The restorative power of shame

20/01/2011

Evan Ellis CathBlog News Story
From the CathBlog of Social Justice Co-ordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, Evan Ellis

Shame often gets a bad rap. It is depicted as unhelpful at best or pathological and deeply destructive at worst. Few people discuss, or even acknowledge, the importance of shame.

It’s not unlike fear; unpleasant but functional. It asks important questions and we respond, positively or negatively, through our actions. It can also be misplaced like fear. To borrow from the Bishops in their 2010 Social Justice Statement Violence in Australia: a message of peace, shame is “a good servant, but not a good master.”

It was at the Parramatta Diocese’s launch of the statement that I had occasion to reflect on the value of shame.

Continue reading at the CathBlog site


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