In his 1948 classic Zen in the Art of Archery, Eugen Herrigel narrates how he employed a ruse to mimic the skilled Kyūdō archer's unconscious, natural release of the bowstring. At first, his teacher, Awa Kenzô, is almost deceived. However, thanks to long years of faithfully living his exquisite art, after the briefest of pauses, the master rebukes his pupil for the deception.
This is the indignant response of an intelligent lay person with a sensus Catholicus, who takes a good, long second look at the SGG-Brooksville dog-and-pony show. On the surface, it appears to be Catholic, but as soon as you examine it mindfully, you know something's awry. It just doesn't quite feel right. No matter what your eyes tell you, your heart and intellect warn: The whole thing's all off-center.
Maybe it's Dannie's cloying piety coupled with the ghoulish tales of his ever-vomiting, bloodthirsty cat. Or it could be Cekada's embarrassingly bad scholarship. It might be Big Don's laughably inadequate pesthouse with its malformed inmates and punishment-loving "teaching" staff. Perhaps it's the relentless fundraising, the lavish vacations in the extravagantly fashionable Southwest. Or maybe it's the over-the-top foreign travel. Often it's simply the craziness: the invented dogmas, the banishments, the twisted theology, the hypocrisy, the postponed absolutions, the money grubbing, the "hickory stick" educational philosophy, the denial of sacraments, the bad mouthing of other priests, the emotional outbursts from the pulpit, and the frequent upheavals where the scandalized faithful en masse abandon cult chapels in outrage.
Whatever it is, an assured voice deep inside you urgently whispers, "This hateful mummery cannot be true Catholicism."
In the final analysis, the cult can't pass the "duck test." Oh, yes, it has wings, but it only looks like a duck provided you're myopic and standing a long way off. To be sure, it splashes about to remove gore and filth, but it doesn't swim like a duck. And on a howling, windy day, it's guttural hiss or nasal whine may almost -- but not quite -- sound like a duck's quack to the hearing impaired. So under normal conditions, even if you're totally blind and stone deaf, you're sure the odd bird is no duck, no matter what "One-Hand Dan," Erroneous Antonius, and Big Don tell you: You know it's a scavenging turkey vulture.
In the next few weeks, we'll remind you that when you came upon the SGG-Brooksville cult, you didn't discover a traditional Catholic Shangri-La guided by a wise hierophant like the gentle High Lama of Frank Capra's Lost Horizon. Instead, like George Clooney in the Rodriguez-Tarentino film From Dusk Till Dawn, you witlessly stumbled past a garish façade into a hellish pit of horrors.
Let's get our summer series started today with an example from the hinterland of Tradistan. We won't comment. We'll just give you the facts. You'll be able to conclude on your own that the behavior described is not that of an authentic Catholic priest. He's an honest-to-goodness fake.
This malformed basket-case is no longer directly affiliated with SGG, but he keeps in contact with the cult masters, on occasion dining intimately with them or substituting for them at SGG if they all happen to be away for an "ordination." His Latin is more than doubtful; he used to be seen carrying an English translation of the Breviary. Another person reports he uses an English-language ordo. He frequently mispronounces both Latin and English words, and still has not learned the correct pronunciation of "Bergoglio." (The moron says burr-GOGG-lee-oh.) As one disgusted informant told us, this sorry excuse for a Catholic priest once asked him to translate the Missal rubrics for handling and purifying the chalice on All Souls' Day. The bulk of his reading material consists of pietistic leaflets and spiritual booklets aimed at a low-level lay readership.
He once refused to prepare a young couple at his chapel for matrimony. Tellingly, he wouldn't consent to marry them, claiming his apostolate for the sick and dying left him unprepared for such complexities. (At great inconvenience, the family had to look for another priest.) Despite saying daily Mass for many, many years, he always seems unsure of himself when he celebrates, often betraying his uncertainty with false movements, non-standard liturgical gestures, sighs, and long pauses.
His presence at the altar is a scandal, as his chasuble is almost always disgracefully wrinkled and ofttimes soiled. Customarily he wears an un-ironed tab-collar clerical shirt à la Novus Ordo, with a cross of some kind dangling wildly from his neck. He insists on using the Pius XII rite, but on one Palm Sunday, he read the wrong Gospels. On Good Friday, he recites the tre ore because the Mass of the Presanctified is too complicated for him. He barely can celebrate a Missa cantata, and, in our memory, has only done so once.
He frequently postpones absolution for penitents, especially women. Once when a Novus Ordite wanted to join the traditional Church, he said he had to think about what to do. After coming back once and getting no answer again, the man, a professional, never returned. On another occasion, he denied a woman communion. When confronted afterward, he told the family he had not been sure whether she had gone to confession. Later when the woman went to confession to him on Good Friday, he denied her communion on Easter Sunday, alleging he did not know that she had confessed and received his absolution.
At the baptism of the woman's child, he threatened the assembled friends and family that he would not perform the sacrament unless a young female bystander left. He considered her to be immodestly dressed. From the pulpit, he appears obsessed with women's attire, especially their footwear. He's concocted a sicko rule that summer shoes must have a strap of some sort so the soles don't flap when walking. He loves to scold the laity, and, worse still, he's always on the verge of flipping his wig. Years ago, a young Mexican priest, who had to lodge with him at one of the cult's residences, used to lock the door to his room in fear of what might befall him.
This weird and unholy behavior is not the coin of the Catholic realm. It's an out-and-out forgery of priestly comportment. Ignorant people only put up with it because they're spiritually terrorized. No matter how many hollow pieties he croaks, no matter how dour his perpetually frowning countenance, this loathsome, ignorant creature can never be esteemed a genuine Catholic priest. In the old days, he would have been packed off to a monastery, never to darken a church's door again. (Of course, in the old days, this repulsive parasite never would have gotten into a seminary in the first place, not even as a substitute janitor.)
Since the monastery-option's not available to Traddies, the only recourse is to withdraw all support and stay away until this bad penny gets out of circulation. Better to stay home alone than to offend the faith by supporting and abetting an unholy sham.