Mea Culpa means “I am guilty”, a Latin phrase of confession introduced to the modern idiom from the Catholic Mass. Over the years Bill has publically acknowledged having fallen short before God and man in a number of areas as he has sought to correct faults that have been brought to his attention. There are those who have accused him of a great many other things, things he has not assumed responsibility for. This has been a grief to those attempting to see the justice they understand to be required, done. Many have helpfully undertaken the task of writing out statements and confessions for him, presenting them to him for consideration, signature, publishing. When those “confessions” are not accepted by Bill for that purpose, the authors often feel that the value of what they consider an important and creative contribution for the benefit of Bill and others has been lost. Often they will pass it around for others to consider . . . so, of course, they may see the wisdom of what should have been.
Unfortunately these “confessions” end up circulating around and, sometimes years later , will surface as statements that Bill has himself put forward. One of these has just surfaced in the pending lawsuit against Bill as “Exhibit B”.
Exhibit B has stirred considerable interest because it uses words and phrases such as “my guilt”, “my hypocrisy “, “ungodly and sinful”, “sinned against young ladies”, “breaking a trust to protect them”, “I sinned”, “I have caused great destruction”, “I do not deserve to be forgiven”, “confess my sins against you”, ending with the decidedly non-Billism: “Grateful that you would take time to read and consider this request”. Juicy stuff indeed for any lawyer seeking to accuse Bill of negligence against young women, as the suit alleges.
We understand why this would want to be inserted into the lawsuit. But we checked with Bill and this is not a statement he ever created, would ever have approved, signed, or published. It was created by others during the time Bill was actively working with Dr. Murphy who was seeking to help facilitate the reconciliation process. Whether it was Dr. Murphy or someone else, this “confession” was presented to Bill for signature and publishing . . . and rejected. At some point someone gave it to Dr. John Cornish of Recovering Grace, who presented excerpts from it to us last year, prior to the lawsuit being published. We explained to him at that time that this was not Bill’s statement. Somehow, however, it got into the hands of David Gibbs, attorney for the plaintiffs, who then published it in the lawsuit.
It is noble and noteworthy when someone makes confession of a sin, assuming responsibility for what they have done. It is reprehensible and disingenuous to publish a statement written as though it were a first hand confession of someone else, but isn’t, putting words in their mouth. Tua Culpa, “You are Guilty”. May the Lord see and straighten this out.