There's no thief like a bad book. Italian Proverb
Editor's note: Be warned — today's post is a little lengthy and a bit technical. Ever since we laid bare numerous disgraceful blunders in Dannie's ORDO 2016, our European and Latin American readers have asked for in-depth evidence of outright incapacity. They want to warn the public against this made-in-the-USA stain on the reputation of traditional Catholicism. Additionally, several American laypersons have requested more details about the ordo's failures in order to confront their "priests" and demand a change. Whether you're a liturgist or not, the information we present will confirm everyone's suspicion that the SW Ohio cult is an utter sham.
In keeping with our December promise, today we launch a new 2016 monthly series exposing the mistakes in Dannie's ORDO 2016 (which curiously is no longer available on the cult's website*). Insofar as our two posts last month were devoted to awful blunders in Latin, we thought today's subject should, for a welcome change, focus on the editorial incompetence manifest in Wee Dan's Iliad of errors. Owing to the complexity of explaining the ineptitude we've uncovered, we decided to break "Disordered Ordo I" into two parts, the second to appear next week.
As you enjoy this series throughout the year, you'll come to agree that whoever put this mess together did so without any thought: he just went through the motions without the light of a human intellect to guide him. What a rough adolescence this cretin must have had as he tearfully endured his siblings' insults, his parents' angry disappointment, his teachers' contempt, and his schoolmates' taunts. No wonder he fled to Tradistan USA: he's a perfect match for all the other clerical misfits who suffer from similar irremediable deficits.
The trouble with letting malformed knuckle-draggers compile an ordo is they have no understanding of what the job entails. Providing correct dates, liturgical colors and ranks, special notes for the day, and accurate missal and breviary settings represents only half of a competent compiler-editor's work. The remainder consists in assuring that the product is internally consistent and user friendly so as to facilitate a priest's duty to give due praise to God in accordance with the mind of the Church.
For someone possessing intelligence and an advanced education, the first half is the easier because most of what's required is available in pre-Vatican II sources. All that's needed is a command of Latin, a working knowledge of the rules, some reference books, discipline, and the ability to transcribe with precision. The second part is really more complex, though less labor intensive. It demands attention to detail, a tidy mind, and a sympathetic understanding of the end-user's needs. We've already had a glimpse of the SGG compiler's inability to carry out his obligations in his first set of tasks. Today and next week we take a long look at the clerical moron's unfitness to meet the mandates of the second.
1. Scattered over the SGG text entries is the glyph + abbreviation ℞ br. Strangely (or not so strangely, when you know these cult simpletons), we didn't find it explained on the abbreviations page at the beginning. You see, it's not a question of whether we can figure out easily enough what " ℞ br." stands for. In this unimaginatively edited waste of time and Gerties' money, we'd wager that almost every abbreviation it registers — or doesn't register — can be effortlessly divined. Our point here is that if the letter-like symbol ℞ is listed, as it indeed is, then br. should also appear somewhere on the abbreviations page if only for the sake of accuracy, consistency, and completeness. (The witless compiler, after all, explained "L br." under "L," so why not explain ℞ br.?)
As a snide aside, we note that maybe if Checkie hadn't wasted money on an unneeded old-new organ, the cult might have been able to afford a font with the conventional response (responsory, responsorium) sign. Then they wouldn't have had to resort to the ridiculous "Prescription Take" (recipe) symbol we see.2. Any compiler, even one so deficient as this sub-educated loser, must in practice employ the abbreviations he explains, if he wants to appear to have his wits about him. Not so with Dannie's ORDO 2016. On the abbreviations page, we find tt for the frequently used word tantum (="only"), but in the text we found the word spelled out at least at least 62 times (!!), and not once did we come across a single tt. Why have an abbreviations page at all, if you're not going to take advantage of its content?
3. On three occasions, we noted the abbreviation m.v. signaling an altered strophe in a hymn. Again, it's no problem figuring out what's meant, but if you include an entry explaining the abbreviation "mtv." for the third-verse change in the hymn Iste Confessor, then the same should be done with m.v., supposing, that is, you're gifted with an organized mind.
We're going off the track a bit here, but our liturgically minded followers in Europe and Latin America may rightly ask why an ordo produced by SGG, the home of over-the-top liturgical extravaganzas, doesn't follow tradition in the case of the proper hymn strophes for the feasts of the Finding and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Most of the old ordines in our collection (and we possess exemplars dating back to the late 18th century) specify kneeling at the modified strophe (as the Roman Breviary directs).
Surely, at May 2 the following miracle of economy found in some last-century American ordines, viz., O Crux, ave ... flexis genibus, radiates a liturgical sensitivity and an editorial acuity far superior to the prolix and pedestrian "In Hymn. Vexilla Regis m.v. O Crux ... Paschale quæ fers gaudium" of the source from which Dannie's troubled boy borrowed! More significantly, we should ask why Dannie would forego the prestige of the following hyper-correct liturgical reminder printed in the 1954 Cincinnati ordo, which we know he had available:
"O Crux, ave ...flexis cum Choro genib, a Celebrte ad scamnum per tot stropham."
Isn't it a cult meme that SGG's the heir to the archdiocese's traditions? Why didn't Dirtbag Dan seek for treasures at home? Maybe the SGG cult crew just forgot they were supposed to be the last place in Christendom to practice all the ceremonies. (It's easy to do, you know, when there's no reality behind your claims.)4, 5, and 6. Despite the relatively frequent occurrence throughout the unsightly text of the abbreviations Antt., Pss(.), and capp., they do not figure in the list of abbreviations, whereas "rel.," which we found only once (p. 14), has a place. Now even if "rel." isn't a hapax legomenon, wouldn't it be competent editorial practice to spell out in full any word so infrequently used rather than abbreviate it in such a way as to require its annotation on a master list? (And if the answer is a brassy NO!, then why didn't Dannie's pinhead compiler explicate the "rat." that appears on p. 8 at Jan. 11?)
Heavy abbreviation was a practical necessity insofar as the 20th-century ordines we've seen were usually printed as 32mo volumes (roughly 3" x 5"). And despite the larger size of today's traditional ordines, abbreviation is still necessary. It's worth recalling that, in the good ol' days before V II, an ordo didn't explain most of its repeated abbreviations. It didn't need to. Then the clergy could read Latin fluently and thus fill in the missing letters. Indeed, unexplained abbreviations for obvious words also appeared in the detailed rubrical notes and fore matter written in extended prose.
Inasmuch as the competent old compilers had sense, and the well-formed users of yesteryear possessed a knowledge of Latin, a period after every abbreviated word was an unnecessary threat to readability (and the demands of space). Thus when you read many an ordo from the '20's, 30's, '40's, and '50's, you'll note that periods are infrequent (used mainly to separate sections) or sometimes they're almost non-existent (as in the 1954 Cincinnati edition). The result is a clean, user-friendly text without the distracting visual clutter that excessive pointing would bring to highly abbreviated copy.
Dannie's ORDO 2016 is, as you'd expect, missing this editorial virtue. Almost every abbreviation is followed by a period, and periods also signal the section endings. Coupled with all the commas, semi-colons, and colons, the crowded pages look almost as if they had been printed in braille. Every ill-designed leaf strains the eye, making it difficult to navigate the content, thereby increasing exponentially the chances of misinterpretation (= liturgical error). The lamentable fact that Dannie's challenged compiler didn't notice the unsightliness or its effect on readability is another token of this bird-brain's woeful preparation for Catholic prime time.
Gargantuan, however, as the above faults are, they're dwarfed by the editorial failures we'll discuss next week, where in one note we demonstrate how punctuation and bad Latin produce rubrical nonsense. So mark your calendars for an "appointment post" on January 30! See you then. In the meantime,
* Late in the first week of January, we noticed the cult masters had taken down the ORDO 2016 page on SGGResources.org — less than two weeks following our second scathing exposure of its gross blunders in Latin (click here and here to review the posts). One implausible reason for the disappearance might be that they sold (or gave away) all their copies. However, we can hardly believe that. First, if the supply had been exhausted, the cult masters would have kept the page up as a token of their liturgical preëminence in Sedelandia and simply entered a message like "OUT OF STOCK" or "SOLD OUT."
Second, from what we understand, the cult does its own printing on an expensive copier they bought a few years ago. It then wouldn't take much effort to trumpet "MORE ON THE WAY" and then run off additional copies. (The obviously amateur product is only held together with spiral coil binding, so even if the copier, like the organ, broke down, they could run off more copies at the local FedEx office print and ship center.)
Therefore, there's got to be a more serious reason for the SGG cult masters to forego so much prestige. We certainly didn't shame them into it, nor did the threat of this year-long series induce them to take that piece of trash off the market. These guys are shameless as well as arrogant, and we're under no illusions we can force them to behave well. Maybe one of the rector's creatures told the Donster to get Dannie to pull that embarrassment off the market to minimize the damage to the cult cartel's already greatly diminished standing in TradWorld.
If that's true, maybe the rector can get Dannie to refund the money to those who have already purchased a copy of ORDO 2016. It's the right thing to do.