His admonition last week to the Irish church repeatedly emphasised that heaven still awaits the penitent pedophile priest.
“I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments,” the penitent congressman said.
He would later say about his subway pictures that they were made in the “hands of a penitent spy and an apologetic voyeur.”
Still, that might not do it: not every believer, or even all members of the penitent, will be taken.
In one scene, a penitent missus in a shapeless tube dress scratches her head and admits to having crashed the car.
But she smiled again as she gathered the penitent girl in her arms, and kissed her.
Too penitent to give way again to violent passion, he gently fretted.
"By a Captain, in a house of ill-fame," said the priest, interrupting the penitent.
He could stoop to hold a conversation with a penitent adulteress.
He was so softened, so penitent and earnest, that even the severe Mrs. Royden was inclined to forgive him.