Saturday, September 2, 2017


In the aftermaths of soft September.... Housman

The ninth month, "tang of fruitage in the air," is upon us.

That can mean only one thing:


This year's event is action-packed with workshops and presentations. One of the most promising is a plan to supply chapels emotionally attached to the Latin rite with validly ordained, educated men who have no connection at all to the cult masters. Another will feature a practicum lead by an Eastern-rite priest, on how to worship at a Uniate parish for those who don't have a cult-free chapel nearby yet don't want to be home alone.

One thing's for certain:  Our attendees will return home with lots of options for faithful Catholics.

New funding from a former cult donor means we can do quite a lot this year. But it also means we won't be posting until after the conference ends later in the month. Again, we're running the whole shebang, from conference planning to airport shuttling, and that means we have to dedicate all our material and intellectual resources to the success of the conference.

In the meantime, we invite our readership to consult the bi-weekly LAY PULPIT posts.

See you when the conference is over!

Saturday, August 26, 2017


And be these juggling fiends no more believed,/That palter with us in a double sense;/That keep the word of promise to our ear/And break it to our hope. Shakespeare

Have you ever noticed how a big corporation, when it gets into trouble for bad behavior, almost immediately launches a massive public-relations campaign where it claims to exemplify the very principles it so lawlessly violated? In sputtering exasperation, you ask yourself, "How in the world would anyone possessed of common decency and an intact memory fall for such a cynical ploy?"

Unfortunately, the majority of us swallow the deception, so the bad actors are soon back to their nasty, old tricks. A few people, however, those firmly grounded in morality, hold the corporation accountable by refusing to purchase its products or services. They're a distinct minority, without question, and for the most part their resistance has no real impact, unless they organize. Nevertheless, even if they don't band together, and notwithstanding their powerlessness to inflict the just punishment the corporation deserves, they're proud to have stood on their principles.

We're sure many trads would find common cause with this moral minority. They recognize a striking parallel to their own resistance to the modernist Vatican Establishment. Most likely, they'd say they, too, would boycott a hypocritical corporation that refused to admit to wrong-doing and chose to avoid coming clean by hiding  under P.R. spin.  Some of you reading this post may be of a similar disposition. If you are, then we ask you to read and react to the following:

In the August 20 $GG bulletin, an item captioned A TEACHER'S PRAYER began with these lines:
Lord Jesus, Supreme Educator of souls, I thank You for having called me to this wonderful task of education. Make me ever more worthy of the confidence shown me by parents, by entrusting to me what is dearest to them in this world—their children! Teach me to treat these souls with the delicacy and infinite patience of Your Holy Spirit. Grant me Your light, the better to read hearts; Your perspicacity for discerning Your work and penetrating Your designs; Your mercy, for forgiving and healing; Your wisdom for counseling and directing the young lives entrusted to me. May my actions be Your actions, my hands, Your hands; my lips, Your lips; my life, Your life; so that nothing may touch these children that is not divine, and that I may not impede Your action in their souls. 

For those of you familiar with the lurid details of the 2009 $GG "$CHOOL" $CANDAL, the SW Ohio cult's own version of "the Sicilian Vespers," you're probably shaking your head in disgust at $GG's effrontery. In justice to the few remaining decent Gerties, PL is positive they weren't deceived either. They must still painfully remember how children were treated in the many months preceding the 2009 uprising.

But since some of our readership may not be as aware of the horrific scandal as others, we'll briefly remind everyone of just a few of the reported incidents that led to the mass exodus of decency from the cult. The Readers promse it'll be an eye-opening experience to compare the petitioned virtues of the prayer to the shocking practice of the past. (If you'd like the full report published on December 3, 2009, at the height of the $GG "$chool" cri$i$, you'll want to click here.)
👉Less favored students were characterized as retards, spoiled brats, and other derogatory names, and in the case of girls, tarts and even sluts, sometimes in public.  The younger children with learning disabilities were referred to as "retards." 
👉On one occasion, a student's bag was emptied, and all the equipment the child's parents had provided for the beginning of the school year was thrown into the trash. 
👉A seventh grade student was forcibly prevented from leaving church during Mass to go the bathroom, resulting an emotionally traumatizing "accident."
👉A high-school girl received a uniform violation for having her hair in the wrong place, even after she had corrected her hairstyle and had it approved by one of the women teachers.
👉A seventh grader was publicly humiliated for allegedly not cleaning a thurible after Benediction.  The boy's father checked with the head MC, and was told the thurible was cleaned perfectly.
👉A teacher was forcibly prevented from escorting a sick first-grade student out of the chapel on the first day of school.
👉A seventh grade boy was punished corporally in the presence of witnesses, during which punishment the paddle broke.
Undeniably, it's been some eight long years since the outbreak of the $GG "$CHOOL" $CANDAL.  Therefore, it's entirely possible, even plausible, that there's been a change of heart, or at a minimum a change of policy and practice at the "$chool." With grace anyone can change for the better. But, knowing human beings as we do, and realizing the present-day tendency of scapegrace organizations to give lip service to reform rather than change fundamentally, we're naturally suspicious about the appearance of the prayer in the $GG bulletin right before the start of a new "$chool" year.

Li'l Daniel told us in the "Corner" that "school preparation meetings...for our teachers" were set to take place last week. No doubt printing the prayer in the bulletin was meant to suggest to parents that their children —"what is dearest to them in the world" — will be in good hands. Don't you think, though, that in light of what we've just reviewed, Gerties should make double sure that the teachers who invoke this prayer will be able to act in behalf of little ones?

For instance, if teachers receive the gifts prayed for, yet cannot exercise them, how can the teachers' "actions, ... hands, ...  lips, ... life" be those of the "Supreme Educator of souls"? How can they answer our Lord's sacred calling? Moreover, shouldn't both parents and the handful of principled Gerties insist on the $GG "pastor's" written assurance (1) that every staff member at the "$chool" model the behavior for which the prayer begs so that (2) that there will never be a repetition of the horrors that produced the 2009 catastrophe?

That's a no-brainer. Absolutely they should. When you consider all that led up to the 2009 $chool $candal, a flowery bulletin item, soon forgotten by all, is not enough.

Consequently, here's what we recommend: The cult is a small-ltime operation so you can make a difference if you get organized. Flood Dannie's inbox with e-mails demanding he adopt a written action plan to ensure that every staff member be worthy of parents' "confidence" and treat each child with "the delicacy and infinite patience" of the Holy Ghost.

The plan must include specific provisions to guarantee that staff will emulate our Lord's "mercy for forgiving and healing" and behave in such a way that "nothing may touch these children that is not divine." Insist the plan contain explicit provisions for remediation or punishment of any staff member whose behavior does not conform to the prayer's entreaties. Also, require the Wee One to spell out a grievance process for parents and teachers to lodge complaints about the treatment of children.

In other words, force the "$chool" to live up to the promises of the prayer, and if it doesn't ...


Saturday, August 19, 2017


He who can take no interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great. Ruskin

There's one trait that marks true professionals in every corner of the world:
From medicine to movie production, it's attention to apparently minor details that makes the difference between amateurism and greatness.

For that reason, we Readers are always on the lookout for the cult masters' blunders, the telltale emblems of their masquerade. Many of their howlers we pass over in silence. But the goofs that cry out loudly against the sede "clergy's" unprofessionalism — that convict them of carelessness and malformation —will always find a place on these pages. To the extent that, in life, the little things really do matter, the faithful have a right to know into whose hands they've (mis)placed their spiritual welfare.

Last week's SW Ohio cult bulletin delivered a classic example of sede incompetence at its worst, one that calls for extended analysis. On the front page of $GG's August 13 Pentecost X bulletin, right beneath the Missal-setting notice for the next week, we came across this odd, "orphan" notation (emphasis ours):
In Greek, the tax collector uses the definite article in describing himself as “the” sinner! He chooses the lowest place and humbly offers himself to God in his lowliness; Jesus exalts him (Lk 14:11 [!]).    
We say "orphan" because the italicized snippet, which reads so disjointedly out of place, bears no caption.

The second anomaly that caught our attention was the blurb's embarrassing conflation (= confusion?) of two separate parables of Jesus, viz., (1) the "Parable of the Last Seat" in chapter 14 of Luke (the Gospel pericope for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, which will occur on Sept. 24 of this year [!]) and (2) the "Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican" in the same Evangelist's chapter 18 (the Gospel pericope for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, which fell on Aug. 13, the date of the  $GG bulletin).

A cursory glance at the two Lucan chapters will remind you that in chapter 18, the tax-gatherer — remaining in the temple and not attending a supper —is described as "standing afar off," which verbally is not the same thing as choosing the "lowest place" at the dinner table.*

Moreover, in Luke 14, Jesus, after observing how his unmannerly fellow guests at the Sabbath dinner "chose the first seats at the table" (in Gk., πρωτοκλισία = "place of honor at a dinner"), takes advantage of their boorishness to make a point about the Kingdom of God. It's important to remark that the Gospel setting of Luke 14 makes no mention at all of an individual in attendance at the dinner who actually  "chooses the lowest place and humbly offers himself to God in his lowliness."  That's cult fiction. (As anyone with some Greek will tell you, Christ's advice at 14:10 "to sit down in the lowest place" is joined to a clause of future contingency.) A competent commentary might say the lesson to be drawn from what appears on the surface to be instruction about table-manners is that God invites to the Kingdom those who acknowledge their lowliness. But that's something different from the bulletin's assertion that the revenue officer selected "the lowest place."

Where this scandalous mixup came from is anybody's guess. It's hard to imagine the cult got it, as printed in the bulletin, from any reputable source.  You could surmise an $GG idiot might have found in some commentary a note about the individualizing use of the Greek definite article at 18:13 (what some grammarians term the par excellence usage), and then, perhaps after looking away from the copy for a moment, mistakenly inserted the reference to 14:11 after he returned to copying from his source.  In fairness — and PL is always fair — we'll grant it's possible both parables could've been discussed together, since each concludes with the identical logion, viz., "because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled etc." at 14:11 and 18:14.

But parablepsis facilitated by homoeoteleuton doesn't explain where $GG got the wrongheaded notion about the tax-collector's choosing "the lowest place." That's patently fictitious, and we doubt the error came from an authoritative source. It smells like the sloppy work of a lazy cult ignoramus thoughtlessly condensing his source material to fit into the space available. (Maybe that's also why there was no caption???)

Defenders of the cult might argue the flub was the fault of a semi-literate lay compiler of the bulletin. But, then, why didn't the $GG fake clergy catch this serious blooper before going to print?  Don't the cult's theologasters proofread the bulletin, at least the portions dealing with Sacred Scripture?  Since Protestants often criticize Catholics about their knowledge of the Bible, you'd think the sedes would be especially conscientious about making sure their scriptural references were 100% accurate.

Or did this giant boo-boo come from the imitation clergy in the first place?

Whatever the answer, long years of following this and other blogs have proved to you that cult sedes are not skilled professionals. What kind of professional would perversely mistranslate infallible papal teaching? What professional would have made such errors as PL brought to light out of that darkling mess Work of Human Hands.  What professional Catholic organization would have published an ordo so filled with mistakes that it took PL a year to cover them? What professional would have occasioned this exposé from the Readers? But in Tradistan, professionalism counts for zilch, zip, zero, nada. The depraved cult zombies are so clueless they don't even notice flagrant mistakes, nor do they care to learn the truth from better-schooled heads.

The Readers guess today's erroneous tidbit found it way into the bulletin because someone wanted (A) to impress the gullible Gerties with a faux-learned reference to the koinē text and (B), probably, to suggest that cultlings put themselves last and the grasping "clergy" first. The result was neither the edification of the faithful nor good P.R. for the cult masters. It's a horrible mishmash of the New Testament at which any thrush-infected pulpit-thumper from a storefront Bible-belt "cathedral" would twang in anti-papist derision.

If the SW Ohio cult can't manage to summarize the Word of God correctly in a tiny bulletin item, how can traditional Catholic laity trust the cult masters in the large matters of faith and morals? Getting the minutiae right is a warrant that someone can handle the big stuff. Disraeli was wrong: small things affect great minds. That's why the little stuff matters ever so much to professionals. It's proof they have the skills and knowledge to deliver what you're paying for.

It was bad enough when Tony Baloney wrongly altered the sense of Pius XII 's teaching in Sacramentum Ordinis (click here, see VI-VIII). Now someone at the cult is altering the content of Christ's very words. If the gross error featured in today's post were only one of a kind, then we'd be wrong to harp on it. But it isn't.

 Everybody in TradWorld knows it isn't. **


*And the Greek isn't close either: μακρόθεν ἑστὼς is certainly not ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον. Nor is the Latin: a longe stans  ≠  recumbe in novissimo loco

** If you still think we've been too harsh in our judgment of the sede sub-sub-amateurs, — and we know some of you do — then ask yourself why, with Checkie's library "filled with scholarly books"(which you'll recall the YAGGIES visited on Cheeseball's boring tour of the cult center), couldn't $GG have printed something with the same message but without the error?  Take our word for it: there's no end to professional English-language commentaries on "the" special sinner of Luke 18:13, even from the years before an approved popular Catholic translation printed "the sinner" (Confraternity) rather than "a sinner" (Douay Rheims).

For instance, in his 1906 The Gospels of the Sundays and Festivals (which contained both the Greek and Latin pericopes for the priests of yesteryear who could read both languages), Cornelius J. Canon Ryan wrote the following:
... the publican ... directs attention to his own sins only. He says: "Be propitious to me, a sinner," or as it is still more forcibly put in the Greek: "Be propitious to me, the sinner." The pharisee considered himself alone in a class: he was the saint, and all others were sinners. On the contrary, ... the publican in his appeal to God calls himself "the sinner,' the transgressor by excellence, in comparison with whom all others are just (vol. ii, p. 217).
Now, then, all $GG would've had to do is add a caption, say, NOTE ON TODAY'S GOSPEL, and they'd've had a professional bulletin entry. So close, yet soooo far.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves. A. Lincoln

Back on July 22, an anonymous commenter asked:
Tell us, what living bishop today would you recommend that Catholics move to his location, if they could, and put themselves under his spiritual guidance and care?
At the time, PL wouldn't recommend a sede or independent "bishop" because none has a commission from the Church to guide and care for Catholics. However, we offhandedly suggested that an Eastern-rite bishop could prove a solution for some people.

Shortly thereafter, "Gene" informed us he'd just completed his in-depth research into the validity of U.S. bishops of ten Eastern rites. (Many of you will recognize the screen name from the incisive comments he's posted on these pages.) As usual, when "Gene" speaks, people with any sense listen.
He ranks among the top pundits of TradWorld, for he grounds his always original, usually transformative, thinking in painstaking documentation and careful analysis. (If only the sede "clergy" had his insight.)

After we read his post, we then realized he'd done much more than yeoman scholarly work: He'd given traditional Catholics a way out of the Tradistani madhouse provided they're willing to do their homework and prepare for a cultural adjustment.

"Gene's" introductory remarks along with his list of Eastern-rite bishops can be found here (and also under IMPORTANT LINKS at the right hand side of this page). Realize, however, that it's only a beginning. As he cautions, you'll still have to perform your own due diligence to assure yourself of the faith of any of these men. (Must-reading is his "Disclaimer and Advice Regarding Eastern Rite Parishes" found here.) The Readers would also add that you'll have to ask yourself whether you can adapt to a markedly different liturgical and socio-linguistic tradition should you decide to attach yourself to one of these rites.  We can tell you from personal observation that not everyone can make the transition, especially those with a sub-optimal education.

However, for those who can, we affirm that the reward — an authentic Catholic bishop — will be well worth the effort. Good, educated, and humble priests of the traditional Latin rite are hard to find. Furthermore, if they're sedes, you never know when they'll revert to type, hysterically screeching prohibitions about una-cum Masses, wantonly manufacturing new mortal sins and dogmas, spitefully withholding absolution* on flimsy premises, masquerading as genuine Roman Catholic clergy, uncharitably trashing rivals, etc. More serious by far is the frightening specter of invalidity lurking behind each one's orders, insofar as there's some kind of problem with every one of the traddie lineages and sub-lineages. (Just look at how the trad kingpins themselves cast doubt on their competition's orders.)

Accordingly, for someone who earnestly longs to escape the dissension, doubt, and deficiencies of Tradistan with its fake "bishops" — remember, they really can't even be called bishops**  — Byzantium-on-the-fruited-plain may offer shelter during this prolonged, unprecedented nightmare. It may possibly become the unknown destination you set out for when you began your journey to tradition years ago.

To weather these radically different times, Catholics must free their minds from the bondage of the past, with its cherished memories and comfortable predilections. The West and its Latin rite are in deep crisis within both the Novus Ordo and Sedelandia. Unfortunately, there's no rescue on the horizon.

Therefore, if you trads in search of an undisputed shepherd are bold enough to think out of the box and act in ways you never imagined, it's quite possible you shall find refuge for your souls. Best of all, you might have a Byzantine-rite parish not too far from where you live now. That means you may not have to "move to [the bishop's] location" at all. Odds are that you're already be within an undoubted, genuinely Catholic bishop's eparchy!


* The issue of confession is crucial. Today's post isn't the place to discuss the sedes' disabilities in this regard, but for those interested in exploring the problem of confessional jurisdiction, click here. Some of us at PL found the arguments more than sufficient to begin looking for an Eastern-rite parish we could call home.  (Fear not: we won't stop exposing the cult masters.)

** Unless, of course, we apply to these isolated "bishops" the term episcopi vagantes ("wandering, stray bishops"), irregularly consecrated itinerants in communion with no recognized see, whose microscopic sectlets appear to exist only for their own benefit. But without a see and without authority, that's no bishop at all. Although Western theology tends to accept such consecrations as valid, it hasn't always been so. There's a highly tantalizing, though unreferenced, remark in the Jesuit Bernard Leeming's Principles of Sacramental Theology, affirming that some 12th-century canonists refused "to accept as valid ordinations done by a bishop acting without authorization from any Christian community" (p. 548). It would be a worthy research project to bring those texts to light. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017


bestiary, a medieval collection of stories, each of which was based on a description of certain qualities of an animal, plant, or even stone. They presented Christian allegories for moral and religious instruction and admonition. Encyclopædia Britannica (1975)

Editor's Note: Herewith is the fourth post in a series that originated with a comment letting us in on the secret behind "One-Hand Dan's" freakish creature chronicles in the "Bishop's (?) Corner." According to our informant, Li'l Daniel uses violent incidents starring the cult's feral cats and their blood-spattered quarry to externalize his grievances.  A reminder of our format: we first quote verbatim from a "Corner" and then interpret it to reveal Dannie's hidden message.


We'll start off with a witty correspondent's favorite animal anecdote. Here's what the Wee One wrote for Pentecost VI 2017:
The cats are both eating and sleeping more in the heat. Puccini believes in tithing when it comes to small rodents.
"He didn't even bother replacing the obvious allusion to the Gerties' giving him money (tithing) with a more subtle word," marveled the sharp eyed observer of the Mitered Maggot's prose.

Yes, indeed, the word was so obvious it didn't need much deciphering at all. Just a keen awareness of the Dirtbag's priorities. But the real question for PL is:
Why was His Blatancy so transparent this time?
Usually it requires some head-cratching to puzzle out his meaning.

We'd say Dannie Boy abandoned his characteristically cryptic tone because the cult's hurtin' for money. He can't afford for the increasingly tight-fisted Gerties not to get the message. You'll recall we've reported a string of weekly collections coming in under $4,000, which is not enough to sustain the declining cult center or its "clergy's" outsized appetites. Wee Dan's worst fears were realized on the very day he delivered this fable, for the July 16 take, reported on Pentecost VII, totaled a poverty-level  $3,212.

Like Li'l Daniel's kitty comrades, the Gerties are taking the hot, un-airconditioned summer off, finally treating themselves and their families to road trips "down home," stuffing their hideously asymmetric faces with fast food, and installing a fan or two in their shacks.  (Some may've been able to afford to hire an exterminator.) Absent from sweltering $GG, they're putting to good use the windfall of extra cash that's now available since they stopped heeding Dannie's demands for their money.

Bad news for His Appetency.

Soooo bad, in fact, that the situation called for the cats to come to his rescue in the guise of male idlers who irresponsibly turn over to the cult masters what by rights belongs to their wives and children. "One Hand" is tired of the Dirty Gerties' giving irregularly and stingily. He's also peeved at the deserters' refusal to make up for the collections they've missed while AWOL from the dying cult center.

If he and the Cheeseball are to have any chance at a luxury vacation this year, the cultlings have got to pony up. Hence the not-so-subtle "tithing," with its almost tax-like suggestion of regular, fixed, unavoidable payments for the comfort of the overfed but undereducated "clergy."

We'll have to wait to see whether the culties got his drift or whether they'll ignore him.


The same "Corner" carried the following eerie allegory, which isn't at all hard to decode either:
A mourning dove crashed into my bedroom door light, and lay dazed on the deck for awhile. Its mate sympathetically surveyed the scene and waited for recovery. They both then flew off, but silently and without their mourning cry.
Dannie's been losing cult couples lately, and all he can do is stand around watching in agony as dollars vanish.

The stunned dove is a cult-addled spouse attracted to the glittering theatrical lights of "One Hand's" Sunday big shows.  The patient mate is the loving husband or wife who waited for the spouse to return to sanity as soon as the truth about the cult masters became known.With the one partner's senses finally restored, the couple could then cancel the insurance policy naming $GG the beneficiary (the "mourning cry") and head off for a better climate, never to be heard from again.


The foregoing tale of escape and redemption is not what Wee Dan expected, hence his rueful tone. The Low Sunday 2017 "Corner" detailed the usual procedure for dealing with wounded souls that find themselves trapped on the SW Ohio cult's dismal property:
The Fathers were waiting for me Wednesday evening for dinner after the High Mass, when Puccini appeared with an Easter offering. He deposited the still live bird in the convento, and then flopped down on the floor, the very picture of detachment. The bird flew about a bit, but then met its end. Puccini is a remarkably quick cat on occasion. Ars Gratia Artis is ever his motto.    
The struggling, soon-to-be dispatched prey in the feral cat's clutches represents the few Gerties who flew off in moral outrage at the 2009 $GG $chool $candal yet came winging back after the Ham Sandwich spoiled. Back at the cult, cynical "priests" keep a close watch on the untrustworthy migrants so they'll never fly the coop again or take others with them if they do. Whenever the returning birdbrains get sick of the nonstop fundraising, divisive troublemaking, and smug hypocrisy,  the cult masters are ready to intervene at once to prevent them from flocking around the anxious Gerties.  Educationally, the malformed "clergy" aren't too swift, but when it comes to suppressing the truth about themselves, they're faster than a fat kid chasing an ice-cream truck.

Times are tough at the destabilized wasteland of $GG. The cult masters can't afford another uprising, thus the unspoken moral of the fable: if you spread your wings, then it's "Bye Bye Birdie."  The kingpins have never forgiven the Gerts whose exodus deprived $GG of an income to match the aspirations of its grasping "clergy."  The last seven and a half years have been lean ones, requiring "One Hand" to make nice to the returning turncoats on account of their money and their propaganda value.  But he won't let 'em get away again. The "clergy" are ready to pounce catlike at the first sign of unrest.

Ars gratia artis ("art for art's sake") really isn't the cult motto. Dannie came up with that one because he's seen it on the MGM logo and wanted to pretend he knows Latin. Plus he was eager to boost blood-thirsty Puccini's ego by comparing his feline familiar to the studio's Leo the Lion. No, the cult's motto is, even if the Latin text escapes His Deficiency, nemo me impune lacessit ("nobody calls me out and gets away with it.")

How could Dannie ever forget a brown-noser's candid advice to get rid of Tony Baloney in 2009? Whenever can the offended Wee One banish the remembrance of all those fliers permitted to circulate at the Sunday big show right after the $GG $chool firings? We bet he still can feel the sport coat lapel crumpling in an angry palm. And he continues to burn, secretly, at the sanctimonious weasel who loudly left the cult as a result of witnessing the unedifying contretemps.

You don't need us to tell you he didn't forget any one of these or any other slight.

Some very nasty creature is waiting to fall upon the neck of the prodigal sons or daughters who might dare fly off with their money a second time.  What's been found, won't be lost again. No other ecclesiastical hustler will get a chance to devour the prodigals' substance. Dannie means to consume it all by himself.

He has to. The run is almost over for SW Ohio's amateur production of American Horror Story: Cult.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


There where they burn books, eventually they also burn people. Heine

Editor's Note: If you read Dannie's "Bishop's (?) Corner" in the July 9, 2017, $GG bulletin, the "very well organized and attended" YAG (Young Adult Get-Together) was a "success," which, he assured us, had a "serious and spiritual side, as well as a social one."

Aside from those comments — and a heap of self-serving praise for the Cheeseball — he was pretty spare with the details. But don't worry. PL received a first-hand account from an insider: It confirmed all the reservations we expressed both in our post of May 13, 2017 (click here) and in subsequent comments You might recall that our objections raised the hackles of many a rabid cultling.

As a public service, we'll share some of our informant's verbatim highlights of the weekend. The Readers will refrain from overly intrusive editorial comment and let the facts, as narrated by an impartial third party, speak for themselves.  In unvarnished form, they're enough to convince anyone that the inept party planners at $GG delivered a bust at the most and at the least an insult to any serious (and well-adjusted) Catholic adult who attended. (All emphases are ours.)

"Friday's events began in the afternoon with a Mass from Fr. McKenna, with a homily on the true meaning of Christian love in a marriage.  Next we had dinner in the social hall.  There was more than enough food for everyone, and most of it was homemade (but I am guessing it was all made by rank-and-file Gerties, not any of the priests).  They had already set up alternating baby pink and baby blue plastic plates at the dining tables when we arrived.  They made the women use the pink plates and the men use the blue ones (the mandatory plate color rule continued through the rest of the weekend). 

"After supper they announced that after every meal, they would pick random attendees to help with cleanup duties .... One-Hand Dan made an appearance at the dinner, but was not seen the rest of the weekend.  Checkie and McKenna were with us, on and off, most of the weekend (Forlorn Finn made brief appearances Saturday and Sunday).

"In the social hall was a 'selfie station' with a life-size cardboard cutout of Pope Francis which Checkie encouraged us to use.  The station included props such as a clown nose and a feather headdress to wear for the photo.  These props were inspired by real photos of Francis doing things a trad would not like, such as attending indigenous religious ceremonies and wearing a clown nose himself.  Not many people actually used the selfie station.  At the end of the night an attendee also played a song poking fun at Vatican 2 on his computer for all to hear.

"Saturday began with a Mass in which McKenna talked about St. Elizabeth as a model Christian wife (encouraging women to simply tolerate consistent, unrepentant, abhorrent and scandalous behavior from their husbands.  I wonder what he would say about tolerating that from a sede priest).  Next, we went to the social hall where Checkie gave a speech about how difficult it is to find a Christian spouse in the modern world.  He made sure to go through every type of non-Sede and explain why we shouldn't marry them (non-Catholics, post-conciliar Catholics both liberal and traditional, SSPX, etc.).  At this point the men were allowed to change from business casual into jeans [!!, Ed.] for the Saturday outing, while women had to wear skirts at all times.*  Many of the men ended up wearing jeans for the entire rest of the weekend (except at Sunday Mass).

"We had brunch, then drove 45 minutes each way to spend 3 hours at the Air Force Museum (why they would choose to spend all day at a museum that appeals to such specific interests, and had nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism, is beyond my comprehension).  After the museum we had our 'ice cream avalanche' in a pavilion outside the museum.  I think the 'avalanche' part referred to the wide variety of toppings available (amusingly, they brought an industrial sized tub of hot fudge that they did not heat up, and was far too thick at room temperature to be used as chocolate sauce).

"We returned to SGG and Checkie gave us a tour of the facilities.  He did a good job of keeping the potentially dull tour fun with his humor.  I think everyone's favorite "fun fact" from the tour was that their architect used swimming noodles, covered in terracotta, for the arches in the cloister (to save money over what another architectural firm was going to charge to custom carve styrofoam).  We went to Checkie's office, filled with scholarly theological books in Latin.  I wondered how many of these books were written at a level Checkie could grasp, given his level of Latin comprehension.

"We had a trivia contest that Checkie hosted, where we were given all the pictures that Checkie had put on the YAG page of Pope Francis doing something ridiculous that he had put 'funny' captions on.  The contest was to rewrite the captions that went with the pictures from memory.  Although this contest had been announced on the YAG site many weeks prior, some attendees said they weren't aware that the contest was going to happen, and even fewer seemed to have put much effort into trying to memorize the captions.  The winner got a photo with Checkie (and the Pope cutout) and a gift certificate to the church's bookstore.

"Next came square dancing. Of course they couldn't be bothered to hire a professional caller and lose out on a couple hundred of the approximately $2,500** they raked in from registration fees, so one of the attendees did the instructions. At one point there were instructions for the men to put their arm around the ladies’ shoulders or back, and the person running the event started repeating to the whole group that 'linking arms is enough' to make sure nothing unholy happened during the dance (I wondered why they would even have an event that could be a near occasion of sin for hormone-ridden teens in the first place). Then we had a group walking rosary around the property. 

"We ended the night with a bonfire... and book burning.  An attendee owned a copy of Salza and Siscoe’s 'True or False Pope.' (I wonder if the attendee actually tried reading it first).  People tore out pages a few at a time and threw them into the fire.

"Sunday's sermon*** by Fr. McKenna was about the importance of wives being submissive to their husbands.  After Mass we went bowling.  They fed us rubbery bowling alley pizza for lunch.  Then we all left on our merry way home.

"Overall the weekend felt like a jumbled mish-mash of unrelated activities interspersed with awkward small talk.  I don't know what their intention was in holding this event (was it to encourage us to relocate and fill the SGG pews? To make money?  Was it simply an honest attempt to get young people together with no ulterior motive)?"

We think we know the answer to our informant's last questions, but we won't say a thing — for now.

* Not only could we see jeans in the group photo, but one woman in the first row is wearing FLIP FLOPS (click here). We wonder what the Swampland attendees told Tradzilla about all this "immodesty"! On second thought, maybe they kept their snooty traps shut, lest stray images of their own leisurewear materialize on Big Don's screen. A vision of denim and open-toed footwear may inspire more wrath than the mixed swimming, wet T-shirt-green-lagoon pic or the "Wasted in Tampa #drinkhard" shot we found on social media. 

** We have strong reason to suspect that one of the attendees most likely got in free.

*** Rather than subject the YAGGIES to Uneven Steven's pitiful attempts to mimic "One-Hand Dan's" hammy sermon cadence with its annoying (and cloying) overly stressed, breathy syllables delivered in the pseudo-educated sociolect of Tradistan, why didn't the hosts instead play Sandy Posey's "Born a Woman" to make their point? And speaking of the immortal, "countrypolitan" Sandy, the sound track at the bonfire should've been her "Single Girl" — the perfect theme for YAG 2017. That ballad seems more germane to the weekend than a pyromaniacal book burning.