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The Penitent Is No Longer in Charge

When I say "sorry,” I am in charge. When I ask forgiveness, however, I am no longer in charge. I am in the hands of the others. Only you can forgive me; only God can forgive me.

- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Ireland, at a special penitential service in which, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, he asked sexual-abuse victims for forgiveness
New York Times editorial, "Acts of Contrition," February 28, 2011