With His Direct, Simple Apology, Pope Provides a Lesson

Ruth Marcus sees the power in Francis' statement
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2020 3:30 PM CST
With His Direct, Simple Apology, Pope Provides a Lesson
Pope Francis presides over Mass on New Year's Day in St. Peter's Basilica.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

When Pope Francis issued a public apology for slapping the hand of a pilgrim who grabbed him as he greeted a New Year's Eve crowd, he didn't hedge. "Love makes us patient," the pope said in his New Year's homily. "So many times we lose our patience. Me too, and I apologize for yesterday's bad example." But his direct and unqualified apology provided a fine example for the rest of us, Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post, especially those who have difficulty saying we're sorry under any circumstances. It's a lesson for a fraught time, delivered as we begin a new decade.

Everyone is on edge in this era, Marcus says, and that includes the pope. The anxiety can diminish our patience. "Grace helps restore it," Marcus writes. "The pope’s apology came quickly and without condition. Rather than explaining himself or suggesting that responsibility was shared, which it surely was, his statement was powerful in its simplicity: 'I apologize for yesterday’s bad example.'" (Read the full column.)

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