The Roman Catholic Church
A Roman Catholic apology in 2000
for the past sins of its members
|"The document acknowledges sins only by those acting in the
name of the church. It does not acknowledge any sins by the church
itself or those who have served as its popes..." CNN.com,
|"Following the Pope's gesture, the Church's holiness shines even
more. ... It was a simple gesture, but at the same time solemn. ... John Paul II wanted to give a complete, global vision,
making reference to circumstances of the past, but without focusing on
details out of respect for history. ... The Church is not the one who has
sinned, the sinners are Christians and they have done so against the Church,
the Bride of Christ." Auxiliary Archbishop Rino
Fisichella of Rome, 2000-MAR-13 2|
|"It is quite a remarkable and admirable thing that a church
that considers itself holy, that believes its popes are guided by the
hand of God, would acknowledge and ask forgiveness for mistakes of the
past. But what about the mistakes of the present? Let's hope
acknowledgment of today's exclusion and rejection of women won't have
to wait for whoever is pope during the next Jubilee." Joan
Ryan, San Francisco Chronicle, 2000-MAR-14. 3 |
During 2000-MAR, the Vatican issued an apology for past sins committed by church members.
It is titled "Memory and reconciliation: The church and faults of the past."
It was approved by Pope John Paul II, and was written by Cardinal Ratzinger,
John Paul II's successor as pope.
Many leaders of the Vatican Curia opposed his action, being concerned that a confession of past errors might cause many
Roman Catholics to wonder whether the church is currently engaged in sinful behavior
that will require some future pope to apologize for present-day sins. However, John Paul believed that repentance would transform the church and
enable it to lead the world into a "new springtime of
Christianity." He was able to overrule the Vatican Curia.
Topics covered in this section:
The following information sources were used to prepare the above report in
the year 2000, and update it since. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Pope to apologize for sins committed by Roman Catholics,"
CNN.com, 2000-MAR-7, at: http://www.cnn.com/
- "Following pardon, holiness of church shines even more," Zenit, 2000-MAR-13,
- Joan Ryan, "A partial confession from the pope," San
Francisco Chronicle, 2000-MAR-14, at: http://www.sfgate.com/
Copyright © 2000 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-MAR-8
Latest update: 2008-FEB-06
Author: B.A. Robinson