Saturday, December 29, 2012


Charity begins at home. Proverb

Once again, as we usher the old year out and welcome the new, it's time for a firm resolution. In 2013, it's simple: Keep 'em poor!

Remember that the commandments of the Church only apply when there is a Church Visible with an intact hierarchy. In the Sede Vacante, the commandments are, as it were, suspended. We are living on a kind of desert island, and our return to civilization is not imminent. Traddie priests are not our pastors juridically, so there's no commandment to support them. And most certainly, there exists no sacred injunction to

* Fund luxurious vacations at highfalutin desert spas;

* Underwrite useless south-of-the-border and European "pastoral" tours;

* Foot the bill for gourmet-restaurant adventures;

* Pay for unnecessary building projects (that often can't pass inspection and thus cost more); and

* Support a nest of unnecessary (and perhaps dubious) "sacerdotal" personnel, who should be serving chapels of their own.

This year, think of your family. Think of your children. Think of your retirement. Think of the waste!

There's no special merit to be gained in supporting clerical freelancers. In no way do they represent the Church. They represent themselves. Therefore, your generosity is in vain. You might as well give your money to a pack of pagan Fire-Eaters, for all the spiritual good it will do you.

Trust less. Give less. KEEP 'EM POOR

Saturday, December 22, 2012


This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.  Samuel Johnson

Ed. Note: (Our yuletide gift, to the tune of “Shall We Dance.” Click here for the original, and then sing and dance along! Be sure to skip the ad!) 

It’s almost Christmas Eve;
You know they want your bucks.
They’ll soon be asking you for
Giant sums of cold, hard cash.

So many Traddie sheep
Are fearful of their shears:
It made us think we might write
Songs to help them to bleat, "No!"

Keep ’em poor!
To a chic, de luxe spa they shall not hop!
Keep ’em poor!
We shall now put their spending to a stop!

Or what’s more,
When a wastrel wants to make a border run,
We shall tell him, “Hold your horses,
You’ll not waste our dear resources,
So stay put where you are, Señor.”

With the knowledge now assured
That our savings won’t be squandered:
Keep ’em poor!
Keep ’em poor!
Keep ’em poor!

[♬♩♫♪orchestra ♪♫♩♬]

Keep ’em poor!
Frequent tours through all Gaul must surely end!
Keep ’em poor!
We shall cure their hot itch to spend and spend!

So, therefore,
When they get those old urges to construct,
We shall dial up code enforcement
(When we’ve published our divorcement),
So they’ll cease building evermore!

With the knowledge now assured
That our savings won’t be squandered:
Keep ’em poor!
Keep ’em poor!
Keep ’em poor!

[♬♩♫♪orchestra ♪♫♩♬]

Saturday, December 15, 2012


But O for the touch of a vanished hand. Tennyson

Ed. Note: The Readers were busy diarists on their recent sojourn to the eternal city as they recorded the opinions of some of the distinguished citizens they met. In the coming months, Pistrina may share some of their most pertinent observations with followers of this blog. For starters, and for whatever it's worth, here's an interesting note from the other side about ordination with one hand.

We met him by pure chance on a crisp, almost impossibly bright, Roman late morning in the first week November as we visited Santa Maria del Popolo. We happened to be admiring the numerous funerary monuments of the Mellini Chapel. As one of the Readers translated aloud the inscriptions for our group, a merry priest, perhaps in his mid-sixties, energetically approached us with a broad smile. It seems our interest in the chapel -- and our colleague's fascination with lapidary prose and sentiment -- had piqued his curiosity. Our introductions were almost immediately interrupted by the announcement of the church's closing for the afternoon, so we all shuffled off for a quick look at the adjacent Chigi Chapel with its mosaics designed by Raphael.

Outside, in front of the simple but impressive travertine façade, we chatted some more with this lively clergyman and ended up inviting him to join us at Canova's, an attractive café and restaurant just across the piazza near the Via Babuino. There we learned that our new acquaintance, now living in semi-retirement in Liguria, had been a professor of theology at a diocesan seminary. (He was in Rome that week on a visit to younger siblings.) As the hours drifted by, we explained the intractable problems of the traditional movement in the U.S., and in particular its substandard, grasping clergy. Inasmuch as our priestly table companion was a professionally trained theologian, one of the Readers, after supplying background information, asked him his opinion on one-handed ordination.

Our newfound friend first protested ignorance, saying that nowadays the Church puts less emphasis on "such procedural niceties." However, with a little prodding, he soon confessed amusement that sedevacantist clergy would not have cured the defect privately. "They have dozens of bishops willing to do such things for a small consideration! Why didn't that man regularize his predicament before his consecration? Why did he ever leave the question open to continuing speculation and doubt?"

We couldn't answer him, but we observed that subsequent to his consecration a dependent found a few authors who didn't condemn one-handed ordination.

"Su! Dai!" was his impatient retort as he slapped the edge of the table with his fingers. Then, with an arch smile and a slow shake of the head, he continued, "It's not outside my experience for authors to be wrong. Even the saintly Cappello! These sedevacantists are notorious for demanding adherence to the literal letter of the law. That's their scandal: they insist on strict compliance from others but they can't follow the rules themselves."

All we could do was agree, and we assured him their day in the sun was at an end.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Hurled headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky/With hideous ruin and combustion. Milton

We've just passed the third anniversary of the calamitous events of November 2009. Like bold Icarus, Traddie clergy flew too close to the heat of the conflict by defending the indefensible. And like that mythic heedless fool, they fell to their ruin.

Traddie-ism is dying, for all practical purposes. Only more decay awaits in the future. There are not enough people willing to give the money needed to sustain the wild spending. The giving trend undoubtedly points to regular weekly collections' dipping below subsistence level.  The younger generation will not support chapels at the budget-busting levels their poor parents did. The impending collapse is a solemn warning against allowing clergy access to assets without wise, lay oversight.

Make no mistake, the older clergy must be looking for a way out. They know how to read the red-ink written on the flaking dry-wall. Most must realize they can't ever recover -- there's not enough time -- and each angry day brings with it new losses as people flee disgusted with the whole Traddie misadventure: to remain much longer will tax the older clergy too harshly as resources disappear and looming financial horrors descend. 

Now, then, as we approach year's end, it's a good time for the Traddie laity and young clergy to take stock and face a terrifying fact: there is no hope in "organized" traditional Catholicism. The only answer (and it's a temporary one) lies in lay-controlled individual chapels with no affiliation or loyalty or obligation to another organization under the control of one man. These completely independent chapels will not be permanent; they can last perhaps another ten years at best, by which time the expansion of the SSPX, the FSSP, and other such highly qualified institutions will have rendered the few remaining Traddie chapels both intolerable and redundant. By then, Vatican II will have suffered the judgment of history and scholarship. It will stand condemned as alien to Catholic tradition, and the Restoration will be well underway. 

This means that there will only be positions for the clergy now in their very late forties or mid-to-late fifties, who had an authentic seminary formation and perhaps have a retirement fund or an inheritance to fall back on when their chapels empty out. The younger clergy, however, won't be so lucky. As the laity see more and more of the new breed of well-trained clergy, they will naturally compare them to the Traddies, and the Traddies will be found painfully wanting.

With no education or job training, today's young Traddie clergy will be virtually unemployable at an age when it will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to learn a new trade. They won't be wanted by the SSPX , FSSP, or other societies, not even as lay brothers, and there won't be enough positions among the few Traddie hold-out  chapels to support them. The old priests will make sure that no one encroaches on their shrinking turf.

To those disadvantaged young clergy, we offer the words of Cicero: Quod scis nihil prodest, quod nescis multum obest, which we'll of necessity translate for them: What you know is worthless, and what you do not know does much injury. You may be young enough if you leave right now to get some vocational training that can give you a living wage and a modest future. There are many programs available for individuals who are at risk of becoming burdens to the community. Even you can see the ruins around you, so you'd better act now and find a new career before it's too late.

And, BTW, to all the lay folk out there: Remember this holiday season to...


Saturday, December 1, 2012


I have often thought, says Sir Roger, it happens very well that Christmas should fall out in the Middle of Winter. Addison
It looks as though"One-Hand Dan's" closely shorn flock is getting Pistrina's holiday message. The week after the report of a doubling of the usual offering, the collection recorded in Dannie's Nov. 18  cult bulletin plummeted once again below the normal, post-2009-scandal $3K+ average. (We think the $6K+ report of a few weeks ago represents either a one-off donation from a witless dupe, who didn't know any better, or a reprise of the creative collection statistics of the old N.Y. days.)

The big expenses of "One-Hand's" cult center require far more than $2,800 a week (and, indeed, much more than the depressed $3K+ he's been getting for the last three years). Also, the Christmas season has always been the occasion for outlandish spending so that "One-Hand" can mount his "really big holiday shew," where he's the center of extravagant and undeserved attention. That's why it's so important this year to suppress all giving: sure, they'll still spend like sailors on shore leave in Amsterdam, but they'll have to cannilbalize funds earmarked for other unnecessary but pet projects for self-promotion. By forcing them to consume the money they've sequestered for their own selfish reasons, you'll curtail their influence. As they devour their own resources -- resources that were once yours -- in a frenetic attempt to inspire you to part with more of your money, they won't have any cash to spread around in Mexico, France, and the Swampland. (That'll put the rector's big $30K plan on ice for good!)

That's why it's also important to hold back on personal cash gifts to "One-Hand," the Blunderer, the two gofer-completers, and the Pesthouse. If the holiday spirit (or a  misplaced sense of guilt and pity) compels you to give something, why not give a cash gift in their name to a children's hospital or to some other worthy charity? (What delicious irony!) You'll be doing good while at the same time you'll keep money out of their hands. Believe us, if you make this yuletide a cold and wintry one for the cult panjandrums and their flunkies, they'll get desperate after they've gobbled up all the mad money squirreled away in their several corporations. And that means they'll be softened up for negotiations with the new lay movement. 

Just remember to make them eat up their ready funds: No dough for Dannie; no checks for Ceky; no gelt for the goofy gofers; and no pay-off for the Pesthouse. Let's make 2013 the year when the cult collapses from its own excesses after a winter of discontent.