Theocon Gall Watch

First Things, the theocon-RNC journal whose editor defended Marcial Maciel to the bitter end, and piled calumnies on the reporters, such as Jason Berry, actually disparages Berry's latest report as "thinly sourced." Joseph Bottum, the Catholic Republican reactionary who used to edit the Weekly Standard's back of the book, lards up his acknowledgment that the Legion almost certainly was deeply corrupt with snark about Berry and NCR. They really do have no shame, as an FT reader helpfully notes:

[T]he absolutely dismal past of First Things in relation to Fr. Maciel and the Legion of Christ makes snark in Mr. Bottum’s post particularly inappropriate.

Jason Berry and the National Catholic Reporter were telling the truth about Fr. Maciel’s crimes at a time when the editor of First Things was participating in a campaign of calumny against the victims of Fr. Maciel’s abuse. Certainly by the time that Fr. Neuhaus published his infamous diatribe against Berry, his partner Gerald Renner, and the accusers/victims, there was enough documented evidence and public first-person testimony to persuade anyone who was not either systematically sheltered from information, willfully obtuse, or simply not paying attention.

Most of the Regnum Christi and Legionaries of Christ faithful and the late great John Paul II were probably in the sheltered category, but the prominent conservatives who continued to flack for the Legion almost certainly qualify as willfully obtuse at best.

This is a truly shameful blot on the reputation of your fine journal. I have been told that it is unseemly to make posthumous apologies for others, so perhaps a “purification of memory” is not in order. But surely those who carry on Father Neuhaus’ legacy, including the current editor of this magazine and the public intellectuals who joined in piling on the victims, have some work to do to restore their own honor. George Weigel’s call for accountability, which though it was tardy, coming only after the Legion was already down, was a small start. There is much more to be done.