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Editorial: Restorative justice and Christmas

December 22, 2014

“This aligning of justice and love is something which it is the peculiar task of Christian believers to promote, and in doing so they need to see beyond the secular conception of justice in its threefold form of distributive, commutative and retributive justice. Justice has also a restorative element…. 

“Restorative justice alone can do what law as such can never do: it can heal the fundamental wound from which all mankind suffers and which turns the best human justice constantly into injustice, the wound of sin. Distributive justice can never take us beyond the norm of reparation; commutative justice can provide only due compensation; retributive justice has no means of repairing the damage save by punishment and expiation. Restorative justice, as it is revealed in the Bible, alone has positive power for overcoming sin.”

Today Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who came, we proclaim with joy, to heal the wound of sin. Jesus announced a different kind of justice, one that rescues victims, reproves wrongdoers, and repairs harm but is not satisfied until people and structures are set right. This sort of justice cannot be imposed – although systems can and should be made more restorative. It must be grasped and embraced within ourselves.

The restorative justice movement is made up of people from many different traditions, perspectives and faiths. On this day which is holy to us at Restorative Justice Online, we wish you peace and joy, energy and resources for the journey.

Merry Christmas!


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