I thought you might like to see a rare example of the Society saying the actual word "sorry" in the literature.
In 1992 someone wrote in to the Awake! and their comment was published in the July 8th edition in the "From Our Readers" section, page 30.
Their comment read as follows...
"Your suggestion that sex education be considered a 'family secret' could accidentally result in great difficulty for some of your readers. Social workers, teachers, nurses, and other professionals are now trained to watch for signs of child abuse. The word 'secret' when used by a child is one such sign, inasmuch as many sex abusers tell children to keep the abuse a secret."
E. R. N., United States
The Society responded as follows...
"Quite a few readers called this to our attention, and we are sorry if we caused any alarm among readers sensitive to the issue of child abuse. We believe it is a point well taken. To avoid possible misunderstandings, it might be best if parents described sexual matters as being 'private' instead of 'secret.'—ED."
This exchange was prompted by an article in the 22nd Feb 1992 Awake which read, in part...
"Many parents feel that their children should have a basic understanding of these things at least before they start school, where they may hear much less accurate information from other children.
A grandfather explained: 'I had asked no questions, but when I was six years old, my father decided that it was time to explain where babies came from. He said that the sexual union of a man and a woman that might produce a baby was just as natural as eating, but God said that this was only for people who were married. Thus, there would be both a mother and a father to love the child and take care of it.' This grandfather added: 'The explanation he gave was just in time. I had already seen six-year-olds laughing about immoral pictures they drew that I did not understand.'
Of course, such explanations should be presented, not as something shameful, but as something private. You can repeat that it is a family secret that should not be mentioned to other children or to people outside the family. If your child slips in this regard, you can gently say: 'Shhh! Remember, that is our secret. We talk about it only in the family.'"
Watchtower apologists would likely point to the written apology as evidence of great humility on the part of the Slave Class. After all, they have condescended to use the word "sorry" in acknowledgment of a dreadful and short-sighted mistake on their part, i.e. recommending that parents describe conversations with children regarding sex as a "family secret."
But is the word "sorry" enough when you are an organization that claims to be God's channel of communication with mankind?
In 1992, the same year as this apology, the Society published the following statement in the Watchtower of March 15th, page 21.
"We will also increase our joy if we prayerfully and diligently study God’s spirit-inspired Word and Christian publications prepared under the spirit’s guidance."