Of late, the media have been been spinning in a moral tizzy with hand-wringing outrage over fake news. Bergie himself, who stuck his nose into the uproar last week, declared it sinful. (One of the few sins still around in the Vatican Establishment, we suppose.)
In PL's view, equally reprehensible is fake repute. Fake news is swiftly discredited as the truth swiftly comes to light. But fake repute endures because people don't want to surrender a comforting meme even when faced with evidence disconfirming their misplaced esteem. It then takes persistent effort and lots of repetition to motivate folks to abandon their misbelief.
In the aftermath of the calamitous 2009 SGG School Scandal, so much information surfaced on the web that it's probably reasonable to assume that no one, neither rite-trash cultist nor drool-glazed pesthouse completer, believes any longer that Tony Baloney is a "great scholar and theologian." Likewise, nobody with half a brain today assents to all the hype touting His Excremency, "One-Hand Dan," as a "man of broad culture" and an "expert liturgist." TradWorld 's citizens have been set straight on the Dynamic Duo: One by one, the folks're walking —if not running — away.
But in the case of Tradzilla, there persists a widely accepted canard that he's the SUPREME AUTHORITY; that he's the revered go-to guy in Traddielandia for the last word when it comes to matters ecclesiastical; that he epitomizes the intellectual standards of pre-Vatican II clergy. This amusing but pathological delusion may explain why many, including some independent "clergy," still feed his insatiable money-lust or play the lap dog in spite of their intense, personal dislike for him.
Part of the blame falls on PL. We've spent most of our time exposing "One Hand's" and Bonehead Tone's errors. In our defense, on a number of occasions we've pilloried Big Don for cringeworthy gaffes in his turgidly written newsletter — remember his howling blunder "desirous of living a more hermetic life" (click here)? Nonetheless, as many correspondents have fraternally chided us, we haven't done as much as we should have to correct the mistaken impression of Tradzilla's "expertise."
In this busy week before the Christmas weekend, we'll make amends for our negligence. It's important for traditional Catholics to realize Big Don is definitely not the master of churchly lore that the guileful Tradistani PR machine claims he is. As is PL's custom in these matters, the Readers will zero in on one seemingly small (but in truth hugely significant) detail, inasmuch as it's the little things in life that reveal the most.
We discovered today's tell-tale blunder by happenstance, as we were scanning the November 2016 pesthouse newsletter in a fruitless search for Tradzilla's announcement of the formation of his long-promised new organization of "priests" (and possibly at least one other spineless "prelate"). On page 3, in the caption beneath a photograph of Raymond Cardinal Burke, we read the following:
The magnificence of the cardinalatial robes consists in the fact that they are reflections of the glory of the Catholic Church ...
The Readers bet the hillbilly cultists and hollow-eyed completers were passing impressed with the lumbering polysyllabic qualifier "cardinalatial." Not without reason we surmise the Donster was pretty proud of himself, too. What a rare, virtuosic command of ecclesiastical protocol! How the word slips with oleaginous luxury around and off the tongue, like a mouthful of warmed petroleum jelly.
Ah! that lilting cadence, an even run of a Leonine cursus planus without caesura: 🎶TUM-tiddy-TUM-tee🎶. This, kind friends and cult-crazy foes alike, is a word peerless, disciplinary experts trot out for our admiration and humiliation — a word from the domain of the chancery "in crowd." We, the uninitiated lay masses, recalling the lessons of freshman-year composition, would've penned without affectation, "... the cardinal's robes...." But only fastidiously schooled, real-McCoy clergy have an adjective like cardinalatial lodged in their honeyed throats. None other than an élite churchman could've mined such a sesquipedalian gem from the deepest, darkest recesses of the English lexicon.
E X C E P T ... cardinalatial isn't the lexical unit the really educated would have typed!
The adjective's etymologically correct form is cardinalitial.
Yeah, sure, lexicographers have attested to Donnie's nonstandard lexeme,* but the same can be said for that barbarity irregardless. When it comes to the form recognized by authoritative dictionaries like the New Shorter O.E.D. or Webster's Third International Unabridged, you'll find it's cardinalitial.
If, however, you don't read Church documents in Latin, then by all means you'll never come across clues to the correct English spelling in terms-of-art like rotulus cardinalitius** (= annual dividend paid to cardinals resident at Rome) and titulus cardinalitius** (= title taken by a cardinal from a titular church of Rome), or in whole clauses like Cardinales... qui dignitati cardinalitiae... renuntiaverunt... and Habitus quem vocant cardinalitium... (from Pius XII's 1945 constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis).
Additionally, if you don't read Italian or French works on the subject of Church polity, you'll never encounter phrases like dignità cardinalizia or prérogatives cardinalices.*** And if you don't understand much about classical and post-classical formation of Latin words, then you won't know why the vowel is i and not a in English. Without approved models to guide you — and if you're too slothful to consult a reputable dictionary — then you just make it up out of thin air. Perhaps, may we guess, like Big Don ... on the misguided analogy of palatial, an adjective dear to his checked upwardly mobile aspirations?
To all you Tradzilla fans out there, we say, Go for the gusto: guzzle all the theologically adulterated cult Kool-Aid you want about women's clothing/footwear, mixed swimming, or the una-cum-as-dogma fairy tale. (Whatever floats your pervo boat is O.K. by PL. ) However, if you have any regard for ecclesiastical learning, reject the myth of Big Don as past-master of Catholica. Spit out at once any of that swill, if you took a sip.
Amid the gathering disintegration of Tradistan, try to earn a little respect from cult-free traditional Catholics by jumping off the Swampland bandwagon. Acknowledge Tradzilla for what he is — a foiled arriviste, counting on his bamboozled boosters not to notice the unnerving absence of intellectual pedigree. And, once you do that, you won't hesitate to
* We saw cardinalatial in an old, woefully unscholarly Maryknoll Catholic dictionary and in John-Charles Noonan's pretentious, error-strewn, and incompetently edited book on ceremony and protocol (which he dedicated in part to JPII). We also laughed ourselves silly on those occasions.
** Sometimes spelled cardinalicius.
*** It's surprising the Argentinian Squirmin' Herman didn't correct the Donster, since he surely knew the Spanish equivalent cardenalicio, as in capelo cardenalicio, diócesis cardenalicias, títulos cardenalicios, Colegio Cardenalicio, etc. Deeply embedded informants tell us Hermie studied Latin in a real university back in South America before descending into the downmarket pesthouse vocational program. He, therefore, should have known Tradzilla was wrong and intervened before his loud-mouthed master publicly embarrassed himself again. Could he have been fearful of the Donster's wrath, of his envy of a minion's superior education? Or did Squirmy let Big Don intimidate him into believing the Donster was a master of the English language?