Conservative American Catholics – especially those working in the media – are gulping nervously every time they check Twitter. The reason? A diminutive prayerful lady with a rosary in her handbag.

She’s called Dawn Eden Goldstein, and she’s a Catholic convert who writes about ‘healing painful memories’ – but seems more interested in creating them on Twitter.

Dawn’s particular bête noire is the Catholic Herald magazine, which made the mistake of inviting her to a lunch at the Metropolitan Club to celebrate the launch of its US edition. Here she picked up the information that a couple of the magazine’s directors had been invited to breakfast with Steve Bannon.

This, coupled with outrage over a column written in the Herald by Taki, sent Goldstein into meltdown. She went through the magazine’s list of directors and tweeted, falsely, that one of then was in an adulterous marriage (she had to retract) and that another had met Bannon at a time when he was actually on a plane (another retraction). She raked up a tabloid hit-job on yet another director, while trying to ‘out’ another. Strange behavior for a woman whose Twitter handle is @DawnofMercy.

Now she has moved on to the magazine First Things, claiming that they are funded by a billionaire who’s never given them a cent. Perhaps she is still smarting from a Twitter dressing-down from First Things senior editor and Catholic Herald columnist Matthew Schmitz. ‘You seem incapable of uttering a word about the Herald without falsehood,’ he told her, accusing her of ‘a campaign of calumny and pointless smearing’.

The whole thing has left Herald staff hurt and puzzled. Was this the same Dawn who wrote to them after the lunch at which she was so scandalized by learning of the Bannon breakfast, praising them for their ‘exciting’ project and ‘wonderful’ hospitality and offering to help in any way she could?

‘It’s all pretty unnerving’, says a Catholic source. ‘Every time we go online we say a silent prayer that someone else won’t be the recipient of Dawn Goldstein’s ‘healing’ ministry.’