The meaning of the Latin phrase “mea culpa” is obvious even to those who don't speak Latin. They could probably make a guess that this phrase means 'I am culpable', or words to that effect. To emphasize the point the phrase is sometimes strengthened to 'mea maxima culpa' - literally 'my most grievous fault'. This also has longstanding use, as here in Watson's Decacordon, 1604:
"Shall lay their hands a little heavier on their hearts with Mea maxima culpa."
Just this week, Christiane Amanpour of CNN interviewed Alex Gibney, director of the documentary “Mea maxima culpa: Silence in the House of God”. In the interview, Gibney argued that Pope Benedict XVI should bear some personal responsibility for not holding sexually abusive priests in the Catholic Church accountable.
Says Gibney: “From 2001 to 2005, as cardinal, [Benedict] ran the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And in that office, he looked over every sex abuse case that there was all over the world. So he's the most knowledgeable person in the world about this issue.” “Then, as pope, he presided, as more and more information about this came out. And he was pretty much utterly ineffective in being able to stem the tide.”
However, Gibney acknowledged that Benedict did take some positive steps: “He did make some apologies. He did blame some bishops. But he took no responsibility for the Vatican itself. So, in a way, I think this whole sex abuse crisis engulfed Benedict.”
When I relate this matter to the actions and omissions of the European Commission in relation to the dubious palm oil campaigns of the past decade, the moral deficiencies of the EC is even graver!
Exposed by Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo in a report, as an organization never reticent of resorting to subterfuge by quietly funding surrogate green groups to carry out anti-palm oil campaigns that they are fully aware is based on “manufactured” and false evidence, all in a vain effort to protect the EU’s own indigenous edible oilseed industries such as rape and sunflower oils, which are unable to compete in the open market against the hyper yielding palm oil, the EC has sullied and continues to sully the good name of the EU!
The report entitled “Taxpayer Funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crises: A Case Study of Malaysia and Palm Oil,” helped to shed some light on just why the European Commission (EC) is handing large amounts of money to various NGO’s, including RAN, despite knowing that these groups were basing their sustained and vicious campaigns on “manufactured” and false evidence.
Even a well-intentioned individual like Dr Oz was not spared. Dr Oz’s indiscretion…having the courage to recommend red palm oil as useful for life extension in his TV show. Dr Oz’s endorsement could not be faulted as tons of scientific studies published in peer review journals have established that palm oil is, in fact heart friendly as the saturated fatty acids in the sn-1 and -3 position (typically found in palm oil) has very different biological consequences than animal fats such as lard and milk fats as the saturated fats are primarily found in the sn-2 position! (Vide: Donald J. McNamara, PhD: “Palm Oil and Heart Health: A case of Manipulated Perception and Misuse of Science” 240S Vol 29 No. 3(s) Journal of the American College of Nutrition)
Spitefully, RAN organized an email campaign to pressure Dr Oz to withdraw his support for palm oil on the spurious ground that the ensuing buying frenzy would cause massive deforestation and the extinction of the orangutan.
The trouble though is that orangutan population in the wild continues to grow and palm oil is in fact one of the highest yielding of edible oils and allegations of massive deforestation has as much credibility as snakeoil salesman. After all, Malaysia continues to maintain 59.5% forest cover despite being a small country and despite being the world’s largest producer of palm oil for more than a century! THE END