Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mea maxima culpa!

(Wow. Two Latin phrases as titles in two days. What's this blog coming to?)

The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them. (NRSV: Ex 2:23b-25)

I guess I owe all my Gentle Readers an apology. Your groans and cries under the lash of my pen (keyboard?) have been heard On High. No more will you suffer under the confusion that somehow my attempt at bloggery reflects OFFICIAL ARMY CHAPLAINCY opinion.

Your cries have been heard On High, so I say, "Rejoice!"

Mea culpa.

Mea culpa.

Mea maxima culpa!

It seems as though your complaints about my having placed the Army Chaplain Crest on my blog have been taken seriously by those On High. You might have noticed, if you have visited this site before, that it's no longer present.

I hope its removal will go a long way toward clearing up your confusion over the (lack of) authority of this blog. My sincerest apologies for the mental pain and anguish this has obviously caused you, Gentle Readers, to have cried out as you have!

Rest assured that The Crest will no longer be sullied by its proximity to me. I urge you to take deep, calming breaths, Gentle Readers, as the time of your deliverance from this oppression is at hand.

Now that this dire situation has been brought to my attention, I see the error of my ways -- and am aghast that I could have overlooked how closely *my* blog resembles the OFFICIAL ARMY CHAPLAINCY website. More than that, my blog's similarity to the Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Army OFFICIAL sites defies adequate articulation, as I'm sure you've noticed. These similarities were indubitably the source of your confusion and your Angst.

(Why is it that the Coast Guard is usually listed last among the Services? What's up with *that*?)

Clearly, those sites are filled with the same stuff I have on my blog: musings about powerlessness, unmanageability, "friends who go to a lot of AA and Al-Anon meetings," doggerel, grief, and photos of ancient and/or interesting churches and mosques. It's easy to see how you, Gentle Readers, could get confused.

Moreover, it's now crystal clear that you could read, as you do each time you come to my blog, "The opinions presented herein are strictly those of the one who gave them....THEY IN NO WAY REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE ARMY, OR ANY OTHER INSTITUTION OR PERSON" as meaning that I'm attempting to speak authoritatively on behalf of the OFFICIAL ARMY CHAPLAINCY.

I feel disheartened that I could have been this clueless concerning such a weighty matter, for so long.

It really was thoughtless -- and reckless -- of me to have placed the Army Chaplain Corps Crest above that disclaimer, given how easy it is to misinterpret words placed together into sentences!

I guess my (misplaced?) pride at being associated with the Chaplaincy clouded my better judgment, and my ability to assess the reasoning capabilities of those who would be reading my posts.

Misunderestimation is a terrible scourge, isn't it?

My sincerest apologies!

I have a firm purpose of amendment, and I will strive mightily to make sure that it never happens again.

I'm now waiting on word as to whether using the designation "Army Chaplain" and posting photos of myself (and others) in uniform also "confuses" you, Gentle Readers, into thinking I'm somehow speaking authoritatively for the OFFICIAL ARMY CHAPLAINCY.

I expect clarification soon.

Before I shipped out to Iraq, my Jesuit Provincial sent me a snail-mail letter in which he told me that my being an Army Chaplain was not the best use of my training and talents, in his judgment, and this was especially true of my doctorate in molecular neurobiology. Additionally, he pointed out that the Army would be a culture completely foreign to my experience of the prior almost-51 years; and that there was a good chance I would just not be able to fit in.

Perhaps he was right, after all.

One thing is certain, though: there's no way the Army has any hold -- proprietary or though appropriation! -- over the phrase, Mea maxima culpa.

Lest there be any confusion, I say again: Mea maxima culpa.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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Anonymous said...

Is this the U.S. Army's Chaplain blog?

:-) Sorry, couldn't resist. I just happened upon your "Mea maxima culpa" by accident and found your post witty. Although I seem to have caught you on a bad (post) day. As one who was "talked to" once by a supervisor for "allowing" a portion of his boxers to show in a Myspace photo, I feel your pain.

Now let us go forth and blog!

Mary Coady said...

I must say the blog looks downright mournful without the crest. Too bad.

Robert said...

Of course, I always turn to you for updates on Vatican policy toward the Malaysian seppartists and how their investments in wood pulp processing will increase the availability of ethanol thus reducing the costs of fuel so that the Army will issue with two Spec C's (or some approximation there of).

Sounds to me like you are fitting right in. ;-)

You know what Fr. Tim? You're right where you are supposed to be (ducks for cover as my friends who go to lots of meetings usually want to slug me after I say that).

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you did make a mistake. Maybe you aren't God's gift to the USA chaplain corp.

Jason said...


Check it out. That chaplain's crest on your blog was emboldening and providing aid and comfort to terrorists. Terrorists are watching. Terrorists are listening. The confusion sewn by the ambiguous way in which you demonstrated pride in the Army Chaplain Corps tipped off numerous militant fundamentalist groups that now is the time to strike. I also think there is a causal relationship between your use of the Chaplain Crest and the earthquakes in Haiti, but the data is still out on that. Either way, turn in your wings 'Cougar', you've lost the edge. To all you other chaplains in KFOR: "Father Tim was number one. He turned in his wings. You guys are now number one. I've got to do something. I can't believe it. I have to give you your dream shot. I have to send you up against the best. You characters are going to Top Gun!"

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