Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sorry Pope, it hasn't worked

My think piece on apologies in the context of the Pope's pastoral letter is available at The Huffington Post. Here's an extract:
I apologize, but His Holiness's "I am truly sorry" has not persuaded his Irish flock. Regrettably, victims have already denounced it as inadequate, and the pastoral letter promises to be a PR disaster.

Irish dissatisfaction has as much to do with the message's presentation as with its substance. The Pope's letter is twenty pages long but contains only one mention of the word 'sorry': buried at the middle of page 7. Addressing the victims of abuse, he says, "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry."

I'm sorry to nitpick, but is he only apologizing for the suffering experienced by the Irish victims of sexual abuse? What about the actions of his priests or the lack of oversight? What about the cover-up and protracted refusal to acknowledge responsibility? What about the dearth of punishment?

You can read the full article here.