Why Michael Rose Gives Me the Willies

Yesterday A Saintly Salmagundi (a blog I heartily recommend, by the by) published yet another tirade by Rose against yet another article critical of Goodbye, Good Men. (For some reason, the piece is now gone from the site). What bothers me and sets off my alarm beepers is simply the frequency and tenacity with which I see Rose going after everybody who dares to speak a word against his book. He went after Fr. Rob Johansen’s (to me, at least) rather sensible critiques (and called in several other people to heap ad hominem upon Johansen). He’s gone after another acquaintance of mine. Now he’s blasting OSV. Dunno if he’s gone after the Register yet.

What bothers me is the peculiar disproportionality of the defensiveness. Most of the reviews I’ve seen have been from people who freely grant the basic complaint of the book: that there is a lavender mafia at work in the administrative and educational structures of the Church and that a culture of contempt for chastity and orthodoxy is seriously endangering vocations. Yet when legitimate criticisms are made about the highly questionable methodology of the book, Rose is… “graceless” may be the word I’m searching for. It’s like the book is more important than the problem it purports to seek to correct.

Anyway, it bothers me. I’m finding him difficult to trust.