As Twitchy reported this week, The New York Times immediately took up a defensive position around Pope Francis following a grand jury report in Pennsylvania alleging the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by clergy in the Catholic Church:

Not satisfied with the actual use of “conservatives pounce” in its digital and print headlines, The Times doubled-down and praised the pope for taking the high road:

And those were just the “straight news” stories; it took until Friday for contributing opinion writer Timothy Egan to publish a piece claiming an “ultra-conservative cabal” opposed to gay Catholics was trying to drag the Church back to the Dark Ages.

If it’s “alt-right” and “ultra-conservative” to be shocked and appalled by this latest sex abuse and pedophilia scandal, we’re guilty as charged.

Egan writes about the “attempted coup” in progress:

If you’re going to strike at a pope, to paraphrase the line about taking down a king, you must kill him. Right-wing Catholics, those who think allowing gay members of the faith to worship with dignity is an affront to God, have just taken their best shot at Francis.

The attempted coup was disguised as an exposé by a conscience-stricken cleric, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. He claims that the pope must resign because he knew about the sexual abuse of young seminarians by a disgraced cardinal and did not defrock the predator.

It’s a fair point, and one that demands a full response from Francis. But if you read Viganò’s full 11-page letter, you see what’s really driving him and his ultraconservative cabal — an abhorrence of gay Catholics and a desire to return to the Dark Ages.

It does deserve a full response from Francis — but right now he has a bigger crisis on his mind: the damage all those plastic straws are doing to the ocean.

This is a rubbish hot-take by a self-described lapsed Catholic who thinks that “pedophilia is thick in clerical ranks” because priests must be celibate. And women should be priests, duh. No, seriously, “Duh” is his entire argument on the subject.

We’re going to try to make this the last post on the subject today, but if you’re hungry for more, Father James Martin has his own hot take that starts here: