117 – “The most wicked and the most blasphemous person is loved by God with the tenderness of a father”


The Gospel of Saint Luke relates that two thieves were crucified with Jesus: one on his right and the other on his left. One of them, repentant, prayed to Jesus: ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom’ (Lk 23: 42). The other was obstinate in his sins and blasphemed. The first received pardon and Paradise. The other received Jesus’ silence. In the example these two thieves, God manifests the limits of his love and mercy for men.

Is it correct to affirm that God always loves the sinner, even the obstinate and blasphemous sinner? What does the sinner need in order to receive divine love and mercy? Let’s go into the nuances with the Magisterium of the Church…



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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

I – God waits patiently but not indefinitely the conversion of a sinner
II – Jesus rejected the bad thief
III – Is diminishing the fear of God among the faithful pastoral zeal?
IV – Doctrinal explanations regarding the sin of blasphemy

I – God waits patiently but not indefinitely the conversion of a sinner

Saint Catherine of Siena

God grants mercy to those who emend their lives

Saint John Chrysostom

Those who return to their sins will have to suffer great punishment

Saint Augustine of Hippo

The Lord is full of mercy, but by ill using his mercy you store up wrath for yourself
God is liberal with the sinner who repents. He invites with gracious calls
Jesus is faithful and just to forgive sins, provided you change until you be perfected
Christ is ready to forgive sins, but also to punish those who do not acknowledge their sin
To have fellowship with Christ the darkness of sin must be driven away

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

God is just and prepared to inflict punishment

Saint John Chrysostom

Sinners who do not feel pain for their sins cause indignation and wrath to God

Catechism of Trent

The imminent wrath of God pursues sin - the wicked are at war with God

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

The impenitent and obstinate sinner wounds and tears his own soul

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Obstinate sinners are deceived by hope

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

He who sins with the hope of pardon attracts the malediction of God

II – Jesus rejected the bad thief

Saint Robert Bellarmine

The bad thief rejected the grace of God, and met his final doom

Saint John Chrysostom

Difference between the two thieves: one received as inheritance the Kingdom of heaven, the other was cast into hell
Stained with a thousand crimes, the good thief sought pardon for his wickedness from the Fountain of righteousness

Saint Augustine

One is damned, the other saved. In the middle is the One who damns and saves - that cross was the tribunal

Pius XI

We admire the infinite charity of Our Redeemer, so that we have a more vehement hatred of sin

III – Is diminishing the fear of God among the faithful true pastoral zeal?

Our Lord to Saint Catherine of Siena

Darkness and division have come into the world through the lack of the light of justice

Pius X

Those who use merely complacent language harm their brothers

Pius XII

The principle duty of pastors entails the confutation of errors and human faults

Pius XI

Like a bright lighthouse, the Church warns against every deviation to right or left from the way of truth

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Woe to these children of wrath, who present themselves as ministers of mercy!

IV – Doctrinal explanations regarding the sin of blasphemy

Catechism of Trent

Pastors must carefully admonish the faithful how grievous is the crime of blasphemy: to shamelessly dare to outrage the Majesty that the Angels glorify
Deterred by a holy dread the faithful should use every exertion to avoid blasphemy - men are afflicted with heavy calamities because they violate the Commandment

Code of Canon Law

Those who utter blasphemy are to be punished with a just penalty

Saint Bede the Venerable

Blasphemy is only pardoned to those who have gone through sufficient repentance for their sins

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Blasphemy is in itself a grave sin

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Blasphemy is the disparagement of God’s goodness, and strives to hinder the honor due to Him
Blasphemy is opposed to charity
Blasphemy contains the gravity of unbelief
Whoever dies in mortal sin bears a will that detests the Divine justice – and for this reason blasphemes


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