I see that several comments are concerned that I was speaking out of school in my morning post when I mentioned the fact of Mary Johnson's affairs. To be clear, these sexual affairs are the subject of her book as Chris Matthews explained to me. I was not passing on gossip here. I apologize for not making that clear.
Additionally, as for whether or not it is right to dismiss a book without reading it, I can only say that the idea of taking any amount of time, to read an article let alone a whole book, about the sexual exploits of a perfect stranger does not seem like a good use of time. I can assure those concerned, as I assured Mr. Matthews' audience, that I am not a prude. But, there are topics and books that interest me more than this.
And, it is stunning to me that people are concerned about "tone" when anyone can get on any network and make any claims they want about the Catholic Church, no matter how spurious, no matter how ill-informed, no matter how malicious. I am happy to defend my Church. When her leaders err, I am not shy in pointing that out, still less defending their errors. But, those errors do not make the tomb unempty and so long as the Church proclaims the empty tomb, I am unapologetically going to defend her. Indeed, the horror of the response, or lack of response, of so many hierarchs to the fact of clerical sex abuse is precisely heightened by the fact that it not only destroyed young lives but that it contradicted everything we believe about human dignity because of the empty tomb.