Sunday, September 17, 2006

Papa Ratzi 4

Last week, the Pope managed to offend a large number of Moslems. (See my previous post Papa Ratzi 3.) He has now made a statement of apology [BBC News: Report, Text].

Here is the key sentence.
"I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims."
As several Moslems have already observed, this appears to be apologizing for the response rather than for the words themselves. The BBC quotes Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin :
"You either have to say this 'I'm sorry' in a proper way or not say it at all - are you sorry for saying such a thing or because of its consequences?"

From a POSIWID perspective, an apology - especially a forced apology - often reveals a disconnect between intention and outcome. The Pope does not repudiate his intention, stands by his original lecture, merely regrets the way that other people have taken his words.

In contrast, here is another apology, from football manager Glen Hoddle who had the temerity to express an opinion on reincarnation when he should have been worrying about England's poor match-form.
"I accept I made a serious error of judgement in an interview which caused misunderstanding and pain to a number of people. This was never my intention and for this I apologise." [BBC News]
As UK readers may recall, a number of able-bodied people (including Tony Blair) felt that disabled people might be outraged by Hoddle's remarks [BBC News]. Many people thought that it would have been wiser for a football coach to conceal his religious views.

Presumably nobody expects the Pope to conceal his religious views. He has already signalled his intention of taking a tougher stance against Islam than his predecessor. Meanwhile, Tony Blair is being uncharacteristically quiet ...

1 comment:

Hurricane Harry said...

The Pope can't retract the truth of the statement without compromising his own integrity. Hence the side step.

Muslims: Pope Must Apologize!

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Hurricane Harry
Reporting from Beyond The Wall