Sunday, February 27, 2011


The flesh of the land-tortoise is employed for fumigations. Pliny the Elder (tr. Bostock & Riley)

After reading the February 20 post, you now understand that will take a very powerful compound to fumigate Most Holy Trinity (MHT) Clerical Vocational Program to rid it of rapidly fatal plague. Nothing less than the complete removal of its staff and administration is required. The following brief anecdote about the rector’s clone, who is also the vice rector, will prove that no one in that pest house has the foggiest notion about good teaching. To a man, they are less than amateurs, and we have come to know them by their spoiled fruits.

An industrious seminarian teaching in the “parish” school attached to MHT used to prepare outlines and study guides for the children to facilitate their mastery of the subject material. When the clone learned of this, he reprimanded the seminarian, severely chiding him that he was making it “too easy” for the students. Since the seminarian didn’t want to be expelled, he complied with the clone’s wrongheaded demand.

A teacher’s job is to help his students learn. He does what is necessary to assure mastery. Every real teacher knows that easing the task of learning does not mean making it easy on the student. It is clear that the clone is an incompetent educator who embraces the culture of punishment characteristic of MHT’s rector and disturbed staff. If this misguided priest just stayed in his little school with its miniscule enrollment, the Reader wouldn’t comment. However, given that he is also closely associated with the MHT leadership, we completely understand how the clerical vocational school produces the nincompoops we have exposed.

P.S. Why not register for RC-Corner? (See yesterday's Post)

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Now all the Athenians, and strangers that were there, employed themselves in nothing else, but either in telling or in hearing some new thing. Acts 17:21

The Readers interrupt their normal publishing schedule to announce a brand-new Catholic online forum:

RC-Corner at

Register and start a thread or join the conversation on the existing threads!

Already we like the tone and style, and it appears as though the "Super Moderators" have the wit and verve to keep up a lively and insightful conversation. We certainly hope to find some hard talk about Anthony Cekada's blunders, the pestilent seminary, and its unsavory personnel. (Don't worry: we'll keep posting on Pistrina, and we'll be back in a day or two with a nice little tale out of school about that pestiferous "clone.")

Sunday, February 20, 2011


For in a madhouse there exists no law. John Clare

The plague flag flutters fitfully not only above laughing-academy American chapels but also over transatlantic missionary bedlams, thanks to the aggressive malformation at Most Holy Trinity [MHT] Clerical Vocational Program. In this post, the Reader will this time show you something more than canonically irregular ignorance and malign stupidity. You’ll read an account of behavior so neurotically bizarre, so pathologically disordered, so chronically erratic, so morally unworthy that it renders our subject unfit to continue serving as a Catholic priest. We will narrate the account straightforwardly in the hope you may perceive the unfiltered horror of a lost clerical personality in deep distress.

It was during early Spring 2009 that Anthony Cekada announced to several hopeful traditionalists in England the possibility of establishing an “English Sede Mission.” During May, on the recommendation of Cekada, a number of these expectant traditionalists had made contact with a certain French priest who had completed MHT. By July, our Frenchman affirmed he would be able to return regularly after the September ordination of a seminarian studying in Italy. Therefore, starting in October, he began serving the newly established mission every second Sunday. By the next month, some rather alarming behavior had become manifest.

WEIRD EPISODE I. According to prior arrangements, the Frenchman would normally contact the mission upon arrival in England so the people could prepare everything for Mass. Late on a November 2009 afternoon, after the mission coordinators had heard nothing from the priest at the expected hour, they texted him without response. They next attempted to phone him, also to no avail. Despairing, one of the coordinators decided to secure the keys to the priest’s guest-house room before the cut-off time when all would be too late. When he arrived at the guest-house, however, the landlady informed the man that the priest had arrived almost two hours earlier. The gentleman was kindly shown to the room and thus knocked at the door for nearly two minutes. Finally, the exceedingly drowsy and bleary-eyed Levite appeared. Upon questioning the sleepy priest, the Frenchman insisted he had arrived at the guesthouse just five minutes beforehand!

WEIRD EPISODE II. During this visit to England, the MHT-trained Frenchman decided to contact a Belgian “parishioner’s” friend, who opportunely lived in a city not far from the mission. This friend and her daughter, it turned out, were in fact practicing Novus Ordites. During the priest’s visit to this family, he said Mass in their home and distributed Holy Communion to the Modernist pair.

WEIRD EPISODE III. When the scandal broke out at St. Gertrude the Great Church in Ohio, the Frenchman “demanded” that a Yorkshire family not talk anymore with the Rev. Mr. Bernard Hall (a friend of the family and a fellow Yorkshireman), who had protested the shameful abuses at St. Gertrude School.

WEIRD EPISODE(S) IV. In March 2010, in order to save on costly lodging fees, an English family had purchased a sofa-bed, which they offered for use to the visiting Frenchman. At first he reluctantly accepted, but soon after it appeared that he had begun to regard the sofa as his bed and their home his private hotel, apparently considering such as part of a ‘deal’ in respect of his visits there. In May 2010, after his travel arrangements were fouled up, he arrived at the home in an ugly mood and, near the conclusion of his visit, threw what can only be described as a mini-tantrum. Strangely, for his next scheduled visit in June, he had inexplicably altered his usual departure time, leaving a day early (ostensibly to save money on vehicle rental), but by October, he had bizarrely announced he would resume his former departure schedule. When pressed about his reasons by the confused family, the priest became irate, unexpectedly arose from the dining table without answering the question, and stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him, all of which was performed in front of the now scandalized parents and children alike. To his very evident chagrin, the Frenchman found he had to return, rather sheepishly, a few minutes later to acquire his forgotten travel-expense money.

WEIRD EPISODE V. For this same October 2010 visit, the French priest had invited a young man to assist at the evening Sunday Mass, albeit failing to take into account certain inconveniences that were presented to the hosts thereby. However, the generous English family cordially received the cheerful visitor to their home. Later they learned that their guest was traveling back home quite late the following Monday afternoon, even though he wasn’t staying for the Mass of that morning. The family asked the priest why the devout young Catholic had made such odd travel plans. In the Frenchman’s words, the young man was unable to plan things well because that was how he was “in the mind.” It was with dismay that the family later learned the young man had made the inopportune travel booking on the advice of the priest!

WEIRD EPISODE VI. After the aberrant behavior of October 2010, the mission heard nothing more from the French priest about his already booked and confirmed November visit, scheduled for five weeks later. A month passed by, and, by happenstance, a third party informed the sponsoring family that the priest was now unsure about visiting them because the family had a new dog. The priest had never mentioned that ‘a new dog’ would present any sort of problem. Then to the family’s shock, they learned from their mutual associate that, behind the family’s back, the priest had been attempting to arrange to say Mass that November weekend for other traditionalists in another part of the country. The family e-mailed the Frenchman to determine whether he intended to honor his commitment, whilst candidly sharing their defensible frustration and disappointment over the priest’s anomalous behavior. After a flurry of flimsy excuses and awkward attempts at misdirection, the priest finally assailed the family for breaking the aforementioned ‘deal’ by acquiring a dog! He concluded his criticism by writing, “I am sincerely surprised at your frustration…I have to find a way to overcome that you will have a new pet in the house.” Needless to say, our Frenchman never did say Mass for the family that November, and indeed, hasn’t arranged to serve them since.

Deplorably, this is not the end of this depressing story, but discretion restricts what we can further report, only to say that one of the families involved has learned that they have now been tarred by our French priest with the calumny of ‘mental illness’ so often favored and employed by the Triumvirate and their MHT completers.

You don’t need to be a Sigmund Freud or a Richard von Krafft-Ebing to recognize that something is very wrong here. To be sure, the problem goes deeper than the man himself, for he shares the same characteristics with other MHT completers, affiliated clergy, and its management. Lying, failure to keep promises, irrational outbursts, sudden reversals of practice, extreme defensiveness, abuse of discretion, charges of mental illness and the like are all behaviors sadly too familiar to Catholics who have had any dealings with the Dolan-Cekada-Sanborn cabal.

As an institution, MHT Clerical Vocational Program has for years been in a steep social and intellectual decline. In the opinion of many priests and laymen, the place has hit rock bottom. It is becoming clear now that it should be closed, but as long as Catholics keep sending the rector money, he can keep it running and continue to produce misfits like this man. Only good Catholics can put an end to this mockery of priestly formation. Please ignore Sanborn’s appeals for more and more cash. If your chapel sends money to MHT, speak to your priest and demand that he stop immediately. Should he refuse, withhold your contributions to the chapel. Instead of a check, put a protest note in the collection basket, and encourage your fellow Catholics to follow suit. If you know people who contribute privately to MHT, advise them in Christian candor to cease for the good of their soul and the survival of the traditional movement.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. Edmund Burke

Successful enterprises, be they a school or a multinational corporation or a trades union, have one secret in common: they teach their students or employees or apprentices what "good" looks like. Quality organizations put forward as their models of performance only those practitioners of the highest character, qualifications, and achievement.

Pistrina has shown that the Blunderer, with his woefully inadequate education and his assorted gaffes and goofs, can never exemplify learning and scholarly judgment. We’ve also laid bare the Rector’s abject failure as an educator. Nevertheless, these two fools still take themselves seriously.

Well, we don't take them seriously. They are contemptible clowns who have no business running or teaching in a Catholic seminary. In this post, we’ve chosen two anecdotes from the dozens we’ve collected, which go a long way toward explaining why Most Holy Trinity [MHT] Clerical Vocational Program produces so many malformed priests. We’re sure you'll agree that the following pair of sketches reveals profound defects of temperament, which, in the real world, would bring about the closing of the institution these two plague with their presence.

Bad Behavior: Exhibit A

When the smarmy Blunderer was pretending to teach at MHT in Michigan, he liked to wander over to the parish school and kill time by unexpectedly turning up in classrooms (for “quality control,” as he told the teaching sisters). The sisters were sorely annoyed by his unwelcome intrusions as well as by his disruptive attempts to teach class. (After he once disastrously flubbed an accounting lesson, a nun had to re-teach the concepts from scratch; the children knew he blew it, too.) Another time, in order to avoid the usual disturbance, a young nun received the principal’s permission to lock her classroom door during the Blunderer’s week at MHT. Apparently a locked door was not enough of a message, because, undeterred, he knocked loudly after he couldn’t walk in on his own. The sister answered the door, and politely denied his request to enter. Now a normal person might have been embarrassed, but not this boor. He promptly ran to the Rector and tattled. The irate Rector then dressed down the principal for supporting the nun.

Bad Behavior: Exhibit B

On another occasion in Michigan, just before Mass, a seminarian queried the Rector about a liturgical procedure. The Rector directed the young man to ask the Blunderer (the so-called “liturgical expert,”LOL). During the course of the Mass, the seminarian followed the Blunderer’s advice. After Mass, as the ministers were unvesting in the sacristy, the Rector raged at the young man for what he had done. So loud was the irascible Rector that everyone in the chapel -- students, seminarians, laity, and other priests -- overheard every word of the disedifying and embarrassing outburst. The Blunderer took it all in, too, but made no attempt to come to the defense of the tearfully mortified seminarian. Later in the refectory, the Blunderer loudly approved the disgraceful episode. The young man eventually left the seminary.

With men like these as rôle models, it’s no surprise that MHT produces unfit priests for American chapels. The Rector and the Blunderer are not serious examples to emulate. They are case studies in the kind of behavior adults should avoid. The two violate every rule we ever learned in the sandbox or at our mother's knee.

Unfortunately, the malformation of clergy is not confined to the ’States because MHT actively recruits abroad. In his January newsletter, the Rector boasted that there may be three French candidates and two or three from Russia. In the hope that someone will contact these European candidates and warn them, Pistrina will soon post a shocking profile of one the French completers of MHT -- a real chip off the old blockheads if there ever was one. May it be a warning to any man who thinks he can escape MHT with his vocation unimpaired and his personality intact.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Without Reprieve adjudg'd to death,/For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth. John Milton

Ed. Note: By now it’s clear that the presence of so many young, incompetent priests working in the decimated Dolan-Cekada-Sanborn chapels is in large measure attributable to the appalling educational and spiritual conditions at Most Holy Trinity Clerical Vocational Program. Everyone agrees the place is well beyond repair or reform. Another reason for the abundance of idiocy, however, is the absence of intelligent young men who persist to ordination. We Readers know that, more than occasionally, talented men matriculate – men who are academically gifted, who think and reason closely and clearly, who possess a God-given vocation to the priesthood, and who have well informed consciences. The problem is that such men, who should be nurtured, are in fact targeted for removal. The rector prefers lumpen sycophants to supple intellects, as the following report shows:

This story stretches back eight years to February 2003. The seminarian, now a law student at a major university abroad, is a singularly able and well born young man with a keen interest in theology. (We Readers have read some of his impressive monographs, which surpass in both substance and style the vapid articles of the much older but less fortunate Anthony Cekada.)

Even in his native country, the seminarian had been impressed by the writings of the French Jesuit Louis Billot, the foremost speculative neo-Thomist of the 20th century. Eventually his enthusiasm led him to Billot’s magisterial Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi (1898, 1910) and its renown thesis 29.* In sum, the thesis posits that a canonically elected Pope holding office can lose the pontificate by voluntary abdication alone and by no other means, provided that one accept as impossible a Pope’s defection from the faith through notorious heresy (a hypothesis held by Bellarmine and others). Billot then added that whether or not one accepts the hypothesis, an infallible sign of a sitting pontiff’’s legitimacy is the Universal Church’s continued adherence to his person as pope.

The talented seminarian found Billot’s thesis compelling. After all, the former cardinal was one of the great theological authors —‘author’ in the strict sense— of the late 19th and early 20thcenturies. Popes, eminent churchmen, and theologians openly praised him (Pietro Parente singles him out with Franzelin as one of the illustrious “Collegio Romano” professors of the Scholastic restoration). Billot had helped draft Pius X’s Pascendi and had served as a consultor to the Holy Office. The Church has never condemned his metaphysical and theological writings.** Indeed, Pope Pius XII, in an address to the students of the Gregorian, named Billot as a theologian who should be a model for all of the teachers of sacred doctrine.

Now, motivated in part by Anthony Cekada’s interpretation of canon 188.4 (tacit resignation of one publicly fallen from the faith), the seminarian defended Billot’s thesis to the rector's clone, who had not long been a priest. He was immediately told that the thesis was “an error,” although the clone did not provide a formal argument for his judgment, not even a demonstration that the thesis was only probable and that other competing opinions were most probable. (In fact, at no time did any faculty member refute the thesis. It was just an error. Period!) Then the clone added that Cekada’s interpretation of canon 188.4 was “contrary to the faith.”

The clone dutifully reported the conversation to the rector. The rector professed he could not ordain the seminarian if he continued to think as he did. Accordingly, he gave the young man until June to think about the matter and change his mind. In May, the seminarian confided to a priest, a fellow countryman, his concerns. He then mentioned the clone’s characterization of Cekada’s interpretation of canon 188.4 as “contrary to the faith.” The priest advised the young man to speak with the clone to clear up what must surely have been a misunderstanding. Afterward, following the priest’s advice, the seminarian did speak to the clone, who gave vague, evasive, and nonsensical answers as the young man pressed him to clarify what had meant by calling Cekada’s interpretation “contrary to the faith.” The clone then informed the seminarian he intended to talk to the rector.

A few days later, the rector summoned the seminarian. At the meeting, the rector announced that, according to his clone, the seminarian was still following Billot, so it would be best for the young man to leave the seminary. (N.B.: The seminarian's meeting with the clone really had nothing at all to do with Billot's thesis; it is therefore evident that either the rector or his clone was not truthful. Also remember: the seminarian had been given until June to change his mind.) When the seminarian then disclosed the condemnation of Cekada’s interpretation, the rector cooly replied he didn’t believe his clone had spoken those words. He neither called in the clone to sort out the facts nor did he take into account that the seminarian had nothing to gain by lying, for he would have exposed himself as a calumniator. Thereupon, the rector firmly reminded the seminarian, “This is my seminary!” The next day, the young man flew back to his native land.

The Reader neither endorses nor opposes Billot’s thesis. Frankly, we at Pistrina think that a good traditionalist can embrace the thesis and still believe Joseph Ratzinger has no authority. At the same time, we just might be able to understand in theory, at least, how as a matter of conscience a bishop might withhold holy orders from a candidate who holds opinions at odds with what he certainly knows to be right.

What happened to this young man, however, is not such a case. If the rector-bishop wants to pretend he runs a Catholic seminary, then he must follow the Church’s past practice for priestly formation. Billot has always been a sober, sound, and recommended author; his Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi was, before the crisis, an approved seminary textbook. Billot's theological manuals have always occupied a respected place in the classrooms and libraries of the finest seminaries in the world. Therefore, in this case, there could never have existed a genuine conflict of conscience. It appears as though the clone made a stupid blunder in the first place by running to the rector with something that wasn’t a problem. He then compounded his blunder with an imprudent and perhaps calumnious remark. The rector threw out a worthy young man to save the face of a fool.

Right-thinking Catholics are obliged to condemn the injustice and impoverished intellectual atmosphere at Most Holy Trinity Clerical Vocational Program. If Billot’s thesis is erroneous, then demonstrate it by formal argumentation. Just declaring it wrong is not sufficient. If faculty members are at odds over opinions, then officials may not punish students for conclusions formed as a result of embracing a teacher’s interpretation. If the interpretation is truly wrong, that is, if it is “contrary to the faith," then get rid of the teacher, not the student.

Additionally, if a seminarian does come to a conclusion the administration deems truly and dangerously erroneous, then authorities must invoke sweet reason and Catholic principles, not coercion, to change the opinion. If the seminarian is talented, then there is all the more reason to attempt to rescue a good mind for the traditional priesthood. Otherwise, the only priests who emerge from such a program will be more of the same empty-headed losers appearing in this blog.

A POST SCRIPT TO HYPOCRITICAL INJUSTICE: A few years after the seminarian’s dismissal, he learned from a priest associated with Rector Sanborn that Billot’s Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi was read aloud in the refectory at lunch time. (The dumb diners probably couldn't understand the learned Jesuit, so their mindless careers are safe.)

* Click here and go to page 622 to view thesis xxix.

** His resignation from the cardinalate was occasioned by his sympathy with the Action Française, a conservative, monarchist political movement condemned by Pius XI.