The Pope’s apology

April 6, 2010 11:07:00 AM

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olumn "The Pope''s Apology" (p. 5A). 

 

"During a frustrating argument with a Roman Catholic Cardinal, Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly burst out ''Your Eminence are you not aware that I have the power to destroy the Catholic Church?''" 

 

"The Cardinal, the anecdote goes, responded ruefully: ''Your Majesty, we, the members of the Catholic Church, have done our best to destroy the church for the last 1,800 years. 

 

We have not succeeded and neither will you." 

 

(Ross Douthat, New York Times) 

 

...and no one else has succeeded either in the 200 years since the words of the unnamed Cardinal were uttered to Napoleon. Neither will the "current Catholic crop" do any better, though not for lack of effort! 

 

Why? 

 

Simply stated, the Catholic Church both in its head and in its members is always aware of its need for reform and renewal ("Ecclesia semper reformanda est"). 

 

Paul J. Ackerman, Columbus