THE Catholic Herald in a previous leader (June 15) tommerned 'cm-the discomfiture occasioned to South Africa's Catholic bishops when the Pope felt himself bound to receive Prime Minister Botha in audience at the Vatican. The fault was that of Vatican protocol rather than of the Pope himself.
John Paul, moreover, was far from insensitive to the issues raised by the incident and has now taken the opportunity to make clearer than ever the Christian view of apartheid.
Receiving the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, he has taken the unusual step of naming South Africa specifically when reiterating the condemnation of apartheid that he had made after the Botha visit to Rome.
Though disclaiming any desire to speak in terms of political proposals, the Pope made it clear that this matter must be faced with candour "at the level of the human person." To be so specific in singling out a particular government is nevertheless a sufficiently notable departure from normal custom as to permit anticipation of similarly explicit treatment of future political situations.