Mel Gibson is not a reactionary Catholic like, say, Robbie George or Rick Santorum. He is a supporter of a tiny faction in the church that wants to return totally to pre-Vatican II norms, to restore the notion - mercifully consigned to history by the Second Council - of the Jewish people somehow bearing collective responsibility for the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, of autocratic nineteenth century papal control, and on and on. And in this, he has many supporters, many located at a site called traditio.com, pointed out to the Dish by a reader. Even they can't quite manage to wrap their heads around their idol being a woman beater and proud adulterer. But it's their view of Robyn Gibson, Mel's former wife, that is most striking. Here she is blamed for the divorce a year ago:

Robyn is expected to get around half a billion U.S. dollars in community property, much of it from royalties on Mel's 2004 blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ. With so much money hanging in the balance, Robyn has hired a "celebrity" lawyer, "disco queen" Laura Wasser, who has broken up the marriages of the likes of Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, and Stevie Wonder.

Only the Gibsons know what is really going on. As in all such cases, there is guilt on both sides. Mel did not initiate the divorce and is not responsible for his wife's action.

And now?

The "saint," if you will, in this story, is Mel's devoted wife of 30 years. Mel always said that she was his best friend and would chastise him when he fell off the wagon. This woman, whom our sources at the traditional Catholic church that Mel built in Agoura Hills, California, describe as a classy lady, has now come out to support her husband in a sworn declaration to a California court that he never hit her or the children during their marriage. It seems to have been Robyn's declaration that swayed the court in a July 15, 2010, decree to confirm Mel's right to visitation and time with his illegitimate daughter by the mistress.

Money-grubbing whore or maternal saint? Yes, those are the two models offered by what Kathryn Jean Lopez calls "feminism."

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