Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday Cards (3)

Ed. Note: While staff continues on Christmas vacation, Pistrina posts another interesting insight from one of its followers:

Dear Pistrina,

Has anyone ever investigated whether the Thuc line may be invalid through Carmona but valid through des Lauriers? I once read Carmona's very lame response to criticisms about the validity of his orders, and I wonder if he was such a simpleton that he didn't pay attention to the proper rite etc. Everyone knows that Thuc was at times erratic early on in conferring orders.

Des Lauriers was a great theologian, so there's no doubt he would have insisted upon the correct edition of the Roman Pontifical and the correct rite. Carmona did not have had the education and understanding required to demand the correct book and ritual,

That might explain the problems with those so-called Traddie bishops whose Thuc lineage came through Carmona. I haven't been able to find any documentation about Carmona's "consecration" regarding the Ponitifal used or the rite employed. I'd really appreciate some solid investigation here.

Ed. Note: Sounds like a worthy research project! Is anybody out there game for it? It might account for a lot of the bad behavior in Traddieland U.S.A.

Happy New Year, and be sure you keep your money to yourself. As ever...


Saturday, December 24, 2011


Ed. Note: During the Readers' vacations, Pistrina continues with its selection of e-mail messages. This one certainly deadens any cheerful wishes we might have for the holidays. We've seen the same program, and we understand why our correspondent is concerned. If the prediction comes to pass, then at least we'll have the consolation that the Terrible Trio and all its unpleasant associates will be out of the picture.


Something conservative, almost orthodox definitely is afoot in the Conciliar Church, and it's much more than the new retro translation of the Mass. As you posted [see the the article titled BUST, Ed. ], this new element threatens to wipe away for good the feuding, money hungry, control freaks of the traditional movement. Only the Kool Aid addicts will be left, and everyone knows they're so marginal economically that they can't support their masters.

I just watched the PBS series "Catholicism" and I'm still in shock. The language and tone may be contemporary, but the content is right out of the pre-Vatican II past. If these conservatives of New Church get their ducks in order on the liturgical front, then we should expect to see a mass exodus (pardon the pun) from the likes of the Dolan, Pivarunas, Sanborn, Kelly cults and even the SSPX.

I predict that Catholics, sick and tired of the suicidal traddie self-immolations and palace revolts, will start to think that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it IS a duck. If that happens, it's over for the sedes. I'm halfway ready to agree myself.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Ed. Note: While our Readers are on their Christmas break, Pistrina thought you might enjoy some of the correspondence we have received. Even at this time of the year, we will not stop reminding everyone of the Terrible Trio's bizarre circus act. Be sure you starve the beast this season. Keep your wallets closed!

Dear Pistrina,

I am new to the site, so I read through all the posts critiquing Anthony Cekada's Work of Human Hands. I also managed to borrow a copy. Let me first say, that you Readers have done a thorough job of exposing that sham piece of pseudo-scholarship. Let me add, that I am in a unique position to add to your condemnation.

My academic speciality is pragmatics (language usage) and, in particular, discourse analysis. Your detailed post mortem of Cekada's book ably demonstrated his ill preparedness and absence of mastery of fundamentals. For my part, I decided to test whether the distribution of such elements as syntax, vocabulary, sentence structure, etc. also suggested that as a writer he falls outside the normative context of scholarly prose.

I compared sample passages from Work of Human Hands to randomly selected passages from 20 recent works by recognized scholars in the humanities. The result was conclusive. Without boring you with all the methodology, the study showed that, statistically speaking, Cekada as a user of written language does not fall within the expected norms for American scholarly discourse. My model indicates that his register is that of, say, an average college junior, or perhaps a sophomore.

As you have said, Work of Human Hands can by no means pose as a work of scholarship. Perhaps if I have the leisure time, I will write up my findings for future publication.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered. Auden

The Blunderer and "One Hand" Dan have been trying of late to pump of sales of that doomed, unscholarly volume, Work of Human Hands. "One Hand" has stooped so low as to hype it in a recent sermon on the necessity of Latin. As the gift-giving season goes into full swing, perhaps this is the time to remind everyone of the many failures of that rag -- failures that reflect the failed legacy of the Terrible Trio, whose pride, arrogance, and overreaching will be forgotten soon enough, as are all human vanities. All their works are best consigned to oblivion.

Just as there are seven deadly sins that we should avoid, here are seven reasons for not wasting your money on such an empty and self-serving product of amateur authorship and publishing:

The academic shortcomings of Anthony Cekada’s Work of Human Hands are legion. First, there is virtually no notion of systematic composition, for sentences are not developed into coherent, unified and structured paragraphs. Second, the author’s diction is not academic but characterized by American regional slang and colloquialisms. Third, the self-taught author commits numerous errors of translation, transcription, and citation from Latin. Fourth, the author, in several cases, has failed to attribute the source of translations. Fifth, the text is littered with non-standard English and unconventional usage. Sixth, typographical errors and misspellings abound. Seventh, the book contains factual errors, as even one favorable reviewer pointed out.
We could continue, but we will not tax your patience. Suffice it to say that Work of Human Hands is at best a mere pantomime of scholarship. For a complete post-mortem of this stillborn insult to the world of genuine learning, start with this post on Pistrina Liturgica and continue reading.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


By thy shut soul's hypocrisy/...I call upon thee! and compel/Thyself to be thy proper Hell! Byron

The November MHT Newsletter finally slithered in. No mention of the big $30 K proposal. No reference to "taking over" Our Lady of the Sun. Those pipe dreams have vanished, we surmise. However, there was an overload of hypocrisy. In a peevish fit of self-righteousness, the rector declares, with a shameless absence of self-awareness:
...we have striven carefully over the years to observe faithfully the doctrine and practices of the Catholic Church, and to distance ourselves from others in the traditional movement who are sloppy in this regard. Because of the deprivation of authority in the present crisis, the sheep are without shepherds, and the door is open to all sorts of aberration and abuse. There are many traditional priests, for example, who are ordained without proper training...They arrive suddenly in the priesthood and function poorly, either because they are ignorant, or because they have never learned how to curb their vices and lead good spiritual lives. They have never been vetted by serious seminary training. Their ignorance often leads to very serious errors in dogmatic, moral, or pastoral theology.
How, then, does this square with the practice of his completers of the MHT pesthouse? As we have noted, one of his products could not perform a graveside burial service. (The same feckless fool also committed a major doctrinal error in his requiem sermon.) Another one (even worse trained, if that's possible) skipped the consecration at Mass. That absent-minded creature has also invented a number of new mortal sins and recently could not say the requisite number of Ave, Marias at the Leonine Prayers. Another one cannot bless holy water without being wracked by self-doubt and insecurity (and one of his baptisms is a horror story of incompetent practice: perhaps we'll tell it one day).

This is preserving the the Catholic faith?

Please. Gag us with a spoon!

This is sheer hypocrisy, and yet another instance of the failure of the rector and his dynamic-duo buddies from SW Ohio to create a legacy.

Being "home alone" is far better than being in the company of these theological ne'er do wells. They think they merely have to say they are Catholic for you to believe them, when their works make it plain that they are worse than the men they despise.

Reject them all out of hand -- and anyone who associates with them.