Saturday, January 26, 2013


A man so various that he seemed to be/Not one, but all mankind's epitome./Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong:/Was everything by starts, and nothing long:/But in the course of one revolving moon,/Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon. Dryden

Last weekend, the Readers viewed a newly posted video interview with Anthony Cekada on the Thc consecrations. What we found of interest was not the thin account of his change of heart about the line’s validity, but rather one of the arguments he offered to defend the archbishop’s lucidity: To our choking amazement, Cekada argued that Thc’s writing out a consecration certificate in “correct Latin(minute 12:31) should disprove in “the mind of any reasonable man” (minute 27:21) the claim that he was “a crazy old geezer who…didn’t know what he was doing” (minute 27:02).

Whoaaaa! That’s a real volte-face from the position taken in the anti-Thc-line screed "Two Bishops in Every Garage," where “Peregrinus” characterized the archbishop’s Declaratio as “extremely crude.”

We decided to take a closer look at Cekada’s video assertion about certificate’s Latinity and to consider, as well, the probative value of the Blunderer’s particular example. Our aim here, bear in mind, is not to discredit Abp. Thc. Pistrina is on record as defending the archbishop's Latin against the frivolous charge of extreme crudity (see our page “Pilgrim’s Fine Mess”). Furthermore, we have never doubted the Thc lineage per se. Our sole purpose, as it has been from the inception of this blog, is to disabuse Catholics of any notion that the Blunderer is an authority worth hearing.

Value of the Certificate as Evidence of Competence

The most important thing to bear in mind is this: the text of a consecration certificate, even an autograph text, should never be used as proof of mental or linguistic competence.* Why? Because the language is not a specimen of original, personal expression or self-possession. In documents like a consecration certificate (e.g., diplomas, wills, oaths, affidavits and jurats, resolutions, contracts, etc.), the wording is boilerplate, the structure formulaic. Coherence rises from fixed form, stock terminology, and stereotypical phraseology, not from the mental stability of the writer.**

If you’ve read a number of such documents over the years, it doesn’t take much presence of mind to mimic them. Most people without a day in law school or an understanding of specialized and often archaic vocabulary can generate some decent-sounding text by stringing together oft-heard snippets like "party of the first part...," "Be it known by these presents.....," "I give, devise and bequeath all of the residue and remainder...." Moreover, the archbishop may have copied directly from a model, perhaps even his own litteræ. Therefore, before reaching so important a conclusion regarding a consecrator’s mental health, the Readers would demand a very different sample of continuous prose (such as, for instance, the patently intelligible, original Latin of the archbishop’s 1983 Declaratio, which “Peregrinus” so roundly –- and wrongly -- condemned).

The Latinity of the Certificate

Now let’s turn to see how “correct” the certificate’s Latin is.  (Click here for a facsimile of the handwritten original). To avoid a tedious grammatico-textual analysis, we stipulate that, in general, the Latin is sound. But of  course, that’s only to be expected, for no matter who penned the words the contents are, for the most part, boilerplate! *** However, near the end there’s a serious morphological error, which surely originated with Thc himself: testes oculares erant Domini Doctori Kurt Hiller et Doctori Eberhard Heller. The Latin word doctor -ōris is 3rd declension, not 2nd, so the correct form is doctores (and written only once, mind you), if Thc meant, “The eyewitnesses were the Honorable (lit. lords) Doctors K.H. and E.H.”

Someone (say, a more educated latter-day “Peregrinus” with an old axe to grind) might argue that malformation of the nominative plural for so common a word as doctor is a sign of diminished capacity.

To be sure, “any reasonable man” wouldn’t arrive at that conclusion. The certificate was doubtlessly drawn up in haste at one sitting. The error may have resulted from distraction or the pressure to put to bed a mundane task as quickly as possible. We’ve all been in a similar situation and made similar slips in writing our mother tongue, especially when we’re at the end of a perfunctory duty and want to get it over and done with. Moreover, anyone who has learned Latin well enough to write it with some degree of fluency can testify to like mistakes when called upon to draft text on the spur of the moment. Nevertheless, we must admit that, in this case, the Latin form is definitely not correct.

The Point

It's obvious this challenged interviewee has no business commenting either on the evidentiary weight of a document or on the linguistic quality of any Latin text. Anyone with real academic preparation knows, by training and instinct, that a trier of fact will never treat as an instrument of proof of mental competence a writing sample that more than likely was produced largely by copying an exemplar. Furthermore, time and again, Pistrina has exposed the Blunderer’s many problems with the Church's sacred language. Yet, in spite of these embarrassments, he persists in trying to impress the untutored, who, owing to their ignorance, are bowled over by cringeworthy observations.

The gaffes once again prove that no one need pay attention to Tony’s opinions on anything: If he can't distinguish good evidence from bad, how can you rely on anything else he says?  Enough said. Just ignore him.

An Afterthought

While we’re on the topic of consecration certificates the video interview, the Blunderer made much ado about the certificate as “paper proof” of valid consecration (minutes 12:54-13:11). Here we enthusiastically agree with him. Therefore, we call upon all wandering bishops to post their certificates online so any layman can view tangible proof of their valid consecration

On a personal note, we’d also like to clear up a very nasty rumor that one or two of these episcopi vagantes didn’t receive "paper proof" at the time of consecration and may not be able to produce a document on demand. 

Are Traddie prelates courageous enough to submit to the Blunderer's test of validity?

If our wandering bishops don't post their certificates, the people who foot the bills should demand to inspect the original. If they do post them, we'd be happy to make any necessary corrections so they can get them re-signed and backdated while their consecrators are still alive. Better late than never, just in case they meet a "Peregrinus Redux."

*We’ve seen a minor-order ordination certificate so incoherent despite the use of formulas that, if you looked to its contents for insight into the writer's mental health, you’d have to say he belonged in a straightjacket. Of course, we know the prelate to be ignorant of Latin (among other things) rather than non compos mentis.

**Bonus points certainly are due for filling in the blanks with the correct forms of the Latin words supplied; v.g.,  Thc Latinized Carmona's given name in the appropriate oblique case (although the Reader would have preferred the Vulgate  spelling Moysi rather than Moisi). Notwithstanding his winning extra credit, a prudent man would still need a very different writing sample to make a probable inference as to the writer's competence.

***To anyone who would argue that Thc's  genitive anni (“of the year”) rather than the more usual (and idiomatic) ablative of time anno (“in the year”) indicates original composition, we answer that we have seen the genitive form in ordination certificates from the good old days. (At no time has every mentally competent bishop been first-class Roman-chancery material.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Till old experience do attain/ To something like prophetic strain. Milton

As expected, A.D. 2012 did not witness the fulfillment of the so-called Mayan "prophecy" of Tortuguero. Near the conclusion of the 13th  b'ak'tun, however, we did see two events that will assuredly bury "One-Hand's" and the rector's long-dead aspirations to lead the Traddie world.

The first, which we have already discussed, was the refusal of the SSPX to unite with the conciliar Church. There's ample reason to suspect that the self-deceived Duo had secretly hoped  a rapprochement would send legions of disaffected their way. The society, as most savvy observers had predicted, held firm to tradition, and so that laughable pipe dream of domination vanished like a dyspeptic belch in a wind storm.

The second took place from December 17-21, when ten priests of the Resistance movement assembled in northern Kentucky to attend a retreat given by Bp. Richard Williamson. There they acknowledged His Excellency as the moral authority under whose guidance they will work in a loosely structured federation with other like-minded organizations to resist the conciliar Church and restore tradition. They also announced that they will open a seminary on the retreat grounds in September 2013.

Now, everyone -- including our detractors -- can see that this group wants nothing to do with "One Hand" or the rector, despite the fact that the two were ordained out of Écône.  After all,  "One-Hand" is just across the border. Why did they need to fly in Bp. Williamson, if the SW Ohio cult is supposedly the "real thing"? Moreover, they obviously want nothing to do with the swampland pesthouse, or else why did they feel the need to start a new institution for priestly formation? 

As we've said before, nobody (except permissive troglodytes) gives them any credence.

But the good news doesn't end with the close of 2012. In 2013,  there are persistent rumors that Bp. Williamson is set to consecrate three new bishops. In fact, among the cognoscenti, there's a great deal of anticipatory chat. Without a doubt, one or two will be Americans, and when that happens, the U.S. Traddie world will change drastically.  As one wise and witty long-time observer has put it, the Duo has gone to great pains and expense to promote themselves loudly, but to little effect. Yet, "one whisper from Bp. Williamson" and the Traddie world is aflutter with expectation.

We predict that priests and people and money will flock to these new bishops, who actually will represent the real thing.

The beast is well on its way to the charnel house.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


And the earth was in admiration after the beast. The Apocalypse.

This week's sign of the beast in any prospective replacement clergy is an abnormally intense, disordered desire to control and regulate the most intimate details of laymen's lives. Traddie cultist-clergy feel compelled to trespass into areas where pre-Conciliar priests with a sound formation,  some common sense , and a knowledge of the human condition almost never ventured without the gravest of reasons. Sede Svengalis know if they can manipulate your heart to their ends in matters remote from the faith -- a control-strategy forbidden to decent clergy -- they can get you to surrender your will, your personality, and, soon enough, your dollars.

When you interview a replacement for the bums you're going to bounce in 2013, ask others who have met them if they've detected any of the following traits:

> A manic tendency to regulate the laity's attire, particularly women's -- and always with weirdly disturbing appeals to "purity";

>A history of withholding absolution based on details disclosed at the penitential tribunal, which were incidental to the penitent's self-accusation;

>A marked inclination to pontificate on matters that are purely political without concern that the informed conscience of the laity may have provided very contrary guidance;

>A record of publishing written communications that are decidedly self-promotional and egocentric;

>A resistance to correct their proven errors out of fear that the laity will be less mystified if they admit they were wrong;

>An aggressive policy of counseling the laity to avoid friendships with people who don't belong to a certain chapel or who think independently of the pastor or one of his minions; and

>A habit of becoming abusive when well-meaning laymen gainsay their out-of-the-blue hunches (which these clergy mischaracterize as "judgments").

Run, don't walk, when you detect even one of these signs in a Traddie priest or bishop. Holy Mother Church has given you the spiritual resources to continue  alone, if need be, on the path to salvation without having to associate with control freaks.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


And there fell a sore and grievous wound upon men, who had the character of the beast. The Apocalypse

Congratulations to you many Traddies who have resolved starve the beast in 2013. Whether you leave the cult center altogether or stay to throw out feral incumbents, you'll have to be on your guard against replacing them with clergy of the same character.

Accordingly, Pistrina is starting a new series to help you recognize the tell-tale signs of undesirable sede priests and chapels. Over the next several weeks, we'll reveal the distinguishing marks of vitandi clerical rent-seekers so that you can steer clear of anything icky that may come your way.

Let's start with the most obvious indicator: a morbid attachment to theatricality. Here are its seven hideous forms:

1. An unhealthy fixation with interior decoration;

2. A monomania for religious customs, liturgical, and paraliturgical practices scarcely heard of by a majority of American Catholics in the 1940s and 1950s;

3. A soul-crushing obsession with big-production events, in which the clergy play starring roles;

4. A compulsion for gaudy realism and cheesy pageantry, like live animals in dress-up parades;

5. An abnormal amount of time, energy, and resources wasted on seasonal décor, like vulgar heaps of blazing beeswax candles and an embarrassment of floral excess;

6. An over-the-top attention to and pride in vestments and other paraments; and

7. A down-market impresario's urge to self-promote.

When you see any of these signs in priests and prelates, you have reality-show religion, not the Roman Catholic faith, which has always deplored and suppressed the crassly theatrical. When they show up, give all clerical P. T. Barnums the bum's rush.