Fulfilling a major goal of his papacy, Pope John Paul II plans to deliver a historic, sweeping apology for the sins of Roman Catholics over the centuries, Vatican officials.
   It was unclear how specific the Pope would be, although the very idea has drawn opposition from some cardinals and others in the church.
   The Pope's homily for the Day of Pardon Mass on Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica is apparently still being written. But a document prepared by an international group of theologians that was released in Paris last week, and statements by officials Tuesday suggested the Pope will at least allude to responsibility by the Catholics in the Holocaust, the Inquisition, the Crusades and acts against other Christians in wars of religions.
   Lapses by present-day Catholics, including sins against women, the poor and failure to defend against abortion, could also be included.
   "The reference to errors and sins in a liturgy must be frank and capable of specifying guilt; yet given the number of sins committed in the course of 20 centuries, it must necessarily be rather summary," said Bishop Piero Marini, who is in charge of papal ceremonies.
   The officials, briefing reporters on the event, also appeared to be setting limits on how such an apology should be viewed.
   "It cannot assume the aspect of a spectacular self-flagellation," said Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president of the Vatican's 2000 Jubilee Committee. The Pope has campaigned for a collective examination of conscience as the church begins its third millennium. No Pope has ever gone to such lengths to seek forgiveness for past sins, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.
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