After a person has said this…
Why would anybody think him credible about anything else in The Situation? Here’s Andrew Sullivan, Explaining it All For You:
The use of the term ephebophilia has been insisted upon by some Church conservatives for several reasons, it seems to me. It can help make the scandal seem less appalling to the general public (so helping to exculpate the hierarchy); it can help shift the onus of responsibility away from the abusers and toward the victims (arguments like “those teenagers were complicit,” etc.); and it is a way to insist that this scandal is not about the abuse of minors or the abuse of power to cover such assaults up, but is in fact a function of the dreaded homosexuals, “conspiring” in the heated language of National Review’s pop-up book ads, to destroy the Church.
This quote is almost perfect in its obtuseness. First off, I don’t see any “Church conservatives” laboring to exculpate the hierarchy. They are laboring to whack the bishop upside the head as hard as they can so they will finally get a clue and take responsibility for their stupid and sometimes criminal dereliction of duty. If Sullivan seriously thinks that Rod Dreher, Amy Welborn or the various other Catholics who take Catholic teaching seriously are stooges and apologists for the ecclesiocrasy in this country, he is either an idiot or veracity-challenged. True there have been apologists and cheering squads for some of the episcopacy. Fr. Richard “Mahony and Weakland Are the Voices of True Catholicism” McBrien comes to mind. But I don’t think even Sullivan would regard him as a “Church conservative”.
Secondly, I defy Sullivan to find a single “Church conservative” at National Review or otherwise who has tried to shift blame to the victims. True, Law and his idiot legal team tried this in Shanley’s defense and Egan, the consummate heartless bureaucrat, has played brutal legal hardball. But I found out about both Law’s stupid stunt and Egan pathological behavior from Rod Dreher in the Corner. So the only conceivable sense in which “Church conservatives” could be spoken of by Sullivan is in referring to the idiot clerics who have bungled their jobs so badly, not the “Church conservatives” in the pundit class whom Sullivan is accusing. For the Church conservatives in the pundit class have the integrity to call a twit a twit whether he is a “conservative” or a “liberal.” Law gets no more slack cut him than Weakland and Egan is just as excoriated as Mahony. Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan is silent as the grave in noting that other voices have indeed been blaming the victims: voices like Paul “Courageous Street Priest and Defender of Catholic Homosexual Practice” Shanley and Abp. Rembert Weakland, Defender Against the Oppressed, who said, “Not all adolescent victims are so innocent. Some can be sexually very active and aggressive and often quite streetwise. We frequently try such adolescents for crimes as adults at that age.” So if you are looking for slanted “blame the victim” rhetoric (and silence when that rhetoric makes your agenda of dissent look bad), look to Andrew Sullivan and NCR, not to “Church conservatives”.
But of course, these stupid arguments, strawmen, and downright falsehoods are simply more ASCII sprayed in our eyes like the ink of a panicked squid in a desperate attempt to continue avoiding facing reality and what Fr. Richard John Neuhaus has referred to as the “pole star” of Sullivan’s journalism: the quixotic attempt to deny that homosexuality has anything whatever to do with the abuse, not of “children” or “minors” (those usefully genderless words) but of boys, boys, boys, boys, boys, and boys. This is indeed about a lawless culture of homosexual license in the priesthood. Sullivan knows it but, like so many, is in deep, deep denial. As I say, the Church will survive this crisis. We have Christ’s promise of that. Will the homosexual subculture?