Sometime in the 1980s Catholic primary school teachers in Ireland abandoned the concept of sin, considering it too harsh for the six-year-olds they were training for the confessional. They reached instead for the phrase “a failure to love,” a devastating switch that moved children from the pleasures of transgression (who doesn’t like a good sin?) to the wilderness of abandonment. It was like accusing them of causing their own loneliness.
From Dublin-based writer Anne Enright.