News footage of the terrorist bombing on 7 July 2005 highlights the number of people who were killed that day. Among the dead was a young woman, Jenny. Her mother, Julie Nicholson, was an ordained priest but quit her position because she could not forgive the suicide bomber who murdered her daughter. Julie justifies her stance by asserting forgiveness depends upon the guilty party requesting it. The person who killed her daughter is dead and so there's no relationship to be restored. She thinks Jenny would want her to lead a good life and not worry about forgiveness.
The class could discuss the idea that a priest forgives on God’s behalf. How important is the role of an intermediary in the process of forgiveness?
Julie’s closing thoughts about how she has moved on with her life raises interesting questions about the importance of forgiveness in relation to other actions and motivations. The class could discuss whether the act of forgiveness carries a different moral importance to Jill’s decision to lead a good life and make a difference in the world.