Rod Dreher's fixation with deviant sex and the Roman Catholic clergy got the better of him again. His latest fascination is with Archbishop Nienstedt of Minneapolis who is accused of homosexual relations with about ten accusers who signed sworn statements.
Dreher's approach here is the same as usual, he reprints long passages of accusatory verbiage from other journals, insinuates a few judgmental lines of his own and then throws open the discussion to his little tribe of scolds, deviates and village atheists.
And as usual, Dreher is careful to inject himself with a placebo of faux impartiality, with, "I hope the investigation clears the archbishop." Then in the next sentence, "If there really are ten sworn statements, however, it's hard to imagine a conspiracy that broad to smear the archbishop. But who knows anymore about these bishops?" Obviously a little due diligence language is in order before we get back to the fun of muddying the good archbishops name.
Dreher's sole sources are Commonweal and a link to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. All the quoted text is from Commonweal. The gravamen of the Commonweal reporting is that Archbishop Nienstedt came down hard on homosexuality, gay marriage, the gay agenda in general. The unsubtle implication is that the archbishop is in fact a homosexual and therefore had no business teaching his church's doctrine on his own condition.
A few points of my own critique follow.
Dreher starts right off getting the Archbishop's first name wrong. (since fixed)
He fails to mention that the church investigation is, according to the archbishop, self-initiated.
Out of 58 lines of text Dreher wrote only 16. So this piece is just Dreher passing along accusations with little if any fact finding of his own. He's just passing along the good news of another Catholic scandal. If the archbishop is found innocent he can and will fall back on his one line of bogus impartiality.
Dreher can't imagine ten dishonest accusers? I suppose he never heard of legal claims for monetary damages. Can Dreher be that naive? (OK, maybe he can.) Assuming the underlying insinuation, is it beyond Dreher's grasp that some number of persons involved with the Archbishop might get together for a big payday, while paying him back for betraying the cause of gay rights?
Dreher explains his church sex fetish as a reaction to all those child sex scandals. Very well. But this is a story about a senior churchman who may our may not be a homosexual, and may or may not have had some sort of illicit sex with adult men.
For all I know the archbishop may be some sort of homosexual libertine. But the reportage makes clear that he is being targeted not for being a homosexual, but for getting in the way of the homo-agenda. He is targeted precisely for doing the right thing. Dreher is the homintern's useful tool in their war on the church.