(ENI)?At a solemn service of penance in St Peter?s Basilica in Rome, Pope John Paul II made history on March 12 by begging pardon of God for the sins committed by members of his church over the past 2,000 years, especially those which caused division among Christians.
At the same time the Pope reaffirmed the sanctity of ?Mother Church.? The document on which the confession is based stresses that while the church always remains holy, its members can make mistakes.
The Pope?s bold attempt to cleanse the conscience of the church as it enters its third millennium has generally been welcomed.
However, some conservative Catholics complained that the apology undermined the church?s authority, while others, including some Jewish leaders, said the Pope had not gone far enough.