Our misgivings are almost entirely practical. As you know, PL's hobby horse is not episcopology or armchair diagnoses of the mental state of consecrators. We leave all that to others with more industry or free time than we possess: the Readers' chief aim has ever been to expose the deficits of the Tradistani cult masters. Period.
Although we continue to affirm in general the validity of many Thục "bishops" (at least until the other shoe drops), we nevertheless do hold in reserve our assent to particular branches of the line. Our caution stems not so much from sacramental theology as from the horror stories of actual ordinations or consecrations. Deficient training, carelessness, ignorance, and downright goofiness are the ingredients for a deadly cocktail of doubtful orders conferred by men who themselves may be validly consecrated "bishops."*
●Some Latin-language certificates of ordination are so desperately ungrammatical that they threaten the presumption of a valid ordination.**
In hopes of putting his agitated mind to rest, the conscientious layman will naturally ask a twofold question:
(a) How can I determine whether the "bishop" who consecrated my "priest" is valid, and (b) how can I know if the ordination of my "priest" was competently performed?Sad to say, but here's no way of getting a reliable answer, unless you have videos of both ceremonies. But even video records won't solve the problem. For instance, you might have footage of a correctly executed priestly ordination, but the ordaining "bishop" might be doubtful or invalid.**** Alternatively, you might view a correctly conferred episcopal consecration, but if the guy who was consecrated can't understand Latin well or is careless, he may later botch the ordinations/consecrations he performs. Lamentably, in most cases, there is no video record, and usually no reliable documentary attestation.
The only safe approach is to stay away from the "bishop"-led cults. Find independent traditional priests trained by the SSPX or Novus Ordo clergy who've been re-ordained by "bishops" with multiple lineages (Duarte Costa, Thục, Eastern rite, etc.). They're not as hard to find as you might think. Those who assist at SGG or the Swampland have viable options virtually in the backyard.
** One well-known sede's Testimonium Ordinationis not only lawlessly reads rite dimisso, but also prints a nominative (!) as the subject of the infinitive contulisse in indirect discourse. Adding insult to injury, he spells the ordinand's Latin Christian name using the nominative instead of the dative. In other words, the illicit phrase didn't give him the slightest clue as to the right case for the name. Now that's real dumb.
*** Our remarks here do not apply to our doubts about Dubious Dan. They're based on the 1990 letter from the nine priests regarding his one-handed ordination (click here). As you know, Tony Baloney's defense of one-handed orders has been completely demolished (click here). To our knowledge, Dannie has yet to beg Big Don to "ordain" and "consecrate" him sub conditione. Therefore, the validity of every man he's ordained in major orders is suspect.