Offering apologies is a highly regarded habit even in secular circles. We are surrounded by words of apology everywhere; as customers on the metro, on trains, and on TV. But in the midst of all the rhetoric of apology are there ways to discern the truthfulness of it all? Parents quickly learn to assess their children’s apologies. To say “I am sorry” is not in and of itself a true apology. One needs to show a sense of guilt, of being aware of what he is asking apology for and doing something about what went wrong. Pope Francis’ words of apology to Italian Pentecostals were considered the high point of his visit to his pastor friend Giovanni Traettino (July 28th). They referred to the nasty discriminations that Pentecostals had to suffer under the Fascist regime in the Thirties when they were deemed a threat to the stability of the social order and severely ostracized.
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