Saturday, March 28, 2015


Editor's Note: Like a world-class diagnostician who can detect the presence of a fatal disease in the minutest aberrations visible to the naked eye, Pistrina continues last week's theme by revealing another "little thing" that gives the lie to the cult masters' decidedly wrong opinion of themselves as true heirs to Catholic tradition. 

That Latin was no more difficile/Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle. Butler

Contrary to what others have written us in the last week, the Readers are definitely not opposed to aspiration. Indeed, aspirations, when accompanied by genuine achievement and hard work, lead to greatness in every arena of human endeavor. We do, however, object to abject failures or elementary successes shamelessly promoted as signs of a noble aspiration fulfilled. That's why we work hard to demythologize Dannie and Tony Baloney's fictional narrative that they embody the best traditions of the pre-Vatican II Church.

As a matter of principle, we don't have a problem with any priest's aspiring to match the highest standards of the past. And if he worked diligently to acquire the body of knowledge, skills, comportment, and ethos of pre-conciliar clergy, not only would we applaud him on the way, but we'd support him materially. Then, when he demonstrated after years of effort that he'd met or surpassed the standards, we'd be the first ones to laud and publish his achievement. Our enthusiasm would be honest, for it would be founded on the objective evidence of his performance and manner of life.

Above all else, such an aspiring cleric would inhabit entirely a Latin world of the mind. On all religious and liturgical questions, he would think in Latin and reflexively prefer Latin authors over those who write in the vernacular. He would mutter his personal prayers in Latin and strive daily to perfect his Latin composition. In reading Scripture and preparing a homily, he would exclusively use the Vulgate, never a translation, so that he could elucidate for the faithful the precise meaning of the text upon which he is preaching. In a nutshell, Church Latin would be his second nature.

One of our chief criticisms of the cult masters is that it's evident they don't live in a world totally informed by the Latin language, yet they (and their self-interested supporters) struggle to pretend they do. That may have been their aspiration 40 years ago, but, as our work has proved, they've failed to realize it. (These men just don't have the right stuff to begin with: it's not in their DNA.) It's important for the laity to know that without a complete Latin frame of mind, no cleric can ever claim to equal the best of the best of the pre-Vatican II Church, to being the real thing. Without complete mastery of the Church's Latin culture, it's all monkey see, monkey do. Like seeing a simian leafing through a newspaper, it's amusing to watch, but altogether a sham.

Most decent traditional priests know how far short of the mark of Catholic excellence they have fallen. While cleaving to the standard of the past as guide to their betterment, they are too conscious of their limitations -- and too honest -- to assert parity. They also realize that no sede today, especially an American sede, can hold a candle to the remarkably gifted, carefully selected, and generously trained priests of the past. (For such a cleric, we must look to South America and Europe.) Knowledgeable clergy outside the SW Ohio-Brooksville cult laugh themselves silly at Dannie's, Cheesy's, and Donnie's hollow self-promotion. The cult masters are demonstrably not the equals of the clergy of yesteryear, and that inequality starts with the non-Latin world they inhabit.

To the many we've already assembled on these blog pages, let's add yet another sparkling example of Dannie's alienation from the Catholic Latin world of the past:
On March 10, "One Hand" delivered a sermon on "Mass Math" to the pitiable, little cultling children. Preaching on the text of Mt 18:22, Dannie begins, "Lord, how many times should I forgive my neighbor if he offends against me? Up to seven times? No, up to seven times seventy times." A few minutes later he returns to the numerical expression, but this time it's changed to  "seven times seventy" or "490 times."
Already we hear the Close Loyalists of Dannie (CLODs) roaring that we're nitpicking over a small discrepancy between the expressions. We want assure them -- and our many fans -- that's not our aim here. Furthermore, we aren't quibbling over the fact that the initial quotation is a paraphrase of the Gospel text. Dirtbag Dan was simply adjusting his language for the unfortunate cult kiddies. No problem with that. You've got to keep your audience in mind.

No, our point is that if you were a Roman Catholic priest rooted in Latin, you could never say that the number of times our Lord commanded St. Peter to forgive an offender is 490.

By all means, we can see how an educated Protestant minister, with his faithful adherence to the Greek, might come up with that figure. The numeral in Mt 18:22 presents a well-known textual problem, and the form of the numeral as found in the standard Greek editions of the New Testament has duly elicited comment from standard scholarly reference grammars of New Testament Greek (v.g., Blass-Debrunner, Moulton, Robertson, Zerwick). In addition, we know that many translations note that the Koine figure may be rendered either "seventy times seven" or "seventy-seven times."

But we're not talking about Protestants or even Catholic clergy who ground themselves in the Greek text and the scholarly literature about it. Truly traditional Catholic clergy, even if they are competent in Greek, are different. They stand firmly rooted in the Latin Vulgate. In the case of Mt 18:22, they don't need to search outside the text. For, while there may be some doubt about the exact translation of the numeral in the Greek Matthew*, there is none whatsoever in the Latin: The Vulgate unambiguously reads septuagies septies, the numeral adverb meaning "seventy-seven times."

We'd agree that the TAN Douay-Rheims edition's "seventy times seven times" (the same as in the very first edition except for the archaic orthography) is so slavishly literal as to cause confusion in a modern reader. And we know that the Haydock edition of the Douay reads differently, printing "seventy times seven," like the King James version, and glosses the verse with "i.e., 490." Accordingly, we must infer that Dim Dannie has used in his sermonette two very different quantities, drawn, apparently, from different Douay editions without his even realizing the quantities are different!

(What a pea-brain! That kind of textual cluelessness probably deserves a separate post. These guys are not only ignorant, they're slow on the uptake as well.)

If Dannie did represent pre-Vatican II excellence as the cult PR insists he does, he would have first gone to the Latin text of St. Matthew, ignoring all translations. Finding septuagies septies, he would have instantly known without question that our Lord commanded Peter to forgive his brother up to 77 times, not 7 X 70 times (= 490). Seventy-seven times is the figure he should have told the cringing traddie tykes. If he had consulted the Haydock Bible (and we suspect he did), then he would have known not to accept either its figure or the annotated computation for the mathematically challenged.

But as we all have seen, Dannie cannot in any way be equated with the clergy of the past. His ignorance permanently impedes him from attaining the Latin outlook that adorned so many of the pre-Vatican II clergy. If he doesn't have Latin, then he can't possibly possess in full the other necessary characteristics of a Roman churchman.  Latin is the gatekeeper to the traditional faith. Without its perfect mastery, everything else you see is a tawdry façade. What we have in Tradistan is the mindless and awkward aping of tradition, not the real thing: it only looks authentic for a second.


* The problem arises from the Greek numeral printed in critical editions of the New Testament. The absolutely literal translation of hebdomēkontákis heptá is "seventy times (hebdomēkontákis) seven (heptá)." The Greek adverbial for "seventy-seven times" is hebdomēkontákis heptákis, but grammarians and textual critics -- considering the allusion to Gn 4:24 (lit. in Heb.: "If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy and seven") -- regard heptá as a scribal abbreviation for heptákis.

However, in the Vulgate there's no such textual ambiguity. The Latin clearly reads "seventy-seven times." The Jesuit Zerwick has a nice summary of scholarly opinion in this matter (translation by J. Smith, S.J.; transliteration ours for those who don't read Greek):
159. (Héōs) hebdomēkontákis heptá (Mt 18, 22) is not «seventy times seven» , but «seventy seven times» ( = hebdomēkontákis heptákis) as the Vulgate rightly translates it here and in Gen 4, 24, where the LXX has the same imperfect expression. Since the Genesis text deals with vengeance, and Matthew's with forgiveness, it is very probable that the Gospel text intentionally alludes to the OT one (Moulton)...
In confirmation, we find in Robertson, "Moulton considers rightly that the passage in Genesis settles the usage in Matthew." Blass-Debrunner notes the "peculiar" Greek numeral in Matthew should be read "'seventy-seven times' (not 'seventy times seven')..." This is by far not the only instance where modern scholarship confirms the correctness of our Latin Vulgate.

Isn't it a crying shame that the malformed cult masters of Tradistan have neither the training nor the brains to mine its riches?

Saturday, March 21, 2015


The age demanded an image/Of its accelerated grimace,/ Something for the modern stage,/Not, at any rate, an Attic grace. Pound

Traddielandia knows how much Pistrina hates pettiness. Yet, as we've written so often before, it's the little things that disclose the true state of affairs.

Dannie the Dork and Checkie Cheeseball have clawed and scratched for decades to trick Catholics into believing they're equal to the pre-Vatican II clergy. Just as assiduously, Pistrina has spent almost a lustrum in demonstrating conclusively they're not even close to the old standard of excellence. (For that matter, they're not even close to the old standard of mediocrity.) Two of the preposterous myths we've solidly debunked are (1) that "One Hand" is a man of broad culture (LOL) and (2) that the cult masters know Latin.

As the "gift that keep on giving," His Pretentiousness  is ever supplying the Readers with fresh instances confirming his gross deficiencies in cultural literacy and the Church's sacred language. Last week, in his simpering "Bishop's (?) Corner," Li'l Dan revealed once again how far out of his depth he has waded and how downright alien he is to the world of bona-fide learning. Dannie's got to do more than name his feral tomcat after a painter in order for the cognoscenti to regard him as cultured: He's got to learn some basic facts, too.

So, now, to gild the lily of our already proven contention that Dannie is a poseur, not a connoisseur, here's today's first exhibit (emphases ours) of another unsuccessful attempt to appear learned:
The young lady who did such a beautiful job on St. Francis has also repainted Our [sic] Lady’s robe for the Pietá [!!], beautifully colored and shadowed. 
As every properly educated schoolboy knows, the term for an artistic depiction of the dead body of Christ in the arms of the mourning Blessed Virgin Mary is spelled Pietà, with a grave accent, not an acute, as His Fatuousness mistakenly writes. (Pietà is Italian, a parola tronca [accent on final syllable], requiring the accento grave.)  Most people with an interest in Western art are familiar with the correct spelling, even if they haven't studied Italian. In spelling the word with an acute accent as he did, Daniel the Dunce bears witness to his scandalously inadequate schooling. Admit it, folks: He's an embarrassment to the traditional Catholic world.

Our second exhibit for the day is Dubious Dan's sign-off line to the same edition of his squalid "Corner," to wit, "Laetare!"

Inasmuch as his message was for Lætare Sunday, the pint-sized posturer thought he was being oh-so-churchmanly -and-urbane in inviting the sad-eyed, distempered Gerties to rejoice when he quoted the first Latin word of the day's Introit. How elegantly à propos, right?


Laetare is a singular present imperative, but Dannie's addressing a plural audience, for Pete's sake! 

No one who really knows Latin -- we mean, someone who's really educated and has a genuine feeling for the Church's tongue -- could bring himself to write the singular laetare for a plural audience. The gross error is akin to a middle-class English speaker's writing, "they is" (no doubt the usual idiom at SGG): an educated person just couldn't make such a mistake. By second mature, a properly instructed soul would have, without thinking twice, written laetamini, the plural imperative. Using the singular form would never have occurred to him in the first place.

However, a university-trained cleric of taste would also know that writing laetamini in an informal message directed to the barely literate, head-scratching Gertie rite-trash would amount to insufferable pedantry. It's also more than likely that the few semi-literates who remain caught in the cult's deadly embrace might not be able to guess with any ease at the  precise relationship between laetare and laetamini. To be frank, normal traditional Catholics outside the cult couldn't be expected to make the connection either. (The same might be said of a very large number of traddie priests.)

What Dannie should have done was to have closed with the whole phrase Laetare, Jerusalem.* In so doing, he wouldn't have exposed to ridicule his ignorance of Latin. At the same time, he would have flattered the cultlings into imagining that they, under his one-handed control, composed the body politic of the messianic city, the mother of Christians. Granted, the conceit's utterly without foundation, but it would work at all levels, even though the apocalyptic "great city" Babylon is the more fitting analogue for Gertieville.

Naturally, he could have closed with the English "Rejoice"and communicated the same message without the discomfiting linguistic failure. That sensible option, however, wouldn't have promoted the false image he wants so painfully for people to swallow. In Li'l Dan's ego-centric world, pretense trumps substance.

Isn't it time for everyone to confront the cold, harsh reality that "One-Hand Dan" and the Blunderer as well as the rector are in no wise like pre-Vatican II clergy? The three are buffoonish characters in a seedy, melancholy burlesque.  The image they project is the grotesquely distorted reflection of a carnival fun-house mirror. Trad World is better off with its self-confessed ignoramuses than with these gauche pretenders.

They are definitely not the real thing. They aren't even big fish in a small pond. They're intellectual minnows in a vast, inhospitable salt-water ocean, where they can't last too much longer.


* We've anticipated that one of the malformed, logic-chopping close loyalists of Dannie (CLODs) is going to rush to his Missal and inanely argue that other verbs in the Lætare-Sunday Introit are actual plural imperatives, so Dirtbag Dan is justified in using the singular Laetare alone. Let's save the hopelessly miseducated some embarrassment with a brief explanation.

Three separate grammatical entities are directly addressed in the Introit, each one with a different imperative verb: (1) the personified city Jerusalem, (2) those who love her, and (3) those who have been in sadness. Jerusalem is bidden by a singular imperative, "rejoice"; those who love her are charged by a plural imperative, "come together (lit. 'make an assembly')"; and those have been in sadness are enjoined by the plural imperative phrase, "be glad with happiness."  Laetare, then, belongs solely to the grammatically singular vocative Jerusalem.

The Vulgate version of Isaias 66: 10-11, the source of the antiphon of the Introit,  does employ the plural form: Laetamini cum Jerusalem, "Rejoice [ye] with Jersusalem." However, the Introit Mass text is not taken from the Vulgate, which is based on the Hebrew version; it comes from the Itala (Vetus Latina), which is based on the LXX.

Accordingly, if your vanity demands you use the Roman Missal's form of the verb when addressing more than one person -- and if your vanity demands in addition that everyone know you're referencing the Missal --  you must then cite the entire phrase Lætare, Jerusalem, "Rejoice, O Jerusalem," wherein Jerusalem is vocative. Otherwise you risk exposure to public ignominy -- just like Dim Dan.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Business? It's quite simple. It's other people's money. Dumas fils

Inasmuch as Dirtbag Dan's March 8 "Bishop's (?) Corner" echoed the themes of last week's Pistrina post, we just had to follow up with some additional observations. As you may recall, a week ago we solemnly warned, "[t]he Gerties must surely be aware that the 'envelopes' will never be enough" to pay off this winter's "horrendous" utility bill.

Dubious Dan, we predicted with our usual spot-on accuracy, will come pounding on the door like a grubby repo man in search of overdue payments above and beyond the pittances in the envelopes.  He's got to cover the staggering cost to heat the poorly designed, shoddily built, and incompetently managed cult center or there'll be no holiday at the fashionable Bishop's Lodge in trendy Santa Fe this year.

And sure enough, in a frenzy of anxiety (and a dearth of politesse), Dannie the Dunner came a-collectin':
We missed you, but we hope you will not miss your weekly contribution. We will certainly need all of you to make up for any missed envelopes, and even some Lenten sacrifices to make the king’s ransom the Duke will be sending round to collect. 
The first "missed" in the quotation echoed the three (yep, count 'em: 1, 2, 3) occurrences of the same word in the previous paragraph: "But sixty or so of you were stranded, and thus missed Mass. We missed you. If you missed the Mass... " Dannie knows the Gerties are dumber than a box of rocks -- who else but a moron would support him, the Cheeseball, the McFaker, Lurch, and the Forlorn Finn? -- so he had to guarantee they got the point: Dannie missed their money! 

To make sure the cultling pinheads got his drift, His Neediness, you 'll observe, followed up with pregnant "miss" and then the impossible-to-misinterpret "missed envelopes." But Panhandlin' Dan knew better than to let the Gerties think they could get off the hook by turning in the envelopes that went missing in action during the bout inclement weather.

Oh, no, not by a scraggly hair of their double chinny-chin-chins will the Gerties get off cheap this year!

Dannie confirmed what we had already guessed: the "envelopes" won't be enough. The Gerties will have to make additional "Lenten Sacrifices" (translation: hand over even more of your money) to clean up his mess. The crass cynicism is heartbreaking. It's worse than selling indulgences: The cult masters can't manage the budget, so Dan tarts up a slimy bailout scheme in religious disguise to hoodwink the suckers. Reprehensible -- and you thought the Fed played fast and loose with peoples' money!

So all this leads us to the big question:

Where's Dannie's "Lenten Sacrifice"?

At the risk of repeating ourselves, why did His Prodigality buy an unneeded replacement organ in the middle of winter heating season? Why did he insist on vacationing recently in sunny Florida and radiant Mexico? All that wasted money could have relieved the cash-strapped Gerties from having to part with more of their precious savings in these tough economic times. Will Dannie promise not to spend a leisurely week at his and Checkie's favorite Southwestern luxury spa if the cultlings come through with the extra cash? We don't think so.

As we said last week, the old organ could have been updated, and it wasn't absolutely necessary to lead the retreat at the Swampland pesthouse (Big Don could've done it better anyway) or to confirm in Mexico, for that matter. The Gerties can't afford to indulge Checkie's dalliance "in seventh heaven with our new old organ" when they've got their own families to feed, clothe, and educate. And, as we've said before, there's a slew of traditional and valid bishops available south of the border.

From what we've recently read and heard, we think there just might be a real possibility that the Gerties won't be as forthcoming this year with a bailout. There's growing disaffection with the non-stop demands for cash. Dannie himself unwittingly gave us this sober hint of the Gerties' nascent resistance to further abuse:
We ran out of Lenten food last week, and Father [= the Forlorn Finn] has proven a most talented and creative vegan cook. He fed us “hamburgers” one night, and pasta and “meatballs” another, and all without the meat! Fr. Cekada was delighted by the vegan mayonnaise, and we were all charmed by many such small touches that make for a great meal. I am grateful for the relief, as I used to be terribly distracted during Vespers by the thought of what to feed the Fathers.
Let's imaginatively deconstruct this message.  First, to "run out of Lenten food" cannot possibly mean that the cupboards were bare and the mouse-infested fridge empty. That scarcity could've been easily remedied by a quick trip to the neighborhood supermarket. (Indeed, they must have had to do some marketing to buy either soy milk or tofu for the vegan mayo.)

Our guess is that, in an updating of  Lysistrata, the exhausted Gertie womenfolk have stopped supplying catered meals for these lazybones clerics, and Dannie's trying to shame them back into the kitchen. Without a doubt, the cult matrons are distressed that the meals they slaved over were put away half eaten as fare for rodents. (Kudos to that as yet unknown "Lysisdeipna" who first put her foot down and refused to be taken advantage of again.)

There's a very good lesson in this anecdote for the overworked cultling chattel: when it comes to eating or going without, these moochers are perfectly able to fix their own meals. There are usually four to five clerical louts loitering around, so no lay homemaker need burden herself by preparing a big feed for the malformed slacker ingrates. And if Li'l Dan had any organizational skills, he'd build a schedule of kitchen duties each month and thereby relieve himself of daily, last-minute worrying about "what to feed the Fathers" -- and himself!

Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope the Gerties are finally getting tired of incessant fundraising projects and other unreasonable demands on their time and personal resources. After all, these clerics are, at best, petits bourgeois, not upper-crust elites deserving of special treatment. The end of the slavish catering duties may spell the beginning of the lay revolt against the oppressive cult masters. We'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, you Gerties who've missed offering tribute to the beast have Pistrina's permission to

rip those envelopes open and reclaim your money -- and don't answer the door when Dannie knocks. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Who could foretell this sore distress,/This irretrievable disaster/When first we met? Bridges

We're sometimes amazed at our prescience. Indeed, if we Readers were living in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, we'd be hanged on the barren slope of Gallows Hill as necromancers: Every time we examine the rotting cadaver of Tradistan and conjecture about the cult masters' motives, out of their own mouths they themselves confirm our droll predictions.

Back on February 15, we reported on the proposed wasteful purchase of a replacement electronic organ for the sagging SGG cult center. Along with a commenter, we had speculated that a driving force behind the unneeded acquisition was Tony Baloney's unbridled appetite for a fancier toy

Sure enough, last week in his "Bishop's (?) Corner," Dubious Dan vindicated us. After informing the Gertie suckers of the organ's imminent delivery (!!) even though, apparently, all the funds haven't yet been raised, he proudly boasted that "a contented Fr. Cekada will soon be able to blast away once more at the console."

Do we know these scheming clowns, or don't we?!

To be truthful, it doesn't take the gift of second sight or a tarot deck to divine their intentions. With a little insight, anyone can follow the glaring arc traced by their luminous greed. They're simply parasites who co-opt other people's resources to feed their immoderate, insatiable craving for stuff.

Like peevish, calculating adolescent-tyrants manipulating cowed parents who've reached their wits' end, cult clergy cannot distinguish between malignant wants and real needs. And, more often than not, the objects they hunger for are less desirable than the psychological control that results when people surrender to their incessant demands. What drives their behavior seems to be an itching mania to possess and to dispossess at the same time.

The appearance of one outlandish demand is always accompanied by additional impositions. Notice how His Spendthriftiness didn't blush to couple the announcement of this latest act of wanton profligacy with a naked reminder for more cash owing to the Siberian weather visited upon SW Ohio: "Don’t forget those envelopes," he was quick to threaten the over-burdened cultlings.  "The heating bills will be horrendous." (The Gerties must surely be aware that the "envelopes" will never be enough: there WILL be another special appeal to pay off the fuel debt. They'll have to dig deeper: The chic, Southwestern Bishop's Lodge beckons like a desert Lorelei and won't be ignored.)

The prospect of high fuel charges for the record-breaking cold raises the important question of basic household management. Why didn't SGG's "pastor" budget the money to cover the costs? More to the point, why did His Incompetency buy the replacement organ in addition to vacationing in Mexico and Florida when he knew big heating bills were just around the corner?

No one's going to bail out the hard-scrabble, shivering Gerties when the Duke Energy bill nests like a monstrous, black bird of prey in their shabby mailboxes. They had to sacrifice to make certain they'd have money in the bank to pay the utility company. Many cultling families will have to cut back on small but coveted luxuries and longed-for vacations this year, so why can't Big-Spendin' Dan? The money he and Checkie are raising for that replacement organ -- $5,000 - $6,000 -- could have covered the obligation. And if more were needed, that could have come from the airfare and land expenses for the Dirtbag's two winter vacations. Why can't Dannie, that pontificulus esuriens, learn to live within his means? The faithful have to.

We're willing to wager that "One Hand" has experienced (or anticipated) some resistance to the organ purchase, for he found it necessary to add the patently defensive sentence, "The old organ really is old, and slowly dying." From what we've been told, Checkie could have frugally prolonged the life of the old instrument instead of purchasing a replacement -- and a second-hand replacement at that.  However, the Checkmeister, always in search of novelty and gratification, characteristically decided to pull the plug and withhold life support. Sound familiar?

On top of the new organ expenditure and looming heating bills, Deacon Dan informs us the rabies-vector vermin are back: 
The beasts have returned to our walls. Poor devils, I’m sure the cold drove them to it... Who could resist? Maybe a kind soul will bait the traps again and bear away the little invaders.
We remember Dannie's telling us a few weeks back that professional exterminators had been summoned to rid the crumbling cult center of the filthy, invading raccoons. Why can't the wildlife-control company be called back? Didn't they give a guarantee? If they didn't, isn't there enough money to schedule a follow-up visit? Deacon Dan had better do something quickly because March is still raccoon breeding season.

And why, may we ask, does someone else have to bait the traps? Why can't Lurch, Uneven Steven McFaker, the Forlorn Finn, or Tony Baloney help out a little? It can't be that hard to learn to set and bait a trap, and then dispose of the contents, dead or alive. We hear marshmallows are a critter favorite. There may be some left over from last summer's cult bonfire orgy, unless the army of mice settled in at the priests' quarters got 'em.

It's time for all high-flying Traddie clerics and prelatasters to come down to the real world to see how decent people live and work. Do yourselves -- and them -- a favor: