Apologising can no longer be taken as an admission of legal liability. This makes us all free to apologise for anything and make the social wheels turn that little bit more freely. So whatever problems you’re facing at the moment, I apologise.
This has something to do with the months of the Jewish calendar.
5 thoughts on “Daniel Greenberg, Parliamentary Lawyer”
Apologies are cheap. Tony Blair made a habit of flaunting his virtue by apologising for things he wasn’t responsible for, such as slavery. The churches are forever apologising for something or other, usually to do with sexual abuse. Actually having effective policies for preventing or rooting out such bad behaviour, or for providing compensation for those who were abused, is another matter; and the RCC and CofE have both dragged their feet disgracefully. (Has the Chief Rabbi felt it necessary to apologise for anything recently? It hasn’t received much publicity if he has.)
No doubt the Pope thinks that his “mission of penance” to Canada is going to draw a line under the abuse that his church inflicted on generations of Native Canadians. If so he’s got another think coming.
I’m still not quite sure what the “faith-based perspective” was this morning; but I’m glad that Daniel Greenberg can take due credit for doing something useful in the course of his duties. Not every Civil Servant can say as much!
Thanks Stephen – yes, agreed, the faith link was a bit weak – agree on all other counts, except that I think the Pope is actually trying to back up apologies with actions – many thanks – Daniel
Universe News writes that Yahweh has recently apologised to its followers for confusing them by allowing itself to be known as “God” and “Allah” by newer followers. The supernatural entity, always believed to be the one true god by its earliest followers, said that it was sorry for not passing on the news that it had been posing as an all knowing creator to later desert dwellers too. It also apologised to other people around the world who had been confused by the descendants of these desert dwellers into thinking that each version of itself was the one true version.
Odin, Vishnu, Zeus and several others on the Council of Gods called for Yahweh to resign its position or at least allow a report to be produced by the Council’s ethics adviser Beelzebub.
Proper apologies are two things – they are an admission of past failure and a promise of future improvement. In this sense they matter.
In trivial cases, it can also be that the apology is sufficient to provide justice. It might be that the person I unfairly maligned last week accepts the difficulty I faced in apologising as a sufficient punishment, together with believing my promise that I won’t do it again. But in more serious cases, an apology IS NOT sufficient justice. Punishment is still required, as is an unequivocal commitment to better behaviour in the future. And some attempt to put things right is also necessary, if that is possible.
This is particularly true when the apology is made on behalf of an organisation. To borrow the example of Tony Blair, apologising for slavery is important, but it is meaningless if you don’t go on to root out modern slavery with all the effort you can muster. And it is equally meaningless if you don’t try to fix the extant consequences of that wrong.
In the case of British imperial slavery, the other aspect, punishment, is no longer available. But in the case of the Catholic Church it most certainly is. An apology from the Pope is completely meaningless if it isn’t accompanied by full cooperation with enquiries and full cooperation with secular punishment. Abusive priests should be quaking in their slippers, as the church leadership goes through every file and document looking for them. It’s not as if this evidence doesn’t exist. All the relocations and hush-ups were documented. A Papal apology is empty if it doesn’t include an invitation to the police to look through all of it.
Steve – agreed – there has to be meaningful action where it’s available – apologies alone sufficient only where nothing sensible by way of reparation can be done – many thanks – Daniel