Saturday, August 12, 2017


As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves. A. Lincoln

Back on July 22, an anonymous commenter asked:
Tell us, what living bishop today would you recommend that Catholics move to his location, if they could, and put themselves under his spiritual guidance and care?
At the time, PL wouldn't recommend a sede or independent "bishop" because none has a commission from the Church to guide and care for Catholics. However, we offhandedly suggested that an Eastern-rite bishop could prove a solution for some people.

Shortly thereafter, "Gene" informed us he'd just completed his in-depth research into the validity of U.S. bishops of ten Eastern rites. (Many of you will recognize the screen name from the incisive comments he's posted on these pages.) As usual, when "Gene" speaks, people with any sense listen.
He ranks among the top pundits of TradWorld, for he grounds his always original, usually transformative, thinking in painstaking documentation and careful analysis. (If only the sede "clergy" had his insight.)

After we read his post, we then realized he'd done much more than yeoman scholarly work: He'd given traditional Catholics a way out of the Tradistani madhouse provided they're willing to do their homework and prepare for a cultural adjustment.

"Gene's" introductory remarks along with his list of Eastern-rite bishops can be found here (and also under IMPORTANT LINKS at the right hand side of this page). Realize, however, that it's only a beginning. As he cautions, you'll still have to perform your own due diligence to assure yourself of the faith of any of these men. (Must-reading is his "Disclaimer and Advice Regarding Eastern Rite Parishes" found here.) The Readers would also add that you'll have to ask yourself whether you can adapt to a markedly different liturgical and socio-linguistic tradition should you decide to attach yourself to one of these rites.  We can tell you from personal observation that not everyone can make the transition, especially those with a sub-optimal education.

However, for those who can, we affirm that the reward — an authentic Catholic bishop — will be well worth the effort. Good, educated, and humble priests of the traditional Latin rite are hard to find. Furthermore, if they're sedes, you never know when they'll revert to type, hysterically screeching prohibitions about una-cum Masses, wantonly manufacturing new mortal sins and dogmas, spitefully withholding absolution* on flimsy premises, masquerading as genuine Roman Catholic clergy, uncharitably trashing rivals, etc. More serious by far is the frightening specter of invalidity lurking behind each one's orders, insofar as there's some kind of problem with every one of the traddie lineages and sub-lineages. (Just look at how the trad kingpins themselves cast doubt on their competition's orders.)

Accordingly, for someone who earnestly longs to escape the dissension, doubt, and deficiencies of Tradistan with its fake "bishops" — remember, they really can't even be called bishops**  — Byzantium-on-the-fruited-plain may offer shelter during this prolonged, unprecedented nightmare. It may possibly become the unknown destination you set out for when you began your journey to tradition years ago.

To weather these radically different times, Catholics must free their minds from the bondage of the past, with its cherished memories and comfortable predilections. The West and its Latin rite are in deep crisis within both the Novus Ordo and Sedelandia. Unfortunately, there's no rescue on the horizon.

Therefore, if you trads in search of an undisputed shepherd are bold enough to think out of the box and act in ways you never imagined, it's quite possible you shall find refuge for your souls. Best of all, you might have a Byzantine-rite parish not too far from where you live now. That means you may not have to "move to [the bishop's] location" at all. Odds are that you're already be within an undoubted, genuinely Catholic bishop's eparchy!


* The issue of confession is crucial. Today's post isn't the place to discuss the sedes' disabilities in this regard, but for those interested in exploring the problem of confessional jurisdiction, click here. Some of us at PL found the arguments more than sufficient to begin looking for an Eastern-rite parish we could call home.  (Fear not: we won't stop exposing the cult masters.)

** Unless, of course, we apply to these isolated "bishops" the term episcopi vagantes ("wandering, stray bishops"), irregularly consecrated itinerants in communion with no recognized see, whose microscopic sectlets appear to exist only for their own benefit. But without a see and without authority, that's no bishop at all. Although Western theology tends to accept such consecrations as valid, it hasn't always been so. There's a highly tantalizing, though unreferenced, remark in the Jesuit Bernard Leeming's Principles of Sacramental Theology, affirming that some 12th-century canonists refused "to accept as valid ordinations done by a bishop acting without authorization from any Christian community" (p. 548). It would be a worthy research project to bring those texts to light. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017


bestiary, a medieval collection of stories, each of which was based on a description of certain qualities of an animal, plant, or even stone. They presented Christian allegories for moral and religious instruction and admonition. Encyclopædia Britannica (1975)

Editor's Note: Herewith is the fourth post in a series that originated with a comment letting us in on the secret behind "One-Hand Dan's" freakish creature chronicles in the "Bishop's (?) Corner." According to our informant, Li'l Daniel uses violent incidents starring the cult's feral cats and their blood-spattered quarry to externalize his grievances.  A reminder of our format: we first quote verbatim from a "Corner" and then interpret it to reveal Dannie's hidden message.


We'll start off with a witty correspondent's favorite animal anecdote. Here's what the Wee One wrote for Pentecost VI 2017:
The cats are both eating and sleeping more in the heat. Puccini believes in tithing when it comes to small rodents.
"He didn't even bother replacing the obvious allusion to the Gerties' giving him money (tithing) with a more subtle word," marveled the sharp eyed observer of the Mitered Maggot's prose.

Yes, indeed, the word was so obvious it didn't need much deciphering at all. Just a keen awareness of the Dirtbag's priorities. But the real question for PL is:
Why was His Blatancy so transparent this time?
Usually it requires some head-cratching to puzzle out his meaning.

We'd say Dannie Boy abandoned his characteristically cryptic tone because the cult's hurtin' for money. He can't afford for the increasingly tight-fisted Gerties not to get the message. You'll recall we've reported a string of weekly collections coming in under $4,000, which is not enough to sustain the declining cult center or its "clergy's" outsized appetites. Wee Dan's worst fears were realized on the very day he delivered this fable, for the July 16 take, reported on Pentecost VII, totaled a poverty-level  $3,212.

Like Li'l Daniel's kitty comrades, the Gerties are taking the hot, un-airconditioned summer off, finally treating themselves and their families to road trips "down home," stuffing their hideously asymmetric faces with fast food, and installing a fan or two in their shacks.  (Some may've been able to afford to hire an exterminator.) Absent from sweltering $GG, they're putting to good use the windfall of extra cash that's now available since they stopped heeding Dannie's demands for their money.

Bad news for His Appetency.

Soooo bad, in fact, that the situation called for the cats to come to his rescue in the guise of male idlers who irresponsibly turn over to the cult masters what by rights belongs to their wives and children. "One Hand" is tired of the Dirty Gerties' giving irregularly and stingily. He's also peeved at the deserters' refusal to make up for the collections they've missed while AWOL from the dying cult center.

If he and the Cheeseball are to have any chance at a luxury vacation this year, the cultlings have got to pony up. Hence the not-so-subtle "tithing," with its almost tax-like suggestion of regular, fixed, unavoidable payments for the comfort of the overfed but undereducated "clergy."

We'll have to wait to see whether the culties got his drift or whether they'll ignore him.


The same "Corner" carried the following eerie allegory, which isn't at all hard to decode either:
A mourning dove crashed into my bedroom door light, and lay dazed on the deck for awhile. Its mate sympathetically surveyed the scene and waited for recovery. They both then flew off, but silently and without their mourning cry.
Dannie's been losing cult couples lately, and all he can do is stand around watching in agony as dollars vanish.

The stunned dove is a cult-addled spouse attracted to the glittering theatrical lights of "One Hand's" Sunday big shows.  The patient mate is the loving husband or wife who waited for the spouse to return to sanity as soon as the truth about the cult masters became known.With the one partner's senses finally restored, the couple could then cancel the insurance policy naming $GG the beneficiary (the "mourning cry") and head off for a better climate, never to be heard from again.


The foregoing tale of escape and redemption is not what Wee Dan expected, hence his rueful tone. The Low Sunday 2017 "Corner" detailed the usual procedure for dealing with wounded souls that find themselves trapped on the SW Ohio cult's dismal property:
The Fathers were waiting for me Wednesday evening for dinner after the High Mass, when Puccini appeared with an Easter offering. He deposited the still live bird in the convento, and then flopped down on the floor, the very picture of detachment. The bird flew about a bit, but then met its end. Puccini is a remarkably quick cat on occasion. Ars Gratia Artis is ever his motto.    
The struggling, soon-to-be dispatched prey in the feral cat's clutches represents the few Gerties who flew off in moral outrage at the 2009 $GG $chool $candal yet came winging back after the Ham Sandwich spoiled. Back at the cult, cynical "priests" keep a close watch on the untrustworthy migrants so they'll never fly the coop again or take others with them if they do. Whenever the returning birdbrains get sick of the nonstop fundraising, divisive troublemaking, and smug hypocrisy,  the cult masters are ready to intervene at once to prevent them from flocking around the anxious Gerties.  Educationally, the malformed "clergy" aren't too swift, but when it comes to suppressing the truth about themselves, they're faster than a fat kid chasing an ice-cream truck.

Times are tough at the destabilized wasteland of $GG. The cult masters can't afford another uprising, thus the unspoken moral of the fable: if you spread your wings, then it's "Bye Bye Birdie."  The kingpins have never forgiven the Gerts whose exodus deprived $GG of an income to match the aspirations of its grasping "clergy."  The last seven and a half years have been lean ones, requiring "One Hand" to make nice to the returning turncoats on account of their money and their propaganda value.  But he won't let 'em get away again. The "clergy" are ready to pounce catlike at the first sign of unrest.

Ars gratia artis ("art for art's sake") really isn't the cult motto. Dannie came up with that one because he's seen it on the MGM logo and wanted to pretend he knows Latin. Plus he was eager to boost blood-thirsty Puccini's ego by comparing his feline familiar to the studio's Leo the Lion. No, the cult's motto is, even if the Latin text escapes His Deficiency, nemo me impune lacessit ("nobody calls me out and gets away with it.")

How could Dannie ever forget a brown-noser's candid advice to get rid of Tony Baloney in 2009? Whenever can the offended Wee One banish the remembrance of all those fliers permitted to circulate at the Sunday big show right after the $GG $chool firings? We bet he still can feel the sport coat lapel crumpling in an angry palm. And he continues to burn, secretly, at the sanctimonious weasel who loudly left the cult as a result of witnessing the unedifying contretemps.

You don't need us to tell you he didn't forget any one of these or any other slight.

Some very nasty creature is waiting to fall upon the neck of the prodigal sons or daughters who might dare fly off with their money a second time.  What's been found, won't be lost again. No other ecclesiastical hustler will get a chance to devour the prodigals' substance. Dannie means to consume it all by himself.

He has to. The run is almost over for SW Ohio's amateur production of American Horror Story: Cult.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


There where they burn books, eventually they also burn people. Heine

Editor's Note: If you read Dannie's "Bishop's (?) Corner" in the July 9, 2017, $GG bulletin, the "very well organized and attended" YAG (Young Adult Get-Together) was a "success," which, he assured us, had a "serious and spiritual side, as well as a social one."

Aside from those comments — and a heap of self-serving praise for the Cheeseball — he was pretty spare with the details. But don't worry. PL received a first-hand account from an insider: It confirmed all the reservations we expressed both in our post of May 13, 2017 (click here) and in subsequent comments You might recall that our objections raised the hackles of many a rabid cultling.

As a public service, we'll share some of our informant's verbatim highlights of the weekend. The Readers will refrain from overly intrusive editorial comment and let the facts, as narrated by an impartial third party, speak for themselves.  In unvarnished form, they're enough to convince anyone that the inept party planners at $GG delivered a bust at the most and at the least an insult to any serious (and well-adjusted) Catholic adult who attended. (All emphases are ours.)

"Friday's events began in the afternoon with a Mass from Fr. McKenna, with a homily on the true meaning of Christian love in a marriage.  Next we had dinner in the social hall.  There was more than enough food for everyone, and most of it was homemade (but I am guessing it was all made by rank-and-file Gerties, not any of the priests).  They had already set up alternating baby pink and baby blue plastic plates at the dining tables when we arrived.  They made the women use the pink plates and the men use the blue ones (the mandatory plate color rule continued through the rest of the weekend). 

"After supper they announced that after every meal, they would pick random attendees to help with cleanup duties .... One-Hand Dan made an appearance at the dinner, but was not seen the rest of the weekend.  Checkie and McKenna were with us, on and off, most of the weekend (Forlorn Finn made brief appearances Saturday and Sunday).

"In the social hall was a 'selfie station' with a life-size cardboard cutout of Pope Francis which Checkie encouraged us to use.  The station included props such as a clown nose and a feather headdress to wear for the photo.  These props were inspired by real photos of Francis doing things a trad would not like, such as attending indigenous religious ceremonies and wearing a clown nose himself.  Not many people actually used the selfie station.  At the end of the night an attendee also played a song poking fun at Vatican 2 on his computer for all to hear.

"Saturday began with a Mass in which McKenna talked about St. Elizabeth as a model Christian wife (encouraging women to simply tolerate consistent, unrepentant, abhorrent and scandalous behavior from their husbands.  I wonder what he would say about tolerating that from a sede priest).  Next, we went to the social hall where Checkie gave a speech about how difficult it is to find a Christian spouse in the modern world.  He made sure to go through every type of non-Sede and explain why we shouldn't marry them (non-Catholics, post-conciliar Catholics both liberal and traditional, SSPX, etc.).  At this point the men were allowed to change from business casual into jeans [!!, Ed.] for the Saturday outing, while women had to wear skirts at all times.*  Many of the men ended up wearing jeans for the entire rest of the weekend (except at Sunday Mass).

"We had brunch, then drove 45 minutes each way to spend 3 hours at the Air Force Museum (why they would choose to spend all day at a museum that appeals to such specific interests, and had nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism, is beyond my comprehension).  After the museum we had our 'ice cream avalanche' in a pavilion outside the museum.  I think the 'avalanche' part referred to the wide variety of toppings available (amusingly, they brought an industrial sized tub of hot fudge that they did not heat up, and was far too thick at room temperature to be used as chocolate sauce).

"We returned to SGG and Checkie gave us a tour of the facilities.  He did a good job of keeping the potentially dull tour fun with his humor.  I think everyone's favorite "fun fact" from the tour was that their architect used swimming noodles, covered in terracotta, for the arches in the cloister (to save money over what another architectural firm was going to charge to custom carve styrofoam).  We went to Checkie's office, filled with scholarly theological books in Latin.  I wondered how many of these books were written at a level Checkie could grasp, given his level of Latin comprehension.

"We had a trivia contest that Checkie hosted, where we were given all the pictures that Checkie had put on the YAG page of Pope Francis doing something ridiculous that he had put 'funny' captions on.  The contest was to rewrite the captions that went with the pictures from memory.  Although this contest had been announced on the YAG site many weeks prior, some attendees said they weren't aware that the contest was going to happen, and even fewer seemed to have put much effort into trying to memorize the captions.  The winner got a photo with Checkie (and the Pope cutout) and a gift certificate to the church's bookstore.

"Next came square dancing. Of course they couldn't be bothered to hire a professional caller and lose out on a couple hundred of the approximately $2,500** they raked in from registration fees, so one of the attendees did the instructions. At one point there were instructions for the men to put their arm around the ladies’ shoulders or back, and the person running the event started repeating to the whole group that 'linking arms is enough' to make sure nothing unholy happened during the dance (I wondered why they would even have an event that could be a near occasion of sin for hormone-ridden teens in the first place). Then we had a group walking rosary around the property. 

"We ended the night with a bonfire... and book burning.  An attendee owned a copy of Salza and Siscoe’s 'True or False Pope.' (I wonder if the attendee actually tried reading it first).  People tore out pages a few at a time and threw them into the fire.

"Sunday's sermon*** by Fr. McKenna was about the importance of wives being submissive to their husbands.  After Mass we went bowling.  They fed us rubbery bowling alley pizza for lunch.  Then we all left on our merry way home.

"Overall the weekend felt like a jumbled mish-mash of unrelated activities interspersed with awkward small talk.  I don't know what their intention was in holding this event (was it to encourage us to relocate and fill the SGG pews? To make money?  Was it simply an honest attempt to get young people together with no ulterior motive)?"

We think we know the answer to our informant's last questions, but we won't say a thing — for now.

* Not only could we see jeans in the group photo, but one woman in the first row is wearing FLIP FLOPS (click here). We wonder what the Swampland attendees told Tradzilla about all this "immodesty"! On second thought, maybe they kept their snooty traps shut, lest stray images of their own leisurewear materialize on Big Don's screen. A vision of denim and open-toed footwear may inspire more wrath than the mixed swimming, wet T-shirt-green-lagoon pic or the "Wasted in Tampa #drinkhard" shot we found on social media. 

** We have strong reason to suspect that one of the attendees most likely got in free.

*** Rather than subject the YAGGIES to Uneven Steven's pitiful attempts to mimic "One-Hand Dan's" hammy sermon cadence with its annoying (and cloying) overly stressed, breathy syllables delivered in the pseudo-educated sociolect of Tradistan, why didn't the hosts instead play Sandy Posey's "Born a Woman" to make their point? And speaking of the immortal, "countrypolitan" Sandy, the sound track at the bonfire should've been her "Single Girl" — the perfect theme for YAG 2017. That ballad seems more germane to the weekend than a pyromaniacal book burning.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Where etiquette prevents me from doing things disagreeable to myself, I am a perfect martinet. (The Rev.) Sidney Smith

Today's topic is a postscript to NOTHING BUT A NAME, which we published here on July 8. Like that post, this one was occasioned by an e-mail from a long-time friend of PL. The subject of the interchange was the incompetence of a certain trad "bishop" (not a member of the SW Ohio-Brooksville cult). In reply to a judgment the Reader-in-Chief had made, our correspondent admitted,
"In my candid opinion, none of these so-called bishops should ever have been made bishops."
We've often heard a similar sentiment from dozens, if not scores, of traditional Catholics of all ecclesiological persuasions. A few of the Readers may have written something to that effect on these pages. Furthermore, in all likelihood, many SW Ohio-Brooksville cult members must certainly share the same reservation about "One Hand," Tradzilla, and the Jellyfish, yet they soldier on notwithstanding their misgivings.

As we discussed our correspondent's remark, lamenting that so many otherwise intelligent Catholics think they have to put up with idiocy and bad behavior from "THE Bishop" (LOL), one of us had an "ah-ha!" moment:
"The problem with traddies," our inspired colleague interjected, "is they can't tell the difference between the orders and the office. They think if a man has episcopal character because of consecration, even though he got it illegally, he automatically has the 'right stuff'  — along with a brief to lead Catholics."
She was so very right on the money!

In the real Church, there's a long vetting process to identify candidates who have what it takes to become the ecclesiastical ruler of a diocese (or run a Vatican department). Until the Church is satisfied a man has the requisite training, temperament, and experience, he remains a priest. No such screening process, however, obtains among the sedes. They're all self-elected, despite the pretentious nonsense you may read on their websites about pondering at length their "election" before "reluctantly" accepting the burdensome dignity. (Give us a break, will ya!)

In Sedelandia there are, first of all, no dioceses to rule, hence no flocks to shepherd. There's no episcopal office in that desert wasteland.  What we have in Tradistan and elsewhere is a topsy-turvy mess. Episcopal orders are freely given, contrary to Church law, to untried, untrained, un-Tridentine religious entrepreneurs, who'll never occupy a diocesan or titular see and will never enjoy any of the privileges of a Roman Catholic prelate. (For the paying trad laity, the most significant disability of these fake "bishops" is that they do not have the benefit of the daily privileged altar on which a plenary indulgence may be gained for a soul in Purgatory.)

Inasmuch as the episcopate may only be held inside the historic, institutional Church, not one of these interlopers can properly be called a bishop, a word that comes from the Greek ἐπίσκοπος, "overseer, supervisor, ruler, superintendent, guardian." The Church is fully aware of this sense in her divine polity, and trads should be, too: If an ecclesiastical adventurer can never have title to any see, he cannot rightly claim the name belonging to the office. (N.B. In the real Church, a man cannot be consecrated without such title.) 

All that Sedelandia offers are some laymen with valid but illicit episcopal orders, which enable them to ordain and confect holy oils. (Any priest can confirm, as you know.) Possessing episcopal orders is in no way a token of a man's fitness to lead or teach. Nor do those impermissibly conferred orders assure the faithful that these episcopi vagantes have the requisite education in theology and canon law from a school approved by the Holy See, since almost any yokel without a degree can get consecration for the asking.  (There are more than a handful of "bishops" here and abroad eager to impose hands lightly.) As a result, with the exception of some "bishops" with real credentials who left the Novus Ordo for tradition, it's likely that most, if not a all, would be found unfit for the office if they were members of the Roman Catholic Church.

Now this absence of office has practical implications for the laity's social attitude toward the impostors. Since the sede make-believe "bishops" received their orders without Apostolic mandate, they cannot command our immediate respect and deference, any more than the holder of a Ph.D. from an online diploma mill can expect us to admire a credential purchased, not earned. Such a degree is meaningless, for it provides no warrant of the hard-won knowledge that lies behind a doctorate awarded by a legitimate university.

From all that we've said, it's plain these "bishops" have no right to any of the episcopal insignia of office, except during ceremonies, where the rubrics require them. The prohibition applies in particular to their wearing an episcopal ring and expecting the laity and "clergy" to kiss it. In PL's view, this practice is one of the worst abuses in TradWorld, worse than wearing a train during the liturgy.  If the laity would quit fetishizing bling, all that angst about the sedes' manifest unsuitability would vanish: people would simply throw the crud balls out on their backsides without a second thought.

It's time, then, for PL to administer a much needed corrective. Maybe we can't put an end to the continuing abuse of prelatical vesture, but we do stand a chance of cleaning up this small area by persuading you to stop feeding these dirtbags' egos.

John Abel Nainfa wrote in 1909 (Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church),
The ring, symbolizing the spiritual marriage of a Bishop and his church, has always been considered one of the principal insignia of the episcopal rank(p. 138) ... the ring [is] the symbol of his close union with his church, as well as the sign of his authority (p. 143) ...
To the extent that sede kingpins have no territory and are without jurisdiction, that flashy ring they flaunt symbolizes nothing. It's presence doesn't even rise to the level of deceit because everyone, including the wearer, knows sede "bishops" have no authority: they rule over nothing to which their illicitly imprinted episcopal character is formally united. The situation is actually funny, like a sick-burned grammar-school dork who pins on a plastic sheriff's badge, insisting his classmates and teachers make way as he saunters into the cafeteria, squinting like a pint-sized Clint Eastwood at all the "bad" hombres

The whole business of the fakers' rings raises another issue. Sede lay folks are infamous for their eagerness to degrade themselves before bejeweled nincompoops: self-abasement, it would seem, affords cult-addicted trads a freakish pleasure, somewhat akin to self-mutilation. (Whatever floats your boat, we guess.) That accounts for the frequent spectacle of laymen and -women bobbing up and down as they smooch an ill-formed impostor's ring. If they think the gesture is a sign of their urbanity, they're in for a big let-down. According to Nainfa (p. 144), you only genuflect when kissing the episcopal ring
if the Bishop is within the limits of his own diocese, as it is an acknowledgement of his jurisdiction as Ordinary. Outside of his own diocese, etiquette requires that he should only permit a low bow due to his character as a Bishop.
To put it frankly, to kiss a sede's ring and curtsy is a faux pas of ecclesiastical etiquette. These bums don't have diocese to be out of! It's akin to a prosecutor's calling a shabby tramp arrested on a charge of vagrancy "Your Honor" and then standing up when he shuffles in, handcuffed, before the judge.

We think you get the picture by now, so we needn't ply you with additional citations from other authorities. If you're ever tempted again to bow and scrape, kindly recall the following points:
1. Sede "wandering bishops" may not wear a ring outside liturgical functions because they are united to nothing in the Roman Catholic Church. If you meet a film-flam man wearing one, stare at it while simultaneously shaking your head in smug disapproval.
2. The laity and "clergy" should never reverence the ring on a pretended bishop's hand, for the jewelry he wears represents something he doesn't possess.  Should you want to declare your abject servitude to a masquerading scumbag, direct the gesture to a more appropriate location. 
3. Insofar as the episcopal character these title-less interlopers possess was acquired outside the Church, there's no obligation to bow. If you do, you're abetting ecclesiastical outlawry
4. Lastly, there's nothing in it spiritually for you.  Seeing that these parasites are not members of the hierarchy, you can't earn the indulgence of 50 days for a devout kiss. All you stand to pick up is a slimy gob of spit left by the rite-trash hilljack with a cold sore who preceded you.
Show TradWorld your mom taught you to mind your manners. The next time a sede phony sticks his grubby hand under your nose, stand up straight, and don't pucker up — ever again.

The cult masters never imagined it'd end like this.

* We would contend that sede "wandering bishops" have no rank at all since rank in this sense means "relative position or degree of value in any graded group." Inasmuch as they are not in union with the Church, they don't belong to the Church's hierarchy of jurisdiction. Thus it's impossible to locate them in relation to any legitimate member sharing in episcopal power. (Incidentally, that's also why none may be called a prelate (lit. "one preferred," "one given preference," "one set before," "one set above"), hence PL's coinage prelataster, "a would-be prelate.")

A rabid cult defender might argue sede "bishops" have rank in the hierarchy of order (subdeacon deacon  priest  bishop). If they do (and that's a big if), we say it's imperfect because they received no title from the Church before their lawless consecration. Ranks, you see, are subordinated for a specific purpose; the divine purpose of a bishop is, as a successor to the Apostles, to rule and govern the Church under Peter. But the sedes do no such thing, not even in do-what-you-want Tradistan. There, the only purpose seems to be to demand money and ordain, without ecclesiastical authorizationvery low-wattage ne'er do wells.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Philistine must have originally meant, in the mind of those who invented the nickname, a strong, dogged, unenlightened opponent of the chosen people, of the children of light. M. Arnold

Big Don appears to be intent on showing TradWorld exactly how barbarously uncouth he is.

In the August 2016 pesthouse newsletter, he gave us a revolting example of his extreme boorishness with his lowbrow pan of Wagnerian music drama (click here and read the EPILOGUE at the end). In the just released June 2017 issue, he's back at it again, only this time babbling malarkey about scholarly language. On page 2, you'll find this astonishing display of anti-intellectualism (we've highlighted the lines we'll discuss):
The second path to reconciliation with the Modernists is to adopt yet another of Ratzinger’s slogans: the hermeneutic of continuity. This term comes from Ratzinger’s 2005 speech to the Curia, in which he distinguished three possible interpretations of Vatican II and its reforms: (1) the hermeneutic of rupture; (2) the hermeneutic of continuity; and (3) the hermeneutic of reform. The term “hermeneutic,” by the way, simply means “interpretation.” Modernists, and especially Ratzinger, commonly use long and obscure words, usually coming from Greek or Hebrew, to label ideas which could easily be expressed by more common words. To do so is a form of fallacy — faulty reasoning — since the purpose of it is to impress upon your listener the idea that you are deeply intelligent and extremely learned. The result is that you convince your listener not by the clarity of your arguments, but by impressing him so much that he feels ignorant and out-classed in comparison to your towering intellectual acumen. One of Ratzinger’s favorite words is the cosmos. Cosmos is merely the Greek word for the physical world. Why not just say, “the physical world?” Because it does not impress. Cosmos really impresses. 

The benighted Tradzilla, who's never known the academy, is wrong in everything he alleges here. A gloomy alien to higher education, it's par for the course that he'd lash out at intimidating collegiate terms-of-art that confirm his shadowy, outsider status. Instead of experiencing delight at learning something new, albeit from an adversary, he's enraged at the stark reminder of his intellectual inferiority. He therefore imputes to others, who are confident in their achievements, a lifelong mediocrity's manic need to impress.

Hermeneutic and cosmos are not "obscure" to those women and men thoroughly trained in the humanities who read deeply. The two words may not belong to the average person's workaday vocabulary, but they are common to the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate registers. (Why, even high-school physics teachers in the suburbs tell us their college-prep students are at home with cosmos and use it in their homework, thanks perhaps to PBS.)

Both words have a very specific denotation among the educated; moreover, they possess the added virtue of expressing in a lexeme a complex notion, thereby promoting economy of expression. We'll move on to that in a minute, but let's first get straight the not-so-simple meaning of hermeneutic, a word over which both the unilluminated Tradzilla and the lightless Erroneous Antonius obsess.

In its original sense, the noun hermeneutics means the science as well as the art of clarifying or interpreting normative texts, particularly Biblical texts, by way of commentary and explanation. Its adjective form is either hermeneutic or hermeneutical (= "pertaining to theories of interpretation"). Nowadays in the modern scholarly discipline of discourse analysis, hermeneutics is used metaphorically: Each of the manifold paradigms of clarification human beings invoke may be called a hermeneutic, the adjective now become a noun, meaning a "conceptual framework for interpreting information" or, more succinctly, an "interpretive framework."

As we all have experienced, mankind attempts to understand the phenomena of life from divergent points of view. In other words, we have multiple approaches to formally making meaning out of the same set of data. In a Christian hermeneutic, we might interpret God's and Man's activity in history through the lens of the Incarnation. A sede hermeneutic interprets ecclesiology through the filter of a vacant See of Peter. The Readers at Pistrina Liturgica interpret everything the cult masters do and say through a hermeneutic of suspicion, which the literary theorist Rita Felski described as "a technique of reading texts against the grain and between the lines, of cataloguing their omissions and laying bare their contradictions, of rubbing in what they fail to know and cannot represent."

Thus hermeneutic, as Ratzinger employed it, is a very handy term to have. At a minimum, it saves a careful writer one to four words, but in practice many more. Big Don and Checkie, embittered at their terminal malformation, pillory a highly educated man for speaking in the specialist language of the intelligentsia, to which they don't and can't belong. B16 has been, after all, a professor at the universities of Bonn and Tübingen as well as at other notable German institutions of higher learning. The dim cult masters haven't even taught at a small-town community college.

Bennie wasn't trying to impress or bamboozle anyone in his sophisticated, curial audience. Well educated themselves, they already knew the term hermeneutic: it's meaning is clear to anyone who's had the right training or read extensively. In addition, Ratzi had nothing to prove: everybody acknolwdges his sterling academic credentials, even if some abhor his theology. Tradzilla and Cheesy just can't get over the galling truth that their boogieman is vastly superior to them intellectually and culturally. To their murky noggins, an opponent's high-status vocabulary is a taunt, painfully calling attention to the lexical bar that prevents them from ever advancing beyond the sub-amateur level.

The lumpen Donster's comment about cosmos exposes the alarming depth of his ignorance.  The word does not mean "merely ... the physical world." That's sheer bunkum. It means "the world or universe as perfectly arranged and ordered" (Runes' Dictionary of Philosophy). Or as one vocabulary list for college-bound high schoolers preparing for the SAT defines it, "the world or universe considered as a system, perfect in order and arrangement."* 

Had the rector troubled himself to consult the easy-to-use Liddell-Scott Intermediate Greek Lexicon (the complete edition may be too difficult for him), he would've learned κόσμος ("cosmos") means "order; ornament, decoration, embellishment; the world or universe, from its perfect order." In Plutarch's opinion, the last signification stretches back to the Pythagoreans, and it's certainly present in Plato  (e.g., Socrates to Calllicles in Jowett's translation of the dialogue Gorgias [508a]: "... this universe is therefore called  Cosmos or order...").  According to Pierre Chantraine's Dictionnaire Étymologique de la Langue Greque, the word's original sense expresses the notion of "ordre, mise en ordre" (order, ordering/arrangement). Don's observation, then, is naught but humbug.

Consequently, any schoolgirl or -boy recognizes that Tradzilla's crudely reductionist definition "physical world" is not only grossly overly simplistic but also impiously misleading. It erases an important nuance attached to cosmos since the early days of Western thought, a truth that lies at the heart of one of the Scholastic proofs for the existence of God: The beauty and order of existent things implies a Master Designer directing all things to their natural end.

You know what really doesn't impress?

It's Big Don's unfamiliarity with academic language and his crass simple mindedness, that's what doesn't impress. All his poppycock suggests very convincingly that he is not conversant in the basic language of philosophy, that he's a stranger to the fundamental underpinnings of the West's intellectual and spiritual heritage.

But we haven't yet sounded the full depth of his confused ignorance. Tradzilla unloads another crock of ... of... of ... horsefeathers when he charges that using "long and obscure words, usually coming from Greek or Hebrew, to label ideas which could easily be expressed by more common words ... is a form of fallacy — faulty reasoning ...."

As anybody with a solid university education will tell you, the affected use of so-called inkhorn terms is a rhetorical abuse, known by the Greek term cacozelia, "unhappy imitation."  It is absolutely not a logical fallacy, as Big Don nonsensically affirms.  A writer can be guilty of pedantry yet still reason correctly. However, in B16's case, hermeneutic and cosmos were the most writerly terms available, and hence the apropos choice. It's not his fault that trad "clergy" are so undereducated.

Contained in both hermeneutic and cosmos is an enormous amount of information, which couldn't otherwise be expressed except through wordy circumlocutions. Additionally, as terms of art, the two words are discipline-specific: not to employ them would diminish communicative effectiveness. For instance, allthough "interpretive framework" may be a satisfactory working definition of hermeneutic, it cannot be replaced in academic writing and speech without a loss of precision. Thus, had the old heresiarch not uttered hermeneutic, he would have been guilty of acyrologia (Gk. "incorrect phraseology"), inexact or improper use of language.
M E M O to Big Don: The technical vocabulary of academia is made up of many, many words borrowed from the Greek language — just as in Catholic theology. One of your and Tony Baloney's favorite words, epikeia, comes from the Greek ἐπιείκεια. 
You two meatballs must realize the word's simple dictionary definitions, viz., "reasonableness, equity, fairness, gentleness," wouldn't convey the same meaning as the learnèd form based on the Greek (in any of its conventional English spellings). 
Were the Donster but your run-of-the-mill Flushing-Rat vulgarian on Facebook or Twitter, savaging his legions of betters and loathing all "innaleckshuls" on account of their privileged formation, we'd let him vent his spleen in foggy solitude without making public his fatuity. However, the Tradistani propaganda machine portrays him as some kind of prodigy of learning, a Bellarmine redivivus, compared to whom the Novus Ordites and SSPXers are primitives. PL cannot allow that fiction to stand without protest. It's too dangerous to the unschooled faithful who might fall for all the rubbish littering his newsletter and website.

If you take away anything from today's post, let it be this: Tradzilla's more to be ridiculed than admired.  Of whatever he writes, you must always be suspicious. If he ventures afar from his absurd hobbyhorses, to wit,  screwball sede-ism, the imaginary una-cum prohibition, loopy dress codes for his cultlings, aggressive attachment to your money, the dead-end boys' club he calls the "Roman Catholic Institute" (about which he's been pregnantly silent since its announcement), ignore him. He's really not prepared to discuss anything other than twaddle.

Face it, folks.

The Donster's a philistine, pure and simple.  Last year he revealed himself as the enemy of serious musical culture, and this year he's taken up arms against the language of the life of the mind.  It's time Traddielandia said goodbye to this loutish, darkling embarrassment. You can bring down the Donster's Temple of Nonsense very simply —


●  The universality of the meaning can be seen from the following definitions taken from a popular sources:

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: "The universe as an ordered whole."

American Heritage Dictionary of Science: "Astronomy. The universe, especially as an orderly, harmonious system."

Compact Edition of the OED (1971): "The world or universe as an ordered and harmonious system."

Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary Unabridged: "The universe conceived as an orderly and harmonious system — contrasted with chaos."

Oxford American Dictionary: "The universe seen as a well ordered whole."

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: "The universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious whole."

Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology: "The universe as an ordered system."

Astrophysicist and religious skeptic Carl Sagan: "Cosmos is a Greek word for the order of the universe. It is, in a way, the opposite of Chaos. It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things. It conveys awe for the intricate and subtle way in which the universe is put together.”

You get the picture, don't you? Big Don doesn't know what he's talking about.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


Nomina sunt notae rerum ("names are the marks of things"). Latin Legal Maxim

Below is an excerpt from an e-mail regarding a position of ours that's stirred up heated commentary. In light of the frenzy, handwringing, and head shaking this is the perfect time to explain our reasoning in a more detail.
I get it when you say Trad Clergy do not have a mission from the Church. No Dismissal [sic, Ed.] Letters, no Mandate etc. Problem comes when you say they are not Clergy in the "strict sense". Websters  [sic, Ed.defines Clergy as "the body of men and women ordained to the service of God in the Christian church" [...] How come you say trad priests and bishops are not Clergy in the strict sense. The dictionary is a solid authority. We call Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopals [sic, Ed.] and Novus Ordos Clergy all the time. Seems like Trad Clergy are the same. They are ordained and Christian and serve God [...]
According to the general understanding in a religiously neutral, pluralistic society, we suppose sedes are clergy in the way that unchurched Joe Sixpack identifies an appointed or self-appointed minister of any confession as a clergyman. However, in our assertion we added the qualifying phrase "in the strict sense" purposely to exclude that over broad interpretation. We'll readily admit it must lie behind the definition found in every popular dictionary  — Merriam-Webster, New Oxford American, American Heritage, Random House,  you name it. However, our understanding is grounded in both the underlying meaning of the word and the privilegia or special rights traditional canonical doctrine grants to persons aggregated to the Roman Catholic clergy.

Let's begin with the etymology, which the Church subsumes in her own understanding. The word clergy comes from the Greek κλῆρος (klḗros), "what is obtained by lot, allotted portion, a share, a portion assigned, that which is assigned by lot, portion, share, place." Hence, at the most fundamental level, clergy are persons in the Roman Catholic Church who share ecclesiastical office and power and therefore exercise the clerical function in accordance with the portion or share of Church authority they possesses.

By etymology alone, then, it should be clear that outsider sedes are not in the Roman Catholic clerical state, which entitles its members to special rights. Absent those rights, no one may claim to be a member of the Roman Catholic clergy, valid orders notwithstanding. As Fr. Ledwolorz explained in Roberti's Dictionary of Moral Theology, the privileges of the clerical state are directed toward protecting the clergy's dignity. Without the privileges, there can be no clerical dignity and consequently no protection.  Bearing in mind that a privilege is an advantage or a benefit not enjoyed by everyone, the following practical consideration of the privileges of the clerical state vis-à-vis the sedes ought to convince PL's enlightened readership of the canonically disadvantaged cult "clergy's" profound otherness:
The first privilege is the privilegium canonis ("privilege of the canon") or the privilege of personal inviolability. There are indeed severe juridical penalties for laying violent hands on Catholic clergy. Nevertheless, if, after a physical altercation with a sede, a penitent layman approached the local ordinary to whom such a case is reserved, he immediately would learn he had not committed a sacrilegious offense against a bona-fide Roman Catholic clergyman. Chancery officials would then send him on his merry way.
The second is the privilegium fori  ("privilege of the forum").  A competent ecclesiastical authority would neither grant nor deny permission to cite these men before a secular court, nor would an ecclesiastical tribunal ever sit in judgment over them. They would have to face the music like any other layman who ran afoul of the law — in civil or criminal court before a judge and prosecutor. 
The third is the privilegium immunitatis ("privilege of immunity"). The institutional Church would not inflict excommunication on Catholic civil authorities who would impose on sedes burdens and obligations not compatible with the clerical state.  The powers-that-be are free to run roughshod over the sedes with impunity.
The fourth and most topical privilege (for the U.S. at least) is the privilegium competentiae ("privilege of competency"). An ecclesiastical judge would never grant a deadbeat sede "priest" or "bishop" a sufficient income for decent maintenance if the debt-ridden parasite were "forced to seek livelihood in an unworthy manner," as Ledwolorz expresses it.* His sole recourse might be to "Judge Judy," but then she would quickly inform the sede in front of millions of viewers, "You have no case! Pay your bills! Case dismissed. Byrd, escort this bum out of my courtroom."
This last privilege deserves a concrete look. On November 11, 2009 (5:50:17 PM EST), Big Don sent Cheeseball Checkie what looked like a form letter to be personalized and distributed to the legion of righteous souls who had fled the vile cult in the wake of the $GG School Scandal. In it, after summoning a wry, apocalyptic vision of "pigeons nesting in St. Gertrudes [sic] Church,**" the ever self-interested Tradzilla proposed these deliciously spiteful questions:
...if Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada go into retirement, or if you find one of them as a greeter in Wal-Mart in order to support himself, will you be then satisfied and content?...Will it encourage vocations to see Bishop Dolan stocking the shelves at Kroger, reduced to shame and poverty because he did not solve a school problem the way some thought he should?
In our reading, the Donster himself seems to stipulate tacitly that the privilege of competency would not be operational in the case of retirement or removal of the sede duo. If the Gruesome Twosome wanted to eat, they'd have to accept any employment they could get because they'd have no standing to demand support from the Church, in whose eyes they are aliens. As is true with all organizations, only members possess rights, and the absence of rights attendant to membership is robust, perhaps even conclusive, evidence that an individual does not belong to the group.

Inasmuch, therefore, as these oddballs are not Roman Catholic clergy in the strict sense, they possess none of the prerogatives of the clerical state (e.g., jurisdiction, precedence, etc.)  At best, their condition is, in effect, that of a laicized priest or bishop in the Latin Church, who has lost the clerical state (although his orders remain valid if they had been validly conferred in the first place).  For this reason, PL has argued that sedes, strictly speaking, should use neither clerical garb nor the distinctive titles of authentic Roman Catholic clergy.

Of course, we aren't naïve. In 21st-century America, when virtually any sleaze ball can (a) style himself (or herself) as "clergy," (b) sport ecclesiastical vesture, and (c) pass himself off as "Father" or "Bishop" or "Reverend," Catholics cannot seek relief from the law, which malignly ignores the usurpation of the Church's rights. We can, however, resist being duped into believing the cult masters have the slightest connection with the Roman Catholic Church.

They are not our pastors; consequently, we don't have to contribute to their support. They are not "the Lord's portion," for they have never been legitimately deputized to exercise the power of holy orders. They are marginalized laymen with souls disfigured by illicit orders, who live as inmates in an isolated parallel dimension, the name of which is Tradistan.

* We wonder whether these unprivileged ecclesiastical buccaneers realize how lucky they are to have morally depraved followers and fellow "clergy."  For instance, it's conceivable today that, even in the Novus Ordo, a priest who'd served 17 months in prison for manslaughter and subsequently lost a civil suit to a young woman he'd impregnated would be barred from exercising his ministry after all the publicity (click here). As an ex-con, he would've been obliged to find whatever employment he could—suitable or unsuitable —  in order to survive. But in degenerate Traddielandia, Dennis the Menace is still operating as a "clergyman" and today seems to be receiving invitations to spiritual retreats with his "clerical" colleagues.

** Little did Big Don know at the time that, in $GG's final days, there aren't pigeons nesting in the ramshackle cult center, but invading raccoons