Sunday, October 17, 2010


From Washington, D.C.
I'm a conservative (but not a sedevacantist) Catholic graduate student, who is professionally interested in the history of the reform of the liturgy in the 20th century. Despite Pistrina's detailed, often brilliant work in exposing all of Cekada's awful mistakes, I bought a copy of WHH. As one the Readers once remarked, sometimes even very sloppy book can contain something of value [Ed. Note: cf. July 12, ].
I'm not going to tell you I tossed the book out: the bibliography might be useful in a limited way. But I do wish I hadn't spent that much money on such an unprofessional volume. From reading other sites, I know some have criticized you for concentrating on errors of language, format, and style. Those individuals were well intentioned,I'm sure, but as non-professionals they don't understand that in the academic world these apparently "little matters" are signs of serious, underlying intellectual deficiencies. I can certify that no dissertation committee in any decent university would accept a text in so bad a shape as WHH. It would have to be rewritten before the chair would convene the committee again.
In closing, let me point out some "technical trifles" of publication style that would raise more than eyebrows in a mainstream educational institution. I know they look insignificant to the layman, but in the real world of the academy, such details do count (a nice application of Maritain's notion of "the power of micro-actions").
1. p. 121 (et passim), AD : In academic press style, the abbreviation for the era designation anno Domini is conventionally set in small caps (when the running text is not set in italics), to wit, ad.
2. pp. 184, 297, 321, Our Lord and/or Lady: in running text, the possessive adjective modifying the appellation is not capitalized in well-edited copy.
3. p. 223, n. 13, incipits: 1st,"incipit" meaning the opening words of a text, is considered an English word, so no italics are called for; 2nd, if the word were considered foreign, then the English plural indicator -s should have been set in plain text, not italics. Hence even though it would have been erroneous, Cekada should have printed incipits.
If these examples aren't enough to persuade some of the more literate in cyberspace to condemn Cekada's book as a sham, then maybe my next one will. In note 51 on p. 64, Cekada laughably writes, "Jungmann, of course, was an Ur-brain, if there ever was one, and it is said that Pius XII kept a copy of Jungmann's Mass of the Roman Rite on his desk." Obviously Cekada meant that Jungmann was a peerless intellect or something like that. The problem is, however, that the perfective prefix Ur- (or ur-) means "primitive, primordial, original, earliest, proto-" as in the German words "Urtext" (the earliest version of a text), "Urheimat," "Urreligion," and English-German combinations like "Ur-Hamlet," "Ur-form," and"Ur-myth." Jungmann, indeed, was a great and careful scholar, but he was not the original scholar after whom all others came. Cekada, poor wretch, tries so hard to mimic what he cannot possibly understand with his substandard education. I feel sorry -- and embarrassed -- for his ridiculous performance: a mature man by now would have learned his limitations.
P.S. Whatever your motives, we're all very impressed at your Readers' mastery of Latin.

The Reader replies: Great documentation. Our Ur-Mark-Up-Copy does show that three of the Readers noted these failures. We suppose they didn't make it to publication for reasons of economy. As you well know, Anthony presented us all with an embarrassment of blunders: Soooo many mistakes ... soooo little space! BTW, you are far more charitable than we could ever be.
Thanks for the compliment, and we'll earn your continued praise by exposing another one of Anthony's errors in the language that a traditional priest should know. (We didn't have room for it in June.) On p. 320, where he cites perhaps the most important text for the traditional Catholic argument, we find the following gross misprint: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundeter (read effundetur). This is one goof that no one writing against the Mass of Paul VI should make, and its occurrence is proof in itself that Anthony Cekada has no business writing about these important matters. After all, Anthony reads and says these words almost every day of his life. How on earth did he miss that error? It's also proof that anyone who praises or defends Anthony's shallow, sloppy, and aimless drivel is either a fool or a liar (and probably both).

Monday, October 4, 2010



What EDUCATED readers are criticizing


Nowhere have I read such a slipshod and ill-written

piece of intellectual pretension and collection of empty-headed conclusions. It fairly bristles with errors of language, style, and fact. Its analyses would shame a backward ninth grader. This is just the work that Modernists need to attack the defenders of tradition as illiterate flakes.A Traditional Catholic Educator

A tissue of banalities and a penance to read…I never

imagined that such bad prose, juvenile observations, and poor

scholarship could stumble into print. Many thanks to Pistrina

Liturgica for opening our eyes to so many unpardonable blunders

and offenses to Catholic learning.A Catholic First Professional

Sovereign proof of authorial failure. Virtually each page

documents the author’s alienation from Thomism and

the authentic Catholic academy.A Catholic Writer

“Honteux! Effronterie! La République des Lettres se plaint! «Honi soit qui bien y pense!»”A Belgian Religious

Do NOT buy it!