Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Pope's Letter to his brothers

I make it a habit to read what the Pope writes. Today the news and blogs are full of the latest letter Pope Benedict XVI sent to all the Bishops of the world, and it is, from my perspective, absolutely, and amazingly personal. You can see other takes on it elsewhere, but I see it as one of the most personal letters I could ever imagine a Pope writing.

Pope Benedict XVI, uses the phrases "An unforeseen mishap" and "Another mistake" to begin the second and third paragraphs of the letter. He is writing to his "dear brothers", the bishops, because he feels "obliged" to write to them so that he can "contribute to peace in the Church". A "gesture of mercy" and a "gesture of reconciliation" became "an apparent step backward with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council".

The Pope writes that this has "upset peace between Christians and Jews as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore". "I have learned the lesson" he says, mentioning that he has been told that "consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on." That's the Holy Father's way of saying I did not do my homework, but I will from now on.

It's a great letter! If you would like to read the entire letter I think it would be worth your while.

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