I don't know about the Pope's childhood, but way back in kindergarten I learned that there are three parts to a good apology:
- You have to acknowledge a fault or offense without reservation.
- You have to say you're sorry and mean it.
- You must take responsibility for the consequences and try to put it right.
Except maybe His Holiness. His latest failed apology was given during his traditional meeting with the cardinals:
"We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen."Wow, that actually sounds pretty good. He's got #3 down solid.
But then he blows his own apology completely out of the water:
[We cannot] remain silent regarding the context of these times in which these events have come to light.In other words, "What's the problem? Everyone else was doing it." He goes on:
There is a market in child pornography that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society. ... In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children."So apparently that makes it OK, or at least mitigates the sin. When those pedophile priests were molesting and raping little kids, they were just going along with everyone else.
The Pope completely blew Rule #1 of an apology: You have to acknowledge a fault or offense, without reservation. It doesn't matter what was going on in society. There is no excuse.
It doesn't matter if others were doing it. It doesn't matter that Kinsey's scientific study of pedophiles was misinterpreted to suggest pedophilia was normal or acceptable. The Roman Catholic Church is supposed to be immune to the fads and fashions of morality that come and go. Aren't her priests, bishops and cardinals supposed to have rock-solid morals founded on the words of God through his son Jesus Christ?
It's a terrible shame that after all the harm the Church's priests have caused the Pope can't even give a decent apology and just say he's sorry, without reservation.