Columns Opinion Thomas Reese: Signs of the Times

Cardinal blasts archbishop’s attack on pope as ‘monstrous and unsubstantiated’

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet attends a Mass for the election of a new pope inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — A high-ranking Vatican cardinal has blasted Archbishop Carlo Viganò for calling for the resignation of the pope and accusing a dozen Vatican officials of covering up the sexual abuse of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The archbishop, who was Vatican representative to the United States from 2011 until 2016, made his sweeping accusations in an unprecedented Aug. 26 statement in which he claimed Francis released McCarrick from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict. Viganò asked Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, to back up his assertions.

Instead Ouellet answered Viganò in a “Dear brother” letter dated Sunday (Oct. 7) that called the archbishop’s accusations against the pope “monstrous and unsubstantiated.”

The cardinal acknowledged that McCarrick “had been requested not to travel or to make public appearances, in order to avoid new rumors about him.” But, he continued, “It is false, therefore, to present those measures as ‘sanctions’ formally imposed by Pope Benedict XVI and then invalidated by Pope Francis.”

Ouellet said he reviewed the archives of his congregation and found no evidence of formal sanctions. “The reason,” he explained in bold type, “is that back then, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged culpability.”

The cardinal supports a “comprehensive and critical” investigation to determine how it was possible for a man such as McCarrick, who now stands accused of abusing minors and seminarians, to become archbishop of Washington and a cardinal.

Ouellet did not become prefect of the Congregation for Bishops until 2010, four years after McCarrick had left his post as archbishop of Washington.

The cardinal acknowledged “that there were failures in the selection procedures implemented in his case” and that “some of the concerns that were raised by testimonies should have been examined more closely.” But he notes, McCarrick “knew how to cleverly defend himself from those concerns raised about him.”

He points out that “Francis had nothing to do with McCarrick’s promotions to New York, Metuchen, Newark and Washington,” which occurred during the papacy of John Paul II. Pope Francis, on the other hand, “stripped him of his Cardinal’s dignity as soon as there was a credible accusation of abuse of a minor.”

Ouellet excuses the actions of John Paul by asserting, again in bold, “it must be understood that the decisions taken by the Supreme Pontiff are based on the information available to him at the time and that they are the object of a prudential judgment which is not infallible.” He argued that it is unjust to conclude that McCarrick’s advancement was the result of corruption on the part of those involved.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, then-apostolic nuncio to the United States, listens to remarks at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall meeting, on Nov. 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

It was “abhorrent,” Ouellet wrote to Viganò, “for you to use the clamorous sexual abuse scandal in the United States to inflict an unmerited and unheard of blow to the moral authority of your superior, the Supreme Pontiff.”

In response to Viganò’s assertion that on June 23, 2013, he told Francis about McCarrick when he met with many nuncios from around the world for the first time, Ouellet noted, “I can only imagine the amount of verbal and written information that was provided to the Holy Father on that occasion about so many persons and situations. I strongly doubt that the Pope had such interest in McCarrick, as you would like us to believe, given the fact that by then he [McCarrick] was an 82-year-old archbishop emeritus who had been without a role for seven years.”

Ouellet admitted that he himself had never presented the McCarrick case to either Pope Benedict or Pope Francis until recently, when the American was removed from the college of cardinals.

Ouellet, who meets with the pope weekly to discuss the appointment of bishops and their work, wrote that the pope “treats persons and problems: with great charity, mercy, attentiveness and seriousness.” As a result, the cardinal thinks “it is too sarcastic, even blasphemous, how you end your last message, purportedly appealing to spirituality while mocking the Holy Father and casting doubt about his faith.”

He calls the pope “a man of prayer,” who demonstrates “a tireless energy to welcome all miseries and to address them through the generous comfort of his words and actions,” who seeks “to announce and to communicate the joy of the Gospel to all,” who lends “a hand to the families, to the abandoned elderly, to the sick in body and soul and, above all, to the youth in their search for happiness.”

Ouellet ends his letter by accusing the archbishop of “open and scandalous rebellion” and causing “division and confusion among the People of God.”

Viganò’s “unjust and unjustified attack,” he concludes, is really “a political plot that lacks any real basis that could incriminate the Pope and that profoundly harms the communion of the Church.”

It is clear from Ouellet’s letter that rumors of McCarrick sleeping with seminarians were never seriously investigated by the Vatican. Once he was retired, the issue became even less a priority. It was not until he was accused of abusing a minor that the Vatican took action.

While we must wait for the results of the Vatican and American investigations of the McCarrick scandal, Ouellet’s letter is not just a defense of Pope Francis. It is also an admission that John Paul and his collaborators failed miserably in vetting a candidate for one of the highest positions in the Catholic Church. As Ouellet says, we need to know how this could happen so that it never happens again.

About the author

Thomas Reese

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest, is a Senior Analyst at RNS. Previously he was a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter (2015-17) and an associate editor (1978-85) and editor in chief (1998-2005) at America magazine. He was also a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University (1985-98 & 2006-15) where he wrote Archbishop, A Flock of Shepherds, and Inside the Vatican. Earlier he worked as a lobbyist for tax reform. He has a doctorate in political science from the University of California Berkeley. He entered the Jesuits in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1974 after receiving a M.Div from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

63 Comments

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  • The specter of a Nuncio passed over for promotion to cardinal is a familiar one in Rome. Vigano’s bad-blood case would be more interesting if Francis hadn’t also passed over men leading major archdioceses, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Saint Louis, and the primatial see, Baltimore, in the United States. In Italy, great sees like Milan, Venice, and Palermo are without red hats at the moment. Francis is making changes, but he’s also making enemies, not all of whom will remain silent.

  • The letter by Ouelett’s is being reported in many places. Thank God for this vigorous response to the outrageous act of Vigano is betraying Pope Francis. Vigano is not wrong in pointing to the institution of the Catholic Church as bearing the burden for the scandal that has erupted – a scandal that child sex abuse occurred but also that bishops, cardinals, popes everywhere simply ignored its affect, did little to hold abusers accountable. And, as Ouelett’s letter suggests, did all they could to avoid even knowing, by not conducting in depth investigations and – I think – by assuming that the higher ranked among the “ontologically changed” would, of course, be the one telling the truth.

    I have to wonder if there is a single bishop alive today who did not, at some point as a seminarian, priest, bishop, or higher become aware of sex abuse occurring, even if just a hint of it, and kept his head down so he would not be the one to know if it was true. Better not to even know for sure. Better not to have real evidence, because then it might mean some action would have to be taken – something that might embarrass the bishop or the Church if it became known. The words “sex” and “priest” are simply never supposed to be linked in a way that suggests priests are sexual beings.

    What is ironic about the whole brouhaha is that Pope Francis did more to correct the problem of McCarrick than did JPII or BXVI and, yet, he is the one Vigano wants to hold responsible. So here is the reality – Pope Francis is the one that saw to McCarrick’s resigning from the Cardinalate and actually imposed enforceable sanctions. Pope Francis actually acted effectively. Notice Pope Francis is learning and acting far more vigorously than the previous two popes under whose watch tens of thousands of children were abused and who knows how many seminarians and young priests abused?

    There is a tone to Ouelett’s letter that makes me think the letter is a warning that the Vatican could act against Vigano. There is also a sense in the letter rather well described by another person who summarized the essence of the message as “Dear brother Vigano – get stuffed – love Marc.”

  • Yeah, Viganò, what’s a Catholic like you trying to do here? “Inflict … [a] blow to the moral authority of … the Supreme Pontiff … that profoundly harms the communion of the [Catholic] Church”?! What is wrong with you, dude?! Are you not a Catholic any more?!

    ‘Yo de man, Ouellet!

  • OXFORD UNIVERSITY DICTIONARY: “Brouhaha [means] a noisy and overexcited reaction or response to something.” For example …

    ATF45: For example, “the whole brouhaha is … [over] the problem of McCarrick … [to which] Pope Francis actually [re]acted effectively” – even though Ouellet admitted, “I strongly doubt that the Pope had such interest in McCarrick”.

    HpO: For example, ATF45’s “noisy and overexcited reaction or response to” Viganò’s insubordination to Francis, is a “brouhaha” par excellence.

  • I think in hockey circles they call it a “donnybrook”………takes me back to the good old days here in Philly when the Broad Street Bullies pummeled their way to the Stanley Cup (and I was there)
    HpO………..Brouhaha in ATF45’s words……..yes, his analysis is just that.

  • is that Catholic (Proper noun) or catholic (common noun)? Yeah, you should have seen the Brouhaha here in Philly several years ago when a Christian Church in one area of the city referred to its mission as catholic………….the RCC leaders here took umbrage to the use of THEIR word………..arrogance personified……

  • “the Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a CONTEMPORARY APPROACH to such issues.”

    If there is anyone in the RCC audience that believes that Cardinal Ouellet is living in an alternate universe (which, of course, he is, in the RCC hierarchy in Rome), please speak up and out in response to such an egregious, self-serving, jejune and reckless statement which is a slap in the face to the thousands of RCC sexual abuse victims and their families around the world over many, many years.

    “….you cannot conclude your priestly life this way, in an open and scandalous rebellion…” I thank God Archbishop Vigano is in open rebellion and will continue to pray for him and his efforts.

    Sorry to say, I apologize if the following is somewhat derogatory, but how does this Cardinal and others in RCC leadership stand upright?

    Mark, I know, using that worn-out phrase again…………but you liked it the first time.

    Michael Skiendzielewski, Philadelphia, PA

  • “The cardinal acknowledged that McCarrick “had been requested not to
    travel or to make public appearances, in order to avoid new rumors about
    him.” But, he continued, “It is false, therefore, to present those
    measures as ‘sanctions’ formally imposed by Pope Benedict XVI and then
    invalidated by Pope Francis.”

    Me thinks Oulette is splitting hairs because this does indeed sound like sanctions whether or not the title was used. One good question to ask is whether anyone including Francis ever wondered why such restriction were place on McCarrick. Oulette does not refute the substance of Vigano’s allegations either. Really, what this boils down to is that Oulette was put into a position he did not want to be in with regards to the Vigano letter, and now in order to stay in the good graces of the Vatican he capitulated to them. I believe, and correct me if I am wrong, Vigano is still in “hiding” or unavailable which is what Oulette did not want to happen to him considering his position. I would say, as the title suggests, that Vigano has not been repudiated in the least. The pope still needs to address the McCarrick issue and not make someone else (Oulette) do his work of accountability.

  • Ouellet’s letter is not just a defense of Pope Francis. It is also an admission that John Paul and his collaborators failed miserably in vetting a candidate for one of the highest positions in the Catholic Church. As Ouellet says, we need to know how this could happen so that it never happens again.

    Yes. This is absolutely correct.

    In addition, it should be said: a lot of those now beating Viganò’s drum to attack Francis for decisions made by Saint John Paul the Great, while seeking totally to exonerate Saint John Paul the Great for those decisions, are about to receive some unsavory surprises — if the Vatican archives about McCarrick truly are opened in their entirety.

  • Hmm, interesting. “Donnybrook [is] named from Donnybrook Fair, a notoriously disorderly event, held annually from 1204 until the middle of the 19th century.” Or so I had just learned from Wiktionary.

    “Brouhaha”, on the other hand, came “from French brouhaha (15c.), said by Gamillscheg to have been, in medieval theater, ‘the cry of the devil disguised as clergy.'” Or so according to Etymology Dictionary.

    Oh and I lived in Philly for 2+ years. At Penn. Nice to meet you.

  • Catholic, though, whether with a C or c, is a word-invention of The Early Church Wolves I mean Fathers. According to Wikipedia’s sources, “the earliest evidence of the use of that term is the Letter to the Smyrnaeans that Ignatius of Antioch wrote in about 108 to Christians in Smyrna. Exhorting Christians to remain closely united with their bishop, he wrote: ‘Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.'”

    My Evangelical people of faith hate it when I remind them of that.

  • “/There is a tone to Ouelett’s letter that makes me think the letter is a warning that the Vatican could act against Vigano.”

    Time for your Vucan mind meld, eh?

    On the positive side you got through an entire post without using the word “culture” in any form, a rare occurrence.

  • There is not a scintilla of evidence, a shred, that St. John Paul II was aware of McCarrick’s proclivities and activities.

    The phalanx of toadies and bureaucrats who misdirect, hide, and launder information around the Pontiff has been a problem for many decades.

  • Francis was backed into a corner by both the media and Vigano.

    He’ll be 82 in December.

    The odds at this point that he’ll accomplish anything substantive on any topic appear to be slim.

    On the other hand he has probably ensured there won’t be another Jesuit Pope for a millennium or two.

  • Bob ! that is the point as William D. Lindsey said above : ” John Paul…failed miserably in vetting a candidate for one of the highest positions in the Catholic Church. ”

    you can explain it away, but you can’t change the facts .

  • The 9 on Viganò’s side, and counting:

    (1) “Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, who had served as first counsellor at the nunciature in Washington, D.C., stated that ‘Viganò said the truth'”.

    (2) “Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, stated that he had ‘always known and respected [Viganò] as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity,’ and asked that the claims in his letter ‘be investigated thoroughly.'”

    (3) “David Konderla, Bishop of Tulsa, stated that Viganò’s allegations would be ‘a good place to begin the investigations that must happen.'”

    (4) “Joseph E. Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, went further, stating that he found Viganò’s allegations ‘credible.'”

    (5) “Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said that Viganò’s claims ‘must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church’ and added that ‘each declaration must be subject to investigation.'”

    (6) “Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, said that Viganò was a man of ‘selfless dedication’ with ‘integrity and sincere love of the Church.’ Cordileone also said that his calls for Pope Francis’s resignation ‘must be taken seriously.'”

    (7) “Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, said that Viganò has ‘impeccable integrity’ and he had ‘offered a number of concrete, real allegations in his recent document, giving names, dates, places, and the location of supporting documentation,’ and these allegations justified a canonical investigation.”

    (8) “Archbishop Paul Stagg Coakley professed to having ‘the deepest respect for Archbishop Viganó and his personal integrity’ and called for an investigation and a ‘purification’ of the Church.”

    (9) “Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan stated that there was ‘no reasonable and plausible cause to doubt the truth content of the document.'”

    Source: Wikipedia’s sources.

  • at 82 he doesn’t seem to be slowing down all that much . he likely will accomplish some more substantive results .

    and the church will chose a jesuit for a pope if and when that person seems the right one for the time . you do believe in the role of the holy spirit in all this, no ?

  • FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence)
    Courtesy of Missteps

    (1) “A new survey by the Pew Research Center … found that 31 percent of U.S. Catholics felt the pope was doing an excellent or good job in addressing the [sex abuse] issue, down from 45 percent in January and 55 percent in 2015. … In July, Pope Francis removed U.S. church leader Theodore McCarrick as a cardinal after church investigators said an allegation that he groped a teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible. Subsequently, several former seminarians and priests reported that they too had been abused or harassed by McCarrick as adults. The Vatican has aggravated that scandal by refusing to respond to claims by a retired ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that Francis and other Vatican officials before him covered up for McCarrick.”

    (2) “Only 48 per cent of Americans have a favourable view of Pope Francis, down from two thirds a year and a half ago, according to polling by CNN. The most recent poll was conducted between September 6 and September 9 amid controversy over allegations raised against Pope Francis by his former US nuncio, Archbishop Carol Maria Vigano. Among US Catholics, the Pope’s favourability rating fell from 83 per cent in January 2017 to 63 per cent now.”

    Source: (1) The Associated Press, October 2, 2018, “Poll: US Catholics Fault Pope’s Handling of Sex Abuse Crisis”. (2) Catholic Herald, September 13, 2018, “Pope Francis’s popularity plummets among Americans, according to poll”.

  • You’re right there. I’m a Christian.
    So that’s 1 right, out of 2 attempts.
    It’s still not much of a testimonial for your CV.

  • Wrong! Endorsing Francis endorsing McCarrick’s Sacrament of the Holy Orders does not “a Christian” make. Only this qualification applies: if only truly you were a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation, by enduring the cross that you carry in your life of faith in response to the ransoming Fatherly love of God through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the rest of the world. But you aren’t, I can tell. And that’s my “C.V.” to you: Candid Vigilance.

  • Vigano is an American conservative. American conservatives believe that it’s okay to lie about those they regard as political enemies.

  • Sorry. Vigano is Italian, born in Varese and a priest of the diocese of Pavia. He served as Nuncio to the United States until two years ago.

  • Olmsted – Burke – Cordileone – Morlino – Schneider: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……………….

    The other guys: Who cares?

  • Oh but it is. As my apostle Paul (not yours, obviously) has made it very clear to me, it IS my “place to judge.”

    “Judge [krinete] those who are within the church” (1 Corinthians 5:12).

  • You ProgCatlics don’t listen to her too good. “Our Lady says to us to keep our mouths shut, i.e., not to judge priests, but to open our hearts and pray for them.”

    Source: Fr. Justo Antonio Lo Feudo, “Pray for Priests”, Echo of Medjugorje, Number 222, September – October 2012.

  • Make your mind up, ‘HpO’.
    Either I am one of your ‘insiders’ or one of your ‘outsiders’?
    Which is it to be?

  • CORRECTION: “American conservatives [liberals, progressives, centrists, radicals, communists, socialists, libertarians, neonazis – all] believe that it’s okay to lie about those they regard as political enemies.” Take one Lawrence Martire, for instance.

  • Whether Medjugorie’s alleged Marian apparitions are true or fraudulent remains to be seen. As for the named hierarchs, I judge them by their behaviors, and they’ve each earned an “F”.

  • It doesn’t matter. Mission accomplished by Vigano. Thumbs up, way up, because:

    (1) “31 percent of U.S. Catholics felt the pope was doing an excellent or good job in addressing the [sex abuse] issue, down from 45 percent in January and 55 percent in 2015 … by refusing to respond to claims by a retired ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that Francis and other Vatican officials before him covered up for McCarrick.”

    (2) “Only 48 per cent of Americans have a favourable view of Pope Francis, down from two thirds a year and a half ago … amid controversy over allegations raised against Pope Francis by his former US nuncio, Archbishop Carol Maria Vigano. Among US Catholics, the Pope’s favourability rating fell from 83 per cent in January 2017 to 63 per cent now.”

    Source: (1) The Associated Press, October 2, 2018. (2) Catholic Herald, September 13, 2018.

  • God & Jesus’ church belongs only to born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard followers of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation. You’re not one of them because you endorse Francis endorsing McCarrick’s Sacrament of the Holy Orders. So what are you doing there inside? Or have you lost your way outside, and got scared, knowing that “those who are outside, God judges” (1 Corinthians 5:13)? Well, then, since nothing “have I to do with judging outsiders … [I then] judge those who are within the church” (1 Corinthians 5:12), such as yourself.

  • That’s pretty good for a mere “F” to produce these end-results:

    (1) “31 percent of U.S. Catholics felt the pope was doing an excellent or good job in addressing the [sex abuse] issue, down from 45 percent in January and 55 percent in 2015 … by refusing to respond to claims by a retired ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that Francis and other Vatican officials before him covered up for McCarrick.”

    (2) “Only 48 per cent of Americans have a favourable view of Pope Francis, down from two thirds a year and a half ago … amid controversy over allegations raised against Pope Francis by his former US nuncio, Archbishop Carol Maria Vigano. Among US Catholics, the Pope’s favourability rating fell from 83 per cent in January 2017 to 63 per cent now.”

    Source: (1) The Associated Press, October 2, 2018. (2) Catholic Herald, September 13, 2018.

  • Now you are ‘translating’ your own comments?
    It is no surprise that you are doing so as incompetently as you ‘translate’ others’ comments.

  • MarkWilliam, where you at?!

    “[When MarkWilliam is] outside, God judges” (1 Corinthians 5:13), but nothing “have I to do with judging outsiders … [but only to] judge “[when MarkWilliam gets] within the church” (1 Corinthians 5:12).

    Ggggooooaaaallll !!!!

    HpO 5:0 MarkWilliam

    And counting.

  • I’m here. Where are you?
    I shall be judged by God, and I hope for (and I desire) His mercy.
    You have misunderstood 1 Corinthians chapter 5.
    And – by your omission of other scripture – you demonstrate that you are ignorant of (or you have completely misunderstood) what our Lord taught us about judging each other.
    PS: You’re able to count the number of your own comments? Well, it’s an achievement of sorts, I suppose.

  • It ain’t over till it’s over. And it ain’t over. Time will tell. Francis is inheriting the mess left by “Saint” JPII. “Saint”, my @$$.

  • It’s taken you eleven hours to learn the next number?
    Your daddy and mommy will be so pleased when you tell them that you can now count up to 6.

  • Translation: ProgCatlic Joseph Jaglowicz endorses good ‘ol Argentina Junta’s Clergyman Francis endorsing Predatorial McCarrick’s Sacrament of the Holy Orders.

  • Well, you may not be much of a Christian.
    But you are certainly very predictable.
    Let me guess what your next contribution will be?!

  • “[When MarkWilliam is] outside, God judges” (1 Corinthians 5:13), but nothing “have I to do with judging outsiders … [but only to] judge “[when MarkWilliam gets] within the church” (1 Corinthians 5:12).

    Ggggooooaaaallll !!!!

    HpO 8:0 MarkWilliam

    And counting.

  • As stated, your use of 1 Corinthians chapter 5 is mistaken.
    And, in focusing on it, you have missed what our Lord really said (and meant) about judging others.
    The loss is yours.
    One can take an ass to water, but one cannot make it drink.

  • I am now going to ‘block’ you, as it is clear that you have nothing of value or interest to say. This means that I shall no longer see any of your comments, past or future.

  • Translation: Judged outside by God and inside by HpO, MarkWilliam endorses Francis endorsing Predatorial McCarrick’s Sacrament of the Holy Orders.

    Ggggooooaaaallll !!!!

    HpO 10:0 MarkWilliam

    Record-breaking.

  • https://disqus.com/home/discussion/bilgrimage/bilgrimage_viral_video_of_ky_catholic_teen_pro_life_marchers_taunting_native_american_elder_puts_pro/#comment-4298388764

    “But I’ll agree that the lad has a very creepy and entitled stare.”

    Too bad you rarely post where the owner/moderator is not a jackboot fascist who instantly bans contra viewpoints. But the answer to your sentence:

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/kentucky-student-seen-in-viral-confrontation-with-native-american-speaks-out

    “At that point, Phillips came toward the group with his drum and, according to Sandmann, ‘locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face’ and ‘played his drum the entire time he was in my face.’”

    https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/01/1862/1048/AP19019762910578-1.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    “Sandmann said he was trying to defuse the tense situation by remaining ‘motionless and calm.’ He also denied taunting Phillips by making faces at him, but said he smiled at the protester ‘because I wanted him to know I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation.’”

    This teenager did the best he could faced with 70ish war veteran in his face being provocative.

    Of course the posters at Bilgrimage will never know that.

  • How creepy that you leave your posts public:

    https://disqus.com/by/markwilliam2014/

    and then write “How creepy that you have tracked me down.”

    when two minutes of paging down leads to the first non-fascist website you commented on.

    You really do fit in at Bilgrimage, where reality is whatever you happen to think it is.

  • Yes, I do leave my posts public – unlike you, I see.
    And I still think that it was creepy of you to track through my old comments, to find me here – ‘3 months ago’.

    Thank you for saying that I ‘fit in’ at Bilgrimage. I see it as a place for civilised and intelligent people. I don’t agree that ‘contra’ comments are not allowed there. Indeed, my own comment about the ‘Covington’ incident was one such.
    I think people who run blogs are allowed to apply whatever standards of decency they think fit. I expect, from what you are saying to me, that you have over-stepped the mark there. It is not hard to see how, given the intemperate nature of your comments here.

    I’ve seen various videos (and reports) of the Covington incident now, and I hold to my view that the young lad has a very creepy and entitled stare.
    It’s become clear – which it wasn’t, when people first started discussing the incident – that both sides (well, all three sides) were provoking each other. The young man’s response was a part of the provocation. That’s very clear.

    As I also said, people are now trying to re-write (or re-make) the incident, according to their own preconceptions and prejudices. Your replies to me are a part of that. And fair enough. There do seem to be several sides to this story.
    If you had made your points in a slightly different way (e.g., without throwing gratuitous accusations) then perhaps they would have informed the discussion at the site which you seem to dislike so much.

    ‘Reality’? It is certainly different things to different people. This Covington incident shows that very well.