Hermes: What do we do when we break somebody’s window?
Dwight: Pay for it?
Hermes: Heavens, no! We apologize! With nice, cheap words.
— Futurama, The Route of All Evil
The pope said today that the Catholic church must “do penance” for its history of covering up child abuse. Reuters quotes him as saying,
“Now, under attack from the world which talks to us of our sins, we can see that being able to do penance is a grace and we see how necessary it is to do penance and thus recognize what is wrong in our lives,”
“opening oneself up to forgiveness, preparing oneself for forgiveness, allowing oneself to be transformed”
This is all very well and good and seems to be a step forward, but I see no mention of actually doing anything useful. It looks as though Benny hopes to put the abuse coverup scandal behind him with “nice, cheap words”.