Robert Conquest started out as a leftist who fought on the Republican side on in the Spanish Civil War. But he soon turned against communism on utter disgust.

“He wrote more calmly about totalitarianism than about the accomplices and the deniers of its crimes. Stalin was a thug, Lenin a maniac. But why did so many sophisticated, educated Westerners ignore or excuse what was happening? He harried and skewered fellow-travellers and wishful thinkers, reserving particular scorn for apologist historians such as Eric Hobsbawm. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan admired him. Critics called him a rabid anti-communist. He enjoyed teasing them, coining “Conquest’s Laws”—the first being that, generally speaking, everyone is “reactionary” on things he knows about.

When the Soviet archives opened, his meticulous work was utterly vindicated. His books were published in Russia, and he brought out updated editions in English. Mulling a new title for “The Great Terror”, his pal Kingsley Amis suggested “I told you so, you fucking fools”.

I am considering that as the title if I republish my book, Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. The expletive would not be an insult, but merely a description.

I had forgotten Neuhaus’s reaction to my book, but the editors of Touchstone have a long memory, and sent it to me:

“Very different is Leon Podles’ Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (Crossland). It is a rambling essay of more than five hundred pages on a potpourri of items picked up from the public media and the blogosphere, including, along with the kitchen sink, stomach-turning details of abuse, mainly with boys, and a scathing, if familiar, indictment from a conservative perspective of liberal depredations that brought things to this sorry pass. Regrettably, the tone is shrill, and even righteous anger does not justify the author’s suspension of caution and charity in attributing motives.”

I think that with Archbishop Viganò’s letter we know what the motives were.

Viganò may have temporarily delayed Francis’s plan to institute a gay marriage ceremony (a mere change in discipline not in doctrine, the pope will explain) but a homosexual network, the type who give pederasty a bad name, has a lock on the Vatican and on many dioceses, and they will shrug off Viganò as a right-wing ideologue  – the same way that Stalin’s critics were dismissed.

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