Volume > Issue > 'Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner': Not Scriptural, Not Catholic Doctrine

‘Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner’: Not Scriptural, Not Catholic Doctrine

GUEST COLUMN

By Erven Park | June 2006
Erven Park, of Toledo, Washington, is a widowed father of eight children (one a monastic priest). He is the past publisher of the Catholic Truth and Catholic Intersect journals, and provided documentation to and testimony before the official Vatican Commission that investigated and ruled on the ministry of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

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):

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