Saturday, April 26, 2014


Editor's Note: It's time to catch up on our email correspondence.
Dear Readers,
[Last week's post] reminded me when I occasionally attended Mass at one of the SGG satellite chapels while on the road. Whenever Cekada celebrated "High Mass," after he finished saying the Creed he would go down to the steps to kneel for the choir's Et incarnatus est and then go sit at the bench. No other priests ever did this. They all headed straight to their seat after saying the Creed. Fortescue says that in a Sung Mass after the celebrant says the Creed "he goes, by the shorter way, to sit. The M.C. assists him as before. When the verse Et incarnatus est, etc. is sung, the M.C. and all the servers (if standing) kneel at their place. The celebrant uncovers and bows." So much for the so called "great liturgist." You are right: they just make it up as they go along.
Our correspondent has a sharp eye. One of the Readers recalls the Blunderer's timing his recitation of the Credo so as to be able to kneel in front of the altar before going to sit. (There was always plenty of time, he noted, so it was never the case that the Bonehead was "caught" by the verse en route to the scamnum.)  Our colleague reports he hadn't been able to understand Checkie's behavior either, especially since Laurence O'Connell in his The Book of Ceremonies, the much-cited U.S. authority, like Fortesue, teaches that, after the recitation, the celebrant goes by the shorter way to sit, removing his biretta and bowing, from Et incarnatus est until after Et homo factus est.* 

The only way our co-worker could make sense of the deviant practice was to conjecture that Cheeseball Checkie had failed to read carefully John O'Connell's instruction in his The Celebration of Mass: "If the Celebrant does not go to sit, he should kneel on the edge of the footpace in the middle of the altar, with the M.C. kneeling beside him, while these words are sung." (Emphasis ours.) However, our fellow Reader insisted his explanation was only a desperate attempt to give a reasonable explanation to a behavior so at odds with approved authors and the standard practice of other, better-trained priests.

The cult masters, he observed, always did march to the maniacal beat of a different drummer.  No one ever asked questions because they knew they wouldn't get a straight answer while in the cultic loony bin. Other priests who on occasion served the chapel, however, used to smile sardonically when they learned of Erroneous Antonius's novelty. One urbane Latin American, trained in Italy, archly observed in private to a few laymen, "I don't claim to be an expert on the liturgy, but I do know that's wrong."

Whatever the Blunderer's motives, the correspondent's recollection is another example proving our point that the cult masters don't care about getting the details right. The books of ceremonial instructions are easily obtainable, so anyone, including their numerous adversaries, can easily verify whether or not the cult masters are doing things right. Under such conditions, most self-respecting men would make sure they were letter perfect in order to escape withering criticism.

But not so the cult masters.

Inasmuch as they "minister" solely to the vilest dregs of Traddie scum, they don't bother about accuracy. Dannie only has to tell the mouth-breathing, head-twitching, saliva-gurgling cultlings that the sub-mediocre Checkmeister is a great liturgiologist, a profound theologian, and a distinguished writer, and the booger-encrusted, hilljack imbeciles take his word. All that blank-faced gullibility certainly makes it easy on the low-achieving clergy: they don't even have to appear to be competent. They merely announce it.

Of course, we had to ask ourselves whether the cult masters regretted not attracting intelligent, mentally well-adjusted chapel members drawn from a superior social class, whose critical eye and ready tongue might have inspired them to improve their game. After all, cutting-edge research in special education tells us that most human beings, even those with severe cognitive deficiencies, thrive under a challenge. However, after a few seconds of thought, we safely concluded that the answer must be a throaty naaahhhh

Way down deep, they actually don't want to get any better; moreover, truth to tell, they probably lack the modest, natural gifts to realize such an ambition anyway. Besides, they know from years of rejection that normal, educated folks -- folks with symmetrical facial features --  never tolerate them for long. It's far better to stick with the grotesquely twisted asylum inmates.

The bar has been set very low, and it will remain at ground level -- or below -- so long as a monstrous cadre of slobbering, runny-nosed, cross-eyed cretins fund the cult madhouse


*In his instructions for Sung Mass, L. O'Connell directs the celebrant, after the intonation of the Creed, to "proceed as at Solemn Mass." In those instructions, he has the following note (p. 194) for the exception:
At the three Masses of Christmas and on the Feast of the Annunciation, do not go to the sedilia immediately after you have finished saying the Creed, but remain standing at the center. Just before the choir sings Et incarnatus est, go down to the top step and kneel on the edge of the platform. Remain kneeling and bow until after Et homo factus est. Then go up again, genuflect, and go to the sedilia per breviorem

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Why don't you go where fashion sits? Puttin' on the Ritz. Irving Berlin

Editor's Note: An early and brief post for this busy holiday weekend.

There's a reason the SW Ohio cult is more an incubus than an inspiration:

American cultic sede-ism is not a coherent system of deeply held convictions. It represents an easy life and a meal ticket for malformed clerical dilettantes, who will not abide the discipline that ironclad principles impose. That's why they don't bother to correct all the errors in their online publications. That's why they won't fix their problematic holy orders. That's why they espouse absolute sedevacantism but still insist the 1917 Code of Canon Law obliges. That's why they preach the necessity of a seminary formation but ordain and associate with a man who underwent what amounts to be a mere tutorial.

Yet there's a rationale behind American sede inconsistency: Why bother with consistency as long as a handful of emotionally needy, "rite-trash" morons will believe anything they're told? As long as enough of them remain firmly tethered to the cult center and keep up support payments, then there's no problem. The sub-Neanderthal laymen and -women are inoculated against the truth, and there's no getting through those very thick, misshapen skulls.

That doesn't frustrate us one little bit. In fact, the cultlings' stubborn refusal to see the truth is what makes it a delight to expose "One Hand," Tony Baloney, and the ragin' rector. You see, it's the same entertainment that bear-baiting offered in the 16th and 17th centuries: a monstrous, lumbering, moaning brute vexed on all sides by nimble, sharply barking adversaries. In the face of biting revelations, the maddened cultie beasts don't know what to do. Their perplexity is side-splittingly funny. Deprived of conscience and a sense of self-preservation, they continue sacrificing their family's future to underwrite the cult masters' excesses despite the lacerating evidence warning them to get out now.

So, for some holiday sport, let's once again open up to one and all Pistrina's bear garden, as we worry these mindless, amoral critters to distraction with another proof that their cult masters are not serious sedes. It's very short and simple, and it goes like this:
American sede big shots are often pictured in their bright purple choir cassocks, purple sashes, and lacy rochets with red lining for the cuffs. It's a splendid sight, since some of these high-flying wandering bishops buy their kit from Gammarelli's, the ritzy papal tailor in Rome. Very eye catching, and the getup is sure to attract attention. However, by the strict code of prelatical vesture, during the vacancy of the Holy See -- the Sede Vacante -- Catholic bishops are to wear a black choir cassock with purple trimmings, a black silk sash, and a rochet with cuffs lined in purple.* And, of course, the purple silk or fine broadcloth mantelletta must be replaced by one made of black cloth, trimmed and lined with purple silk.
Not so fancy, huh?  Kind of hard to preen and shine. You don't cut such a bella figura, do you? You can't feel so special and entitled when you're outfitted so drably, can you? Dressed up mostly in black, you just don't look too ... too ... -- what's the word? Ah, yes! -- episcopal! Won't really do for those junkets south of the border or to France, where all the bright color draws people's attention away from American shallowness and ignorance.  And you're definitely not going to become everybody's center of attention or stand out as the ♪♬grandest Traddie in the Easter parade♩♫.

Yet, if the cult kingpins really and truly believed the Holy See was vacant, and if they really and truly believed all the old rules were in force and were binding, then they'd dress the part, even if it meant they couldn't play peacock in the Tradistan zoo.


*See Dr. Nainfa's Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church According to Roman Etiquette (1926) or McCloud's 1948 Clerical Dress and Insignia of the Roman Catholic Church.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I've yet to meet the Duke I couldn't like. Patrick Shaw-Stewart

Last week's "Bishop's(?) Corner" turned out to be yet another revelation. "One Hand" seems to use the feature for writing therapy to ease the psychoneurotic trauma of overseeing a swiftly collapsing enterprise. In that squalid little forum of his, he can give expression to his apprehensions under the bogus guise of an elder churchman's world-weary ruminations. At the same time, through unsubtle hints, he endeavors to persuade the overburdened "Gerties" to part with more of their scarce cash to keep the dying St. Gertrude's Cult Center on life-support.

As you must have guessed by now, we Readers eagerly look forward to Dannie's journal of inner turmoil for the simple reason that it confirms all our conjectures. Let's take a look at two of His Transparency's recent disclosures. The first confirms our suspicions about the culties' losing interest in "One Hand's" paraliturgical dinner theater:
Fewer and fewer even make the Stations each year. The Friday evening Mass and supper have almost a handful, the same as at any other season. We shall not speak of Sunday Vespers or most weekday Masses, a lost cause.
"One Hand" appears to be lamenting the unpleasant truth that fewer people supplying his Friday soup kitchen means less free food for him and his beggarly crew. He's got five big mouths to feed, so the loss of a weekly gratis meal means he's got to dip into his own resources. That spells less money for fancy restaurants, lavish trips, and shopping sprees. Secondly, the cooling of enthusiasm translates directly into a lowering of cult revenues. The fewer times Wee Dan and his underlings see the cultie turnips, the less opportunity there is to squeeze the cash-bled victims for more money.

Deacon Dan's grousing corroborates all the danger signals we've seen flashing. One of the most alarming came by way of John Lane's Bellarmine Forums. In his thoughtful rebuttal of Cheeseball Checkie's latest effort to scare the faithful with the una-cum bogeyman, the well-respected moderator accurately summarized the Cekada's argument:
In other words, "Get yourselves over here to St. Gertrude's. After all, there's plenty of spare room these days!"
For those who aren't aware of it, the serious and learned Mr. Lane occupies a particularly well-placed position to know about the deep, secret goings-on at the SW Ohio cult. His cutting remark, combined with the reports we're receiving, gives the lie to the tall tales about SGG growth and prosperity.

More revealing than the low-attendance complaint is His Exigency's second disclosure:
God reward your generosity in your Sunday offerings. “Alms covereth a multitude of sin.” You are helping us pay the king’s ransom which the Duke demands for another of our “global warming” Winters. Imagine if it were really warm? I imagine the heating bills would be lower…
For those unfamiliar with the SW Ohio region, "the Duke" is Duke Energy, the giant electric and gas company down there. It's clear "the Duke" is an exacting overlord whom Dannie wishes to placate, for it seems that as long as the "Gerties" keep paying the fuel bills, everything's A-O.K. -- even if they don't attend stations and cater the weekly pot-luck pig outs.

After this year's record-cold winter in Ohio, the heating costs must have been astronomical. The cult center's poor design and shoddy construction undoubtedly contributed to the enormity of the bills. All those thousands of dollars flying out the windows and escaping through the ceilings must put a crimp in the cult masters' style.  Could it be that Dannie's benevolent wish is more in hope of donations to come than for donations already received?

We bet the "Gerties" are getting tired of the unending fundraising appeals and gimmicks. After all, they have stiff heating bills of their own to pay. In all probability, they hadn't planned on their tax refunds' being used to pay for someone else's bad decisions. These folks know there was no reason to move from the cult's old location on Reading Road to take on crushing new debt and crippling maintenance expenses. Now they're stuck paying for Dannie and Cheeseball's dream-turned-nightmare.

As public-spirited internet journalists, we'd like to help the downtrodden "Gerties" just say NO to bailing out the cult masters this season. Accordingly, here's our reading of Desperate Dan's exercise in auto-therapy.

Let's first note that Alms covereth a multitude of sin” are not actual words from Scripture. St. Peter (1 Pt 4:8) wrote, "charity* (= love) covereth a multitude of sins." But we won't quibble too much with Dannie's quotation twisting insofar as moral theologians consider alms as part of the universal law of charity. We understand Deacon Dan was just trying to tug violently on culties' heartstrings -- as well as their ever tightening purse strings -- to loosen up some cash. However, gullible "Gerties" should note:

Wee Dan cannot be the object of almsgiving!

Alms are for the needy. Almsgiving is the relief of our neighbors' necessity. How can Free Spendin' "One-Hand Dan" be needy when he's just returned from two back-to-back, expensive, unnecessary vacations abroad? And that reminds us of another question: who's paying for the Tony Baloney's monthly trips to the swampland pesthouse? If the rector doesn't reimburse the airfare , then where's the money coming from? If from the Blunderer's personal account, then he's not needy either.** And what about any retirement and savings accounts? They qualify as assets, too. And what about gifts and Mass stipends?

That's why, "Gerties," you shouldn't worry your microcephalic cultie heads. You don't have to fret about that king's ransom because there's plenty of cash in the rectory to appease "the Duke." So, go on: get your kid's teeth fixed -- and let the Gruesome Twosome dig deep into their reserves. No, indeed! The cult masters are in no way needy. They can't qualify for alms.  In fact, their non-stop money raising despoils you "Gerties" of your alms.

Nor can the cult masters compel support by appealing to the fifth commandment of the Church. The cult is not a canonically erected parish in the archdiocese and therefore has no real nexus with the Church. Moreover, there's positive doubt about "One Hand's" priestly and episcopal orders. As a result, there's also positive doubt about the validity of the orders of three of the malformed and/or unformed "clergy" under his whip hand.  No one is obligated to support doubtfully valid clergy.

In justice, the cult masters ought to contribute personally to defraying the heating expenses of the cult center. It's their design. They set the temperatures. They're the ones who insisted on the school, which must be a major contributor to the exorbitant heating bill. Ask yourselves this, "Gerties": Is St. Gertrude the Great School paying for the heat it consumes out of it's tuition revenues?

If the answer is no, "Gerties" ought to demand big changes, even though the cult center is owned by a cult-master-controlled civil corporation.  If the "Gerties" are expected to pay "the Duke," they should make their financial assistance contingent on a pledge from Dannie to stop foreign travel and to close the school.  All those salaries would certainly cover the heating and air-conditioning bills for the entire year, with plenty of money to spare! We wager that if the cult masters put SGG School to a vote of the chapel membership, an overwhelming majority would favor shutting it down and sending the staff packing.

Isn't it time for "Gerties" to put an end to this relentless panhandling? Right now they've got leverage. If they all just stopped the flow of cash, His Anxiousness would have to change his ways or head off into exile.

"The Duke" will make certain of that. 

*The Greek and Latin words for charity are ἀγάπη and c(h)aritas; for alms, ἐλεημοσύνη and  ele(e)mosyna.

** If it's coming from the general fund, then "Gerties" better reduce their weekly offerings. Why not ask Wee Dan for an accounting? It's your money, you know.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Citizens!/Consider my traveling expenses. Mayakovsky

Recently The Lay Pulpit blog featured two posts about "One Hand's" latest money-wasting junket to lovely, sunny Old Mexico -- an early spring getaway coming hard on the heels of his late winter vacation to gorgeous, summertime Argentina. (The links are here and here.) We Readers wonder when the cash-strapped zombie culties at SGG are going to insist that enough is enough. As the blogger noted, there was no need for Dannie to make a run for the border. México lindo already has an embarrassment of episcopal riches. Besides, as everyone knows, the priests could have performed the confirmations themselves.

But we all realize these trips are not about the spiritual good of the faithful, either in the U.S. or abroad. They're all about the theology of self-interest. "One-Hand Dan" anguishes daily as his prestige diminishes stateside. He can feel the searing contempt. The snide whispers burn his ears. He winces at the sneers, the dirty looks.  His own doubts loom like menacing shadows in the cemetery of his perished respectability. However, rather than reform, he heads south to rebuild his wrecked sense of self-worth through unneeded, unproductive, and costly foreign travel. We call it his apostolate of self-pity cum ego-state therapy.

You see, Dan's trying to make himself believe he's a well-loved, highly regarded, globe-trotting Catholic bishop(?) -- someone with status and purpose, not the despised plebeian failure he, in fact, is. Never mind that in one pueblito there were only eight confirmands. His Neediness must have, at any cost, consolation for all the well-earned disrespect Americans show him at every turn. And what could be better for wounded self-esteem than a colorful, noisy village fiesta so he can pretend he's Quetzalcoatl come home to roost in all his amaranthine plumage?

The travel might be justified if the Mexican chapels were paying the expenses. However, as The Lay Pulpit wrote, that's highly unlikely. We agree. We know Mexico. Traditionalist chapels down there are generally poor. The faithful who assist are the salt of the earth, but their cash resources are constrained. As a rule, it's all they can manage just to keep up their little chapels. Their priests often count on gringo patronage for extra cash in the form of Mass stipends or direct gifts. A bi-coastal, whirlwind tour with a leisurely sojourn for a few lazy days of grazing in the sprawling, cosmopolitan capital would have placed an intolerable financial burden on the locals.

Therefore, it makes sense to infer that U.S. culties got stuck with the tab. What a coincidence, considering all the latest news stories about Novus-Ordite episcopal excess Just last week, Papa Bergoglio fired that free-spender of the laity's money, the infamous German  Bishop of Bling. And how about the Atlanta archbishop's apology for his unconscionable extravagance? Maybe it's time the tapped-out "Gertrudians" take a close, long, emotionless look at the travel costs of SW Ohio's Winter-Weary Wandering Bishop(?).

Perhaps our own managerial experiences in reviewing expense accounts can guide the SGG lay auditors. For the sake of brevity, we'll confine ourselves to His Vagrancy's sightseeing tour in Mexico City, Distrito Federal (D.F.).  To be sure, His Errancy was mighty coy in his account. Nevertheless, we'll hazard a few guesses so "Gertrudians" can squeeze out the facts when they demand an accounting for this latest sun-kissed escapade.

Let's read what "One Hand" actually has to say about his arrival in monumental México De Efe (our emphasis):
There we were met by a Chilean priest, our old friend Fr. Mardones, and by Fr. Martin Gomez of Acapulco, now Dos Rios. We had dinner at an excellent Argentinean restaurant, consuming copious quantities of meat, as is the custom in these southern countries, even in Lent! We’re one of the few countries that do keep Lent and I’m happy to get back to it.    
The first set of questions "Gertrudians" should ask is, "Who is/are WE?" Is it the "papal we," or did Dannie bring along Fr. Hernán of Baja?  And who paid for Father's flight, and was it round-trip?

The second set is, where did Dannie stay in Mexico City, how much did it cost, and where did the money come from?
"One Hand's" remark about the Argentine restaurant may be a clue. The churrasquerías we know in D.F. are located in very upscale Polanco, the capital's Beverly Hills. In fact, both the Rincón Argentino and Camabalache are situated on Avenida Presidente Masaryk, Polanco's answer to Rodeo Drive. Mexico City is immense, so it might be likely that His Voraciousness opted to dine in the same high-priced neighborhood as his hotel.
The third is, who paid for the lodgings of the priests Hernán (if he accompanied Deacon Dan), Mardones, and Gómez, and where did they stay? In the same hotel as Wee Dannie? If they lodged on His Prodigality's nickel, how much did the bill total? ("Gertrudians" should check for room service and mini bar charges.)

The fourth question is, what was the entire cost for food and beverages during the Mexico City tour? 

The fifth question is, how much money did His Munificency hand out to the priests, either by way of stipends or subventions?

Mind you, these are questions relating solely to His Profligacy's holiday in the Mexican capital. They don't address other expenditures, such as the side trip to Puebla (about 70 miles away from D.F.) or the time in Baja and Dos Rios. We'll leave the formulation of those questions to the "Gertrudians." Once they get on a roll, there'll be no stopping 'em!

While they're holding His Spendthriftiness to account for his spree in the capital, "Gerties" shouldn't miss the opportunity to reprimand him for setting so bad an example by "consuming copious quantities of meat" during Lent. From Dining Dan's remarks, it sounds as though His Peckishness may well have ordered the parillada (mixed grill), a carnivore's gluttonous fantasy come-to-life: a super-sized platter groaning with thick blood sausages, plump chorizo, moist sweetbreads en brochette, juicy short ribs glistening with fat, char-broiled beef tenderloin, and several giant cuts of succulent, barbecued steak (perhaps washed down with a half-dozen icy bottles of Rojita, Mexican red pop).

Just imagine what a stomach-turning spectacle this motley dining party offered to the refined, elegant clientèle of exclusive and chic Polanco: a pack of ill-bred, chow-hound sede clergy boisterously gnawing their way through steaming piles of grilled carnage.


The ugliest part about it all is the Mexican government's anti-clerical policy. As a result, many educated élites have contempt for the Church. The sight of a norteamericano, grinning like a village idiot, accompanied by a posse of lip-smacking, palm-rubbing native clergy, pigging out during a season of penance would only have confirmed the official propaganda about religion and its unworthy ministers. A shame and a pity that His Pettifoggery resorted to crass legalism to dodge the soul-purifying sacrifices of Lent.

No one forced His Excessiveness to forsake the pious mortification we practice in the U.S. Leaving the country didn't automatically require him to leave U.S. Lenten practice behind as well. He could very easily have chosen not to take advantage of the relaxed discipline of a foreign land. Indeed, it would seem he had an obligation to remain faithful to the spirit of the season so as to demonstrate his solidarity with the hollow-eyed "Gerties" back home, who were left to slurp their thin, vegetarian soup. Most of the low-class cultie "rite-trash" can't afford de luxe spring vacations south of the Tropic of Cancer, where the rules are mitigated. However, instead of embracing sacrifice, His Non-Observancy elected to gorge himself on "copious quantities of meat" in front of a well-heeled but silently mocking crowd of his social superiors.

His Extravagancy also missed an opportunity to edify the Mexican priests who formed his ravenous entourage. Restraint on his part might have pricked their consciences. Contrary to what he suggests, not all Mexican or South American priests treat Lent with such scandalous contempt. Father Jaime Siordia, well accustomed to the austerities of the Italian seminary where he was trained, is known to keep Lent faithfully, giving his fellow countrymen a shining example of priestly self-control. Other Latin American clergy we know are equally observant.

The Bottom Line for the "Gerties" is this: The money His Wastefulness squandered on his silly adventure would have been better spent making repairs to the crumbling SGG infrastructure. Dannie doesn't need to travel: the only reason priests outside the cult suffer his presence is to get a handout and a free lunch. So...the next time Gold-Digging Dannie starts passing the hat when something needs a-fixin' at the shabby SW Ohio cult center, just say NO! 

His Opulency obviously has got cash to burn.