I understand that Monsignor Basil Loftus is threatening Fr Mildew with legal action, even though Fr Mildew has apologised for his comments which were hardly actionable in the first place.
I do not know Fr Mildew very well, though I enjoyed his company during one of the blognics he organised last year. That said, while I do not find his waspish attacks on Monsignor Loftus to be particularly helpful, the thought that this gentle man is being intimidated by Monsignor Loftus irritates me intensely. I feel sure Basil Loftus knows very well he is dealing with a benign threat. Who could not? The threat of legal action against Fr Mildew thus makes one wonder what goal Monsignor Loftus is pursuing.
I had the same kind of intimidation from a reader a couple of years ago. Quite ridiculously, he alleged that I was in danger of being sued because I questioned some of his views on Vichy France in a way which possibly intimated that he was anti-Semitic. Before one could say 'malicious action', he was demanding that I consult with my lawyers, and citing cases of successful prosecutions on the internet. I have no idea if these were genuine cases or not. I simply adopted the policy of never responding to his threats. That, in the end, proved to be the best way of dealing with him.
If Fr Mildew is threatened with legal action in the canonical courts, he might of course wish Monsignor Loftus to go ahead. More vigorous men than Fr Mildew would certainly welcome a canonical fight with Monsignor Loftus! Still, we will watch carefully what happens. How very sad when all is said and done.