I am, let me confess, no expert on dolphins, nor on any other member of the cetacean paraphyly. Nor, for that matter, on anything at all, in my current recollection. I do however know that dolphins can swim very fast, can leap high out of the water, can be as long as thirty feet, and that even small dolphins, no longer than a man, are very strong. I would not mess with one in the water. Before assuming that their behaviour, in the state of nature, is entirely benign, one should ask some fish. Even a porpoise could tell you: they have their dark side. Especially a porpoise: for dolphins have been known to murder hundreds of them, for no apparent reason. They can take a dislike to each other, too; and for reasons that we may darkly surmise, act upon what we take for their emotions.

Example: when they throw each other’s children in the air, they are not being playful.

On at least one occasion I have had to explain to an environmentalist that the sob-story he was telling, about dolphins found dead or dying on a Virginia beach, had nought to do with capitalist perfidy. On forensic examination, all the beached dolphins were found to have suffered severe blunt-force trauma — administered by other dolphins.

They have also been known to dislike humans, for instance pulling them under the water until they stop making bubbles. Brooding, “loner” dolphins are particularly noted for the sort of conduct that we might be inclined to characterize as evil.

Smiley-face, bottlenose dolphins, of the Tursiops genus, are among those sexually dimorphic, which is to say, the males are decidedly bigger than the females. They are very smart, in both sexes, but not nearly as sentimental as our New Age propagandists have advertised. I cannot imagine a feminist being pleased with their courting rituals, which closely resemble entrapment and rape. I take an unsentimental view of the dolphins myself, though I am prepared to admire their skills. I cannot believe male dolphins are gentlemen.

A story forwarded to me this morning from the London Telegraph tells a commonplace tale. A bottlenose dolphin has been terrorizing swimmers off a beach in Brittany. A loner male, with a marked preference for human females, has alas “progressed” from being a source of entertainment. The theory is that he is sexually frustrated. This strikes me as possible, but possibly narrow. I have read several stories before — from different continents — in which just such a loner male dolphin graduates from public entertainer, to public nuisance, to public danger, around a specific beach. In every case it seems the dolphin is believed, from some of its behaviour, to be sexually aroused. I would not be surprised to learn that the same symptoms accompany other psychopathic acts by dolphins, as they often (if not always) do in rogue humans.

That is to say, certain manifestations of sexual desire in dolphins, as in humans, could be described as “twisted.” They are deflected from sexual reproduction to other, unrelated, ends. If the mere presence of sexual desire is taken for an excuse, and humans are taken as atheists understand them (i.e. mere animals without unique souls), then in the end we must excuse serial murderers. After all, they get “aroused.” While I see no prospect of regulating the behaviour of dolphins by human laws, humans might still have the capacity to regulate themselves. For, “twisted” human sexual behaviour was, until only a few decades ago, more or less universally outlawed.


When a rogue bishop — Theodore McCarrick comes to mind — gets in the habit of terrorizing a seminary (which from his point of view might be equivalent to a beach), one would hope that observers would react with the astuteness of the mayor of Landévennec, France. Which is to say, close the beach until the dolphin in question has been sequestered, then permanently remove him from human society.

Alas, we now learn — from a source with first-hand knowledge of the facts, whose integrity is unimpeachable — what our own Catholic “mayor” did, in the analogous circumstance. Every Catholic should read, with full attention, the eleven pages written by the recently retired papal nuncio to Washington, Carlo Maria Viganò, that was published Saturday. (Start here.) It gives a very clear view of how our Church has been governed since the 13th of March, 2013; and in too many respects, before.

I would rather discuss dolphins, than defective cardinal archbishops, and the pope under whose aggressive patronage such shameful men have flourished as Maradiaga, Coccopalmiero, Danneels, &c. Though I am no expert on canonical jurisprudence, I see no alternative to facing this down. (The baseless calumnies now pouring on Viganò, from the pope’s own minions, were to be expected: they are a very ugly entourage.)

I was arrested by Pope Francis’s own reply, on the plane back to Rome from Ireland, when a journalist asked him about Viganò’s testimony. It was, “I will not say a single word.”

It brought Iago to mind, from Shakespeare’s Othello:

“Demand me nothing: … I never will speake word.”