This is a current subject propitiated, to a certain extent, by Pope John Paul II. This paragraph restates what has been said in the first one: the present representatives of the institutions...are not (personally) responsible for what happened in the past. But, the next line says something about the distinction between individuals and institutions. Many of these institutions which are made by human beings, however, survive and have prevailed throughout History. Because of this, they are able to enjoy today the good consequences of past evils and injustices committed by the institutions throughout History.

It is obvious, then, in order to promote peace, these representatives should openly admit regrets for those painful acts committed in the past. This has to be done when it is prudent to do so. It cannot be done, for instance, if an institution suffers harassment or an attack because doing so is like giving weapons to the opponents. And in their institutional role they should try to compensate for the damage caused.

In the Letter of Peace's original version this paragraph was written this way: It is convinient to ask for forgiveness. But, when the Letter was solemnly presented in Santiago, Chile someone suggested that it was not right to ask for forgiveness since institutions do not have moral guilt. Instead, it was better to use the word regret. This remark was then added to the text.