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Martin wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What are your thoughts on priests and lay Catholics advocating separation instead of reconciliation between two people who seem to be at odds at each other due to:
    • grave miscommunication
    • misconceptions, and
    • misunderstanding?

Thank you very much.


  { Would separation instead of reconciliation be better amid two people at odds for various reasons? }

Paul replied:

Dear Martin,

Yours is a very general question, so I'll respond with a general answer.

Separation seems reasonable when there is continuous abuse: physical, verbal, psychological, or emotional . . . but reconciliation should always be the end goal for couples in valid marriages.



Martin replied:

Hi Paul,

Thank you very much for your response.

  • What about between friends or generic members of a community?
  • Two people who are not in a relationship?
  • Let's say, two classmates?



Paul replied:


Every case is different and with prudence should be handled differently. Forgiveness does not necessitate reconciliation or restoration of a relationship.

For example, if one or both parties are too immature, irrational, or mentally disturbed to do what is right in order to restore the relationship (whatever the relationship may be), then it seems to make sense that separation, at least temporarily, is in order.

You can forgive someone and love them from afar. On the other hand, if there is the will to reconcile and restore friendship to what it was, both parties should unselfishly work toward that end.


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