So Benedict wants Catholics to do penance for the sins of the Church. It reminds me of the passage from Amos, when God is saying how meaningless the prayers and rituals of the priests are, because as they continue to pray they “afflict the righteous… and push aside the needy in the gate.”
God has some pretty harsh words for them:
“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5)
The clergy of the institutional church need to do their own penance, and it needs involve more than half-hearted apologies and promises to do better.