The Lidless Eye of the Reactionary is On the Victims of Sexual Abuse

Yesterday, I defied Andrew Sullivan to name a “Church conservative” pundit who is trying to blame victims of abuse. A reader helpfully sent the following:

I am circulating the following story as an example of Really Bad Thinking about the Scandal among some extreme-right Roman Catholics. The friend who sent me the story is less diplomatic, saying, “satan could not have done a better job in composing this document.”

The article, “Pointing The Finger of Blame In The Moral Scandals,” is NOT a parody. It is a real story, produced by the “Catholic Dispatch Internet Apostolate,” and sent to subscribers from the web site . If the Church really thought as the Catholic Dispatch story authors do, then the Onion site’s cruel parody, “Pope Forgives Molested Children,” would be 100% on target.

A canon lawyer friend who is knowledgeable about the Catholic extreme-right says, “Catholic Dispatch is a sort of ultra-traditionalist anonymous internet editorial … either sedevacantist or sympathetic [to sedevacantism.]” Sede-vacantism is the notion that Catholics have not had a valid Pope since the death of Pius XII in 1958, and that the more recent Popes have been heretics.

C.S. Lewis once remarked that opposite evils, so far from balancing, aggravate each other. This is a perfect example. Sullivan dissents from the Church in one direction and labels those who stand with the Tradition and the Holy Father as “Church conservatives”. He libels them as “blame the victim” types. Meanwhile, reactionary dissenters dissent from the Church in the opposite direction and despise the Church of Vatican II as much as Paul Shanley, Andrew Sullivan, and Rembert Weakland despise the Holy Father and the morality taught by the Tradition. In the process, reactionary dissenters actually do what Sullivan libels non-revisionist Catholics for doing: they blame the victims.

What’s the common thread between Sullivan and the Reactionaries? Dissent. Non-revisionist Catholics don’t revise the Faith to suit either “liberal” or “conservative” agendas. They just want the Faith. And they don’t blame the victims. Indeed, they lead the charge against those who do, whether they are named Weakland, Egan, Law, or the dimwit reactionaries at Catholic Dispatch.

By the way, I’m not posting the revolting “blame the victims” story from the Reactionary site. It’s too long and too dumb. If you are dying to read it, you’ll need to write them.