Thursday, October 15, 2015
It is hard to make a public apology. One would rather hide or turn a situation over to lawyers to defend. It is twice as hard to apologize when one's institution is supposed to be above public scandal and a model for how to live. Yet, here is the pope asking forgiveness for scandals in the Roman Catholic Church. To skeptics, the pope has not gone far enough. To believers, it is painful to watch a popular religious figure abase himself before the public. Pope Francis wasn't the cause of scandal, and some of it occurred before he was elevated, but he is taking responsibility by apologizing. That is what a leader should do. Still, there is damage to the relationship of the church with its members. Some believers will ask why they persist in faith when churchmen can't behave themselves. Others will stop going to the Mass and sacraments. It takes understanding to accept that the church is human and people err. The pope is in a painful position, but he is taking positive steps to rebuild relationships with the faithful.