Saturday, April 22, 2017

THE "BISHOP'S (?)" BESTIARY, Chapter 2


Bestiaries, or Bestials. Books which had a great vogue between the 11th and 14th centuries, describing the supposed habits and peculiarities of animals both real and fabled, with much legendary lore and moral symbolism. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Centenary Edition)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second installment in the series inspired by a comment revealing that Dannie's "animal posts have a double meaning and almost always refer to people (i.e. whoever he has in his sights)." The information turned out to be a game changer for PL. Beforehand we used to think "One Hand's" ghoulish Sunday tales of battered baby bunnies and mutiliated mice — the gory handiwork of the cult masters' two familiars, Caravaggio and Puccini — were but exercises in morbid impropriety. We know better today, thanks to our correspondent.

Underneath the mayhem and cruelty, it seems Tradistan's "Uncle Ream Us" is working out self-referential, angst-wracked psychodramas starring the cult's adversaries. With a little decoding, we can discover what terrors are agitating his anguished soul.  Before we begin, however, let's briefly review the format: First we'll quote verbatim from a "Bishop's (?) Corner." Then we'll present our rewording preceded by a key to the cast of characters.

Today's first fiendish fable comes from Sexgesima Sunday 2017.
I suppose cats fit into the picture as well, at least from their point of view. Last Saturday before dinner Caravaggio presented Fr. Cekada with a big black field mouse, pre-dispatched but pretty much intact for Father’s delectation and eventual consumption. His cool reaction, however, nonplussed the pussycat. I had to coach Fr. Cekada in a properly grateful response to such a fine gift. 
Constructing a key for this stomach-turning episode proved a little more challenging than in the first installment of the series, because both the Cheeseball and His Excremency figure in the plot along with one of the bloodthirsty felines. At least the slain field mouse is easy: its mangled corpse plainly represents an opponent who's been gnawing hard away at Checkie's delirious self-image as a "scholar and theologian" (LOL).  Insofar as Dannie used the adjective "big," we think he means more than one foe — in this case, the enemy could well be Tony's highly competent nemeses Salza and Siscoe.

But whom does the murderous Caravaggio play in this macabre fantasy? And why would the beleaguered Erroneous Antonius be so ungrateful in the presence of "such a fine gift"? Our re-write has the answer:
Dannie's been unnerved by the success of S and S's brilliant takedowns of his blundering sidekick, Bonehead Tone. As he surveys the sparsely populated Tradistan he and the "Principal" wrecked in 2009, the Dirtbag grimly realizes there's nobody who can effectively come to Tony Baloney's defense with a rebuttal written in edited academic prose. The only response must be another embarrassingly amateur video from the tinsel-draped underground studio of Cekadawood. That means even if there's a legitimate point to be made, it won't be taken seriously by thoughtful Catholics. Therefore, His Wishfulness has been driven to imagining a deliverer. Taking into account Li'l Dan's Irish roots, in this particular narrative we'd say Caravaggio is a pooka, Celtic folklore's shape-changing companion of social outcasts, along the lines of Elwood P. Dowd's invisible 6' 3½" tall rabbit in the Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey. Only in this case, the creature is far from benign. More grounded in reality than "One Hand," the harrowed Cheeseburger senses there'll be no deliverance from attacks. He therefore dismisses the unsightly butchery as the unremarkable, typical predatory behavior common to all cats, whether feral or domesticated. Besides, Cheesy knows S and S are lions, not rodents like the Flushing Rat and his ilk. Still suffering under the delusion that his cat is a pooka, His Eccentricity manically insists on Tony's thanking the critter for relief from his far-better-educated tormentors. 
Our second perverse parable of the day was found in the Lent II 2017 "Corner":
The cats are working double shifts in the face of all this new life in their territory. Robins are courting, and last week I saw a couple getting to know each other on top of St. Michael the Archangel. I spied what looked like a baby skunk out on the lawn the other night. I hope Caravaggio didn’t see it. He’s a brave cat, but somewhat imprudent around skunks. 
"All this new life" refers to the negative online buzz about the cult.  The robins are the Gertie families who opted out of Dannie's Friday-nights-in-Lent colon-clogging confabs. Representing those few independent-minded Gerties who've raised a stink about the "clergy's" behavior is the baby skunk.* Reprising their usual rôles, the toms are playing the Gruesome Twosome. This time, though, "Killer" Caravaggio takes the part of Tony Baloney.
"One-Hand Dan's" territory has shrunk considerably since the 2009 $GG $chool $candal; as a result, he and the Checkmeister have to be vigilant so as not to lose more culties. In this vignette, the pair are particularly incensed at the families who flew off on Fridays to St. Michael the Archangel Parish's tasty Lenten fish fry in Sharonville, Ohio, thereby robbing the cult of windfall revenue. (Gerties were supposed to get "to know each other" at the decaying cult center on Fridays or on $ocial $unday, where the "clergy" could put the squeeze on for extra "alms.") Although these errant families may have dodged the cult masters' collection/indoctrination scheme for the time being, the Devious Duo marks who they are: They'll settle scores soon enough. Indeed they will, they will. While on patrol, Dannie gets wind of unhappy Gerties who've been badmouthing the ignorant cult "clergy" by passing along the criticisms posted on blogs. He knows the culprits aren't afraid of him or the Checkster either. If they leave $GG, they'll take more dirty Gerties with them. As participation in mind-control rallies sinks, Dannie cannot afford to lose any more prey. Like him, the cultlings are also mumbling about the absent enthusiasm and empty pews. With a shudder, Li'l Daniel recalls the many times over the years when the Cheeseball blunderingly opened his big, indiscreet, unschooled mouth and ran off scores of paying trads. Nail-biting Dan hopes Checkie's spies haven't told him yet about the trash talk: The last thing His Despondency needs is a another noseful of rebellion.
. . . . . . . . . .

That's the best we've got for these two animal stories. We're positive some of you out there can do a whole lot better. Just post your own reading in the comments section. Everybody wants a peek at Deacon Dan's anxieties.  The more there are, the sooner the cult will shut down.

*Have you noticed how Dannie's fables often feature baby animals that are either actual or potential victims of the marauding cats?  We dare say, it's a virtual Slaughter of the Innocents in the Animal Kingdom, what with all the targeted kits and bloodied nestlings. The fact that Dannie keeps on printing these grisly accounts says a lot about the Gertie gals. Among decent Christians, women, especially mothers, abhor the sicko brutality characteristic of males who've never grown up. As a rule, the distaff side's moral compasses often read truer than menfolk's, which frequently give false readings. In PL's community, the civilized moms and grannies would be outraged at children's exposure to this gleefully narrated carnage. And rightly so! Ask yourselves this, folks: Does the following observation really have a place in a church bulletin on Rosary Sunday (or on any Sunday for that matter)?

Fr. McKenna tells me he read that cats kill far more creatures than we realize (only 25% of the carcasses make it to the step), sometimes just for fun.
From the looks of it, Gertie gals must have the instincts of she-wolves, or else they would've put an end to Dan's Sabbath savagery long ago. Perhaps spawn of dysgenic cultlings lack the human sentiments of properly socialized middle- and upper-class children, who are emotionally attached to and protective of all the furry and feathered "dear creatures of God" (as our favorite whited sepulcher once dubbed a robin and two rabbits that crossed his path in 2015). That may explain why viewing animal-torture videos was tolerated as boys being boys. The hellicat females probably want their offspring to be chips off the ol' block.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

SAUCY DOUBTS AND FEARS

He that hath not the craft, let him shut up shop. Herbert

From time to time, we're asked whether we accept the Thục line. When we reply with something simple like, "Yes, at present, we believe the lineage/succession is valid," we always do so with some unease. Such a short answer doesn't fully express the many caveats we harbor. Inasmuch as our recommendation of multiple lineages has sparked a firestorm of e-mail inquiries, the Readers thought it time to post a more nuanced position, one that reflects their deeper concerns about the deplorable condition of line today.

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.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean we altogether ignore the question of validity of lines. Validity of holy orders is at the very heart of traditionalism and indeed has always been a concern to the Church. No one wants to adore mere bread, as the Skipper's people sacrilegiously did. So, for what it's worth to our readership, here's where PL stands right now on the question:
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."*
This is the hidden scandal of contemporary Sedelandia.  As a result, no one can have confidence in the assertion that a given line is unqualifiedly valid, seeing that "clergy" from one of the successors in that line may be invalid owing to an ordaining "bishop's" incompetence (or worse, his own invalidity). In other words, the question is not whether the Thục line is valid, but whether you can trust the orders conferred by a specific "bishop" in that line.

But let's lay aside all these abstract convolutions and give you a few concrete examples.

● At one video-recorded ceremony, the knuckle-headed  consecrator was holding the Pontificale in one hand so he was physically unable to impose both hands. (Only heaven knows why the dopey consecrandus didn't recognize the defect at the time! Cluelessness, probably. Most of these guys would be grossly unprepared to be a busboy.)

● Another thoughtless "bishop" either didn't have a Pontificale or didn't want to use the one he possessed, so he had someone retype the rite of priestly ordination, thus inviting the intrusion of textual errors on the part of a transcriber who knew no Latin.

● Yet another flake admitted he was unaware the Pontificale had a separate text in the Appendix for conferring orders on one candidate (all references to the ordinand in the grammatical singular). He used the section where all the references are in the plural. That would be dangerous even if he knew Latin.

● In preparing for an "ordination," an MC, pressed for time, copied a well-known rubrician's Latin instructions and distributed them to the other ministers, including the yo-yo ordaining "bishop." His comment was, "Now let's have this in English so we know what's going on."

● At an "ordination" to the priesthood, the dippy "bishop," despite the immediate availability of a genuine printed Pontificale, chose to use a photocopy of the rite, which had been greatly enlarged for ease of reading. However, the not-too-swift  "priest" who photocopied the materials hadn't noticed that, during the image-enlarging process, a paragraph had dropped out. Only the vigilance of the lay MC assured the text's recitation at the ordination; the air-head "bishop" hadn't noticed anything was missing.

 ● At many ceremonies, viewers report dazed "bishops" repeatedly stumbling over the Latin words of the Pontificale, often having to re-read them or crudely garbling them. Just look on YouTube and you'll see for yourself how they struggle with fluency, pronouncing each word slowly, hesitantly, and un-rhythmically, like an adult illiterate who's still learning the alphabet. It's clear they're just decoding letters without understanding a thing they recite.

● One "ordination" was so hopelessly disorganized that some witnesses went away unsure the sacrament had been confected.

● A certain ding-a-ling "bishop" has been known to "ordain" entirely in the vernacular.

● Another "bishop" didn't own a copy of the Pontificale for a number of years after his "consecration," and the moron has never acquired a complete set of vestments for basic pontifical ceremonies.

●Some Latin-language certificates of ordination are so desperately ungrammatical that they threaten the presumption of a valid ordination.** 

You see, therefore, even if each of these men had been consecrated by a valid, knowledgeable, and conscientious member of the Thục line, that's no guarantee they'll subsequently perform rites with the same scrupulous care. Moreover, their abject incompetence in Latin leads us to believe that many of these clowns have no idea about what they're doing, unless they've got a Latin-literate MC. (Most lay MC's, however, are not, despite their admirable ceremonial expertise.) Often, it's obvious the "bishops" understand neither the rubrics of the Pontificale nor the explanation of the ceremonies by recognized Latin ecclesiastical authors.

It would not be an exaggeration to affirm that many orders conferred today, both sacerdotal and episcopal, are highly doubtful, if not baldly invalid. Hence, our hedging. At present, we'd be willing, if pressed, to aver that Carmona and, with greater internal confidence, des Lauriers were validly consecrated, yet we cannot affirm unreservedly the validity of the many, many men in the sub-lines coming afterward. The validity of some second generation "bishops" like Robert Fidelis McKenna is probably assured, but third-generation successors are much less certain to varying degrees. Of many in the fourth generation and beyond, we have positive doubt. None of us would ever set foot in their chapels, not even to get out of the sun or a blizzard.***

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.


YOU NEVER HAVE TO BE STUCK IN A CULT CHAPEL. GET OUT TODAY!

* It goes without saying there is also a deeper, more frightening question involved, one which PL cannot answer: "Is the episcopal character itself sufficient for valid administration of Orders, or is some licentia ordinis exsequendi, that is, authorization to use episcopal powers, implicitly or explicitly required?" (B. Leeming,  S.J., Principles of Sacramental Theology [1956], p. 521). If the answer is yes, then very few clergy in TradWorld  — if any — are valid.

** 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.

**** For instance, from personal observation, one of the Readers can affirm that Dannie's ceremonies are performed accurately. Many years ago, our colleague purposefully attended an "ordination" to see whether Dannie knew enough to use the text with everything in the singular. (He knew way back then Deficit Dan was no Latinist and thus probably not able to think on the fly and change the plurals to singulars.) It turned out that all words were indeed in the correct grammatical number for the "ordination" of one individual. However, Dannie's doubtful status renders the man's orders doubtful despite the competent execution of the rite. (As an act of charity, a few years ago we sent one of Dannie's creatures, a Mexican national, a copy of the Spanish translation of our monograph "The Dubiety of Ordination Conferred with One Hand." We urged him to seek conditional orders. We don't know what he did. For the health of the souls he serves in Mexico, we hope he heeded our plea. It's always possible, though,  that the loud-mouthed Chihuahua King of Juárez advised him against prudent action.)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A PREPOSTEROUS JOURNEY


He traveled here, he traveled there; —/But not the value of a hair/Was head or heart the better. Wordsworth

There's a lot you can learn about Trazilla's mindset from reading his monthly schedule. Often it's more revealing than what the beast snarls from the pulpit. A case in point is April 2017 (click here), where we find two pairs of curious entries. Each in its own way invites delicious speculation.

The first set of dates to catch our eye is April 9/April 16, Palm Sunday and Easter.  The Toady, who's been the regular "assistant pastor" assigned to Our Lady of the Sun, will be in the Swampland on those Sundays, while Squirmin' Herman will take his place in Arizona. Then on Low Sunday, Squirmy's back at the swamp, and the Beanpole's now in the desert!!

The immediate question that comes to PL's frugal mind is:


Why the expensive switcheroo?

Think of all that unnecessary airfare! Somebody's got to underwrite this manic place-swapping, and for what reason? Was it because Toady has the better singing voice for the Palm-Sunday Passion? (He landed the rôle of the Chronista, or narrator.) If so, that's scarcely sufficient reason to squander working folk's contributions. Why on Earth should the laity pay for what amounts to a cross-country Chinese fire drill? People's hard-earned dollars certainly deserve more responsible stewardship. And if the OLS lay board gets stuck with the bill for this lunacy, you almost wonder whether the spendthrift exchange is some sort of punitive measure levied in revenge for Tradzilla's face-losing ouster.

But perhaps there's a less artistic, more pragmatic rationale for such a frightful waste of money. In the second pair of dates, April 23 /April 30, we note the "Bishop"-Elect (a.k.a. "the Kid," "the Clone," or "Junior") AND the Toady will be a-waltzing with Matilda in beautiful Australia! From the looks of it, the twosome must be jetting out from the Swampland together. But, economically speaking, wouldn't a ticket to the West Coast from Phoenix be cheaper than one from Florida? And if Toady would stay put at OLS until the Australia trip, then only one ticket would be needed to spell him.

Could it be the Toadster can't be trusted to rendezvous with Junior for the flight to Down Under?  Dare we also surmise that Tradzilla was worried Toady would charge another meal at Wendy's, thus requiring a vigilant minder for the whole trip? (It's been reported he complained to a sympathetic, Taco-Bell-munchin' Skipper about the last chewing out he got: his whining must've gotten back to the swamp, we fear.)

Whatever. We'll never know the truth. But that's beside the point. The burning question we want to answer here is:


Why is it necessary to send TWO completers over there?

Flying one "clerical" clown coast-to-coast and then clear across the Pacific for a couple weeks is costly enough. But a tag team? Phew! From the Donster's January travelogue, we have a good idea of how big a financial sacrifice is involved.  Grubby petit bourgeois that he is, Big Don ostentatiously itemized the cash outlay for his solo 14-day, all-expenses paid vacation to Melbourne and Brisbane*:
"Expensive ticket from the United States, amounting to around                                  $7,000.00" 
"My fares around Australia, which amounted to around                                                   $500.00" 
"Nice accommodations in both places for 14 days" costing "around $100 a night"        $1,400.00 
"Animal preserve... entrance fee...to meet up with...Tasmanian devils" etc.                       "$30.00" 
"Showered me with gifts...in Melbourne...a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones"  
$100.00** 
"Showered me with gifts...in Brisbane...wide-brimmed straw hat of very high quality" 
$165.00*** 
"Very generous cash gifts both to me personally and to the seminary"                             $300.00****
All that amounts to a whopping $9,495 at the very least — and we haven't yet accounted for the expense of wining-and-dining Tradzilla for a fortnight. (See the photo on p. 7 of the newsletter, admittedly a good, but inexpensive tipple — over here the average price is about $12.00. They obviously knew better than to serve the slob the really good stuff, like Kevin Judd's barrel-fermented Greywacke Wild at around $30.00 stateside!)

Of course, it's possible Junior and Toady won't be traveling first or business class. However, we doubt the "Bishop"-Elect will settle for coach or use his personal frequent-flyer miles to upgrade. (Ditto for his about-to-be-displaced traveling companion.) And maybe, too, the pair won't be recipients of bespoke Panama hats or high-end electronic gear. Nevertheless, the cult odd-couple's trip is sure to break the bank. Assuming the Aussies are springing for it all, there's only one answer to our second question:

Toady's most likely interviewing to replace the CMRI.

Tradzilla's got to strike back at Pivvy — no matter how pathetically — for snatching asset-rich Our Lady of the Sun from his claws. Plus he's got to find some place to park the malformed Toady. The Donster can't have any use for him at the pesthouse, and he certainly doesn't need another good-for-nothing lounging around waiting for his three squares a day. One more moocher would put a lot of stress on the Swampland's shrinking resources.

Remember, folks: a pod of pampered priory princesses with a whale of an appetite for organic gourmet delicacies will be beached at B'ville come June.  Whereas the "nuns" have a load of benefactor-relatives to keep 'em fat 'n' happy, the orphan "clergy" don't. Somebody other than Big Don has to take over the care and feeding of the soon-to-be-homeless Toadster.

That pressing necessity may explain why the "Bishop"-Elect is chaperoning. It might be the Kid's job to sell the English-language-challenged Toady to the Ocker trads. Also, he'll be able make sure the "clerical" bogan doesn't commit too many social gaffes before they can ink a deal. To be honest, we think it's going to be a hard sell. Junior'll have to coach the Toadmeister intensively during the long flight over.

Australians, in our experience, are independent-minded and shrewd — far sharper than gullible, dull-witted American rite trash. Unlike us Yanks, they won't hire just anybody, not if they can help it, that is. (They'll want to make sure there's no 'roo loose in the top paddock.) So, as we said, the Kid's got a big job ahead. And maybe, just maybe, the Australians will contact the board at Our Lady of the Sun for some eye-opening background on Big Don's hopeful.*****

We'll keep studying the schedules closely in the next few months. They'll tell us what happened.

STOP THE BEAST FROM THROWING AWAY MORE OF YOUR MONEY. LEAVE THE CULT TODAY.

* See page 2 of the January 2017 pesthouse newsletter:
Generosity. These groups of people in Australia pooled their resources in order to pay for my expensive ticket from the United States, amounting to around $7000 as well as my fares inside Australia which amounted to around $500. They put me up in nice accommodations in both places for the fourteen days, which I think cost around $100 a night, and then showered me with gifts. In Melbourne they gave me a pair of Bose noise-cancelling earphones for the trip back (which were very helpful) and in Brisbane they went and got me a wide-brimmed straw hat of very high quality, something necessary in Florida for fair-skinned people. They also brought me to an animal preserve (with a US $30.00 entrance fee) where I was able to meet up with kangaroos and every other typically Australian animal, including Tasmanian devils, wombats, duck-billed platypuses, koala bears, and kookaburras, among many others. In both places they also made very generous cash gifts both to me personally and to the seminary. Although I brought with me about thirteen hundred Australian dollars, I hardly spent a penny of it.
** For some reason, Conspicuous-Consumption Don didn't record the cost. We looked on Amazon and chose the lowest priced Bose we could find, to be fair.

*** We didn't know of a hatter in Brisbane, but we're well acquainted with City Hatters on Flinders Street in Melbourne, where such headgear goes from $165 to $395 (and higher in some cases). PL selected the lowest price-point in the range.

**** Tradzilla, we suspect, has a high threshold for "generosity," so "very generous" must be an astronomical sum. However, again in the interests of fairness, and in consideration of large families' restricted ability to pool vast resources, we're being ridiculously conservative with our estimate.

***** If the Australians do make the grave mistake of hiring Toady, they should at a minimum demand that Tradzilla conditionally ordain him, seeing that he's one of "One-Hand Dan's" dubious creatures.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

🎶AND ALWAYS LET YOUR CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE🎶



In morality we are as sure as in mathematics. Whichcote

In last week's post, we mentioned how Tradistani kingpins misuse the sermon format to dupe their unsophisticated followers into believing malformed sede "clergy" are Catholic. Week in, week out, the laity are awash in a foul stream of syrupy platitudes or graphic pulpit-porn disingenuously represented as explaining the principles of the faith. Since the message comes from men more or less dressed like Latin-rite clergy, cultlings assume it's true.

That truckling assent affords the cult masters a singular immunity when adversaries array sound Catholic arguments against their reign of error: the weekly "sermons" have conditioned cult victims to dismiss anything in conflict with their Svengalis' self-interested rants. To the overly inquisitive, the so-called bishops, without substantiation, reflexively accuse "our enemies" of wicked misinterpretation, and that's that! The thoroughly programmed cultlings then automatically turn a deaf ear to the voice of authentic Catholic teaching.

Consequently, if you want to get through to cultists who can be salvaged — and, yes, Mr. and Mrs. Trad America, such specimens do exist (which explains Dannie's current crisis) — you must appeal to a religiously neutral ethical system: It's your only hope of bringing the dazed creatures to their senses. As we indicated last week, the Readers believe they've found such a model. In every way, it's compatible with Christian normative values, while its intuitiveness lets Everyman come immediately to an actionable conclusion about these ecclesiastical buccaneers.

The ethical principles we have in mind, at once both simple and profound, are from the pen of a great 20th-century scholar of Aristotle, the academic philosopher W. D. Ross.* He believed a moral theory should "fit the facts," which are the "convictions of thoughtful and well-educated people." Although he wrote from a secular perspective, he wasn't by any means a relativist. According to him,
The moral order...is just as much part of the fundamental nature of the universe (and...of any possible universe in which there are moral agents at all) as is the spatial or numerical structure expressed in the axioms of geometry or arithmetic.
At the center of Ross's thinking rests what he identified as seven distinct prima facie duties, i.e., entirely real and self-evident fundamental rules governing interpersonal relationships.  (N.B. He never asserted the list was complete or hierarchical. ) Here they are in their usual order along with brief definitions, although definitions are unnecessary — decent people already know what they mean, for these convictions have been their own since childhood:
1. Fidelity: We must keep our promises and honor our contracts, be honest and truthful, and not engage in deception.
2. Reparation: We must make up for injuries we have done to others.
3. Gratitude: We must be grateful to others for their benefactions, and we should strive to return favors for the previous favors others have done for us.
4. Non-injury (Non-malfeasance): We must not intentionally, negligently, or ignorantly harm others either physically or psychologically.
5. Beneficence: We must do good to others and nurture their health, happiness, security, wisdom, moral goodness, and well-being.
6. Self-Improvement: We must improve our own condition with respect to virtue and intelligence.
7. Justice: We must distribute both benefits and burdens fairly and, at the same time, prevent unjust distributions to the unworthy.
We think you'll agree the theory is simplicity itself: it's the common-sense, everyday morality a plain man or woman understands with ease. None of the numerous trespasses posted here or on other blogs could've occurred had traddie laymen lived by Ross's code. Indeed, his duties are so clear that cult "clergy" could never have claimed they alone possess the competence to decide their meaning or determine their application.

Under Ross's ethical model, it's obvious, therefore, that there'd be no room for the moral scourge of mental reservation, the "clergy's" disreputable license to lie. The "priest" who lost a lawsuit to a young woman he impregnated wouldn't have filed for bankruptcy to escape paying court-ordered damages.  (And if he did, a morally centered laity would never allow him to work in a traditional chapel again.) If a sede miscreant had let a layman buy him a winter coat on the promise of reimbursement, the "cleric," when reminded weeks later of his debt, could not have told the gentleman to pay himself back from the collection basket. When a chapel member bequeathed funds for the erection of a shrine, "priests" couldn't have delayed fulfilling the deceased's wishes until incensed chapel members prevailed in court. Furthermore, no kingpin would've dared tell one of the faithful that working for a competitor of a major cult benefactor was "taking bread out of my mouth": The man and his family would've been spared a ruinous, out-of-state move.

With Ross as his guide, no layman would've countenanced a "priest's" condoning the gruesome judicial murder of Terri Schiavo. Upon hearing the first reports from the distressed teachers at $GG $chool, all Gertries, not just the parents, would've intervened on behalf of defenseless children and secured the removal of "The Principal"; under no circumstances would that parasite have been able to continue to sponge off the chapel's resources for another eight or nine long years. Likewise, the generosity of the laity could never be abused by the cult masters' expensive trips abroad or sojourns at luxury desert spas. And most certainly, cynical "clergy" wouldn't have dared call such wasteful expenditures "apostolates" or "pilgrimages." Finally, after some 40 years, "priests" and "bishops" would know Latin inside out, so there'd be no perverse translations of infallible papal teaching on their websites.They also would've learned during those four decades to write academic English prose.

But you don't need to re-read PL's many pages exposing "clerical" bad behavior. (Most of you have enough disturbing memories of your own.) Nor need you give Jiminy Cricket a little whistle or scratch your head over the moral theologians' Scholastic idiom, which the cult masters smugly tell you means something different from what it plainly says. Just recall the transgressions you've witnessed or heard reported — the monstrous abuses that offended your sense of the right and the good — and then give Ross's seven principles a little once over.

It shouldn't take very long to feel moral outrage rising from your breast, provided you haven't been robbed of your conscience. In which case, if you still belong to a Tradistani cult but now are overcome with righteous indignation, you'll take your money and run.

STARVE THE BEAST. RESTORE DECENCY TO TRADWORLD.


* Sir William David Ross (1877-1971), an Oxford don and administrator, served as the general editor of the monumental Aristotle translation series (popularly called the "Oxford."). He not only translated some of the volumes in the series, notably the Nichomachean Ethics, but he also produced editions in Greek of important texts in the Aristotelian corpus.  Ross's commentary accompanying his revised Greek text of the Prior Analytics merits careful reading by every serious student of the assertoric syllogism.