a different view.

Last week we tweeted a comment on Old Etonian and former oil company employee Archbishop Justin Welby’s call for the corrupt to be forgiven. We said:

Forgiveness requires an acknowledgement of guilt and responsibility from the perpetrator. It’s not carte blanche to just carry on criming! (apologies for neologism) #Corruption

It seems that one of our readers agreed and wrote this:

If forgiveness is an “individual, voluntary internal process of letting go of feelings and thoughts of resentment, bitterness, anger, and the need for vengeance and retribution toward someone who we believe has wronged us.” [Michael E McCullough on Forgiveness, 2008) then Justin Welby’s suggestion of whom should be the subject of our personal forgiveness begs the question, what would be the effect of that widespread forgiveness? In the minds of too many this, I fear, would begin to justify the unrestricted rehabilitation of these corrupt politicians.

Whether they’re rehabilitated into society is the individual choice of anyone that might be unfortunate enough to meet them. Some will shake their hands and others definitely won’t. They should be permanently excluded from government and company directorship worldwide, for life.

It’s unfit conduct, but the standard 15 year disqualification is not enough anymore. That provides too little deterrence for corrupt politicians; it fails to protect the public from their future potential corruption. Deterrence and public protection outrank the professional rehabilitation of individuals as civic priorities. Ban them for life; forgive them if you feel personally inclined so to do, Archbishop.

We wholly concur.