Saturday, April 27, 2013


"Are you lost, daddy," I asked tenderly. "Shut up," he explained. Ring Lardner

In his March 2013 MHT Newsletter, the rector labeled the current Sacred College of Cardinals as "an extraordinary collection of losers." While it may be true that the college is no longer Catholic, its members are far better educated than the insult-spitting rector who's only allowed admission to the déclassé Traddie peanut gallery. As we've seen before, despite all his posturing, he simply can't get his ecclesiastical terminology correct. His turgid rant against the pupurati Patres contains two serious, though seemingly minor, errors, both of which lay bare his terminal amateurism: He's manifestly lost in alien, unfamiliar terrain where he can't quite get his bearings.

We stepped on the first of the gut-churning, steaming-hot errors where he writes of the "cardinalatial losers." Oh, for sure, cardinalatial rolls unctuously, even luxuriantly off the tongue, like the even-running cadence of the cursus planus -- DUM didi DUM di -- and the malapropism rhymes with palatial, a descriptor dear to the sordidly aspirational sede big dogs.  Also, it sounds impressive: a polysyllabic adjective, very technical looking, very elegant, the kind of word a real Roman churchman would use. Yes, indeedy doo-doo, we can imagine how the Traddie Trash reacted when the newsletter arrived at their trailers:

"Car-dinn-uh-laayy-shul! Yee-haw! That ol' rector's the jen-you-wine article, ain't 'ee, Ma? Let's us raid the youngins' milk money 'n' make a another dough-naayy-shun!"

Trouble is ... like "One-Hand" and the Blunderer... he isn't the real thing, and his spelling of the word is sooo wrong. The right form is cardinalitial, with an i, not an a.* What's funny is that the right spelling retains (for the unschooled) all the meretricious attractions of the wrong. That means the rector could've gotten it right and still been able to show off for the spellbound riff-raff. (Maybe that's why the word rhymes with artificial.) Instead, he chose to count on his own very imperfect knowledge...and thereby embarrassed himself once again, as usual.

His foul smelling, groaning number 2 error, a bilious slurry of ignorance, is even more gross. Take a deep breath and look closely (if you've got the stomach) at what he rector wrote!

 "As the Novus Ordo Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio tried to persuade..."

As educated Catholics remember it, there is no such animal as the cardinal of Buenos Aires (or of any other city for that matter): there's only an archbishop of Buenos Aires. Informally the incumbent may be called the "cardinal-archbishop" of Buenos Aires (if he's got a "red hat"), but never the cardinal of Buenos Aires. Except for the cardinal-bishops of the suburbicarian dioceses, the other cardinals -- the cardinal-priests and the cardinal-deacons -- strictly belong to the diocese of Rome, albeit many of them are also the supreme ecclesiastical rulers of dioceses located away from Rome. (Cardinals who were not ordinaries were bound to reside in Rome.) Hence, Bergoglio as archbishop belonged to the metropolitan see of Buenos Aires as its ordinary, a diocesan bishop with authority over other bishops. When he was first installed there in 1998, he was only a bishop; after his creation as cardinal in 2001, he was the bishop of Buenos Aires and the cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino in the diocese of Rome, where in the latter capacity he had the duty to serve as a counselor to the pope and to elect his successor.

This is elementary. It should be reflex knowledge** in any Catholic clergyman (but sadly not in Traddielandia). The foul error is just more evidence that the rector and his running buddies are far from being the real McCoy. Let hard-shell, nose-picking, cultie misfits think the rector and his sidekicks are erudite. The rest of us know better. The cult masters' compass direction differs significantly from the true Catholic heading: there's simply too much variation and deviation error to rely on their broken instrument to land-navigate without losing one's way the treacherous geography of the prolonged crisis in the Church.

If attending the cult's Masses is convenient for you, then by all means do it. However, when the rector and/or his down-market, Toon-Town, clown-posse speak, just blissfully turn a deaf ear.

You won't miss a thing, and you surely won't get lost.

* Like the rector, many other undereducated writers, having in mind the word cardinalate, guess in their incapacitating ignorance that the adjective form of the word cardinal is "cardinalatial." However, a good American unabridged dictionary or the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary will supply the correct form, at least for anyone motivated enough to look it up. Naturally, people who actually can and do read  papal and curial documents in the original Latin have often come across the phrase dignitas cardinalitia, which serves as a corrective to the regularly seen vulgar error of uninformed English-speakers. Additionally, educated people who understand Latin word-formation realize that the suffix is added to the stem cardinal-, not  to cardinalat- (the -ate of "cardinalate" is itself the suffix of office -ātu). But the rector doesn't know these things, hence the nasty, hot mess.

** He made this stinker of an error a second time in the same newsletter mailing: "Available on the Internet for all to watch is a video of a children's Mass in Buenos Aires when he was Cardinal" (read archbishop or, informally, cardinal-archbishop, if the event occurred after his elevation).

Saturday, April 20, 2013


There is a tide in the affairs of men,/Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;/Omitted, all the voyage of their life/Is bound in shallows and in miseries. Shakespeare.

Editor's Note: Last week we promised to share yet another instance of the rector's scholarly deficiency. We'll put off that post until next time in light of a highly publicized incident that took place last week.

Every day, human beings get a chance to make the right choice, to stand on the side of the angels. Occasionally, perhaps only once in a lifetime, Providence presents us with a challenge to moral greatness. Often the decision to make that right choice, to join the saints, leads to ruin in this life; sometimes, however, immense temporal rewards can result from a morally principled decision.

Take the case of Tiger Woods last week. What would have happened if, after the exposure of his admitted violation of the rules of golf, he had immediately disqualified himself on the grounds that the integrity of the game and his reputation meant more than the thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars he stood to gain if he continued play at the 2013 Masters?

The answer's easy: Tiger would have become an ethical rock star.

Mr. and Mrs. America, ever eager to pardon celebrity, would have forgiven all the bimbos and forgotten the lurid gossip. Tiger would have been washed in the laver of televised public redemption. Glib, blow-dried sportscasters would have choked up; silver-haired grannies would have wept; solemn pundits would have filled the airwaves and cyberspace with gravely pondered admiration. Perhaps the President would have gratuitously intruded himself to pontificate on the supreme importance of good character in today’s virtue-starved world.

What Fortune 500 company, what Wall-Street financial powerhouse, what deodorant manufacturer, for that matter, would not have stood in line with fabulously lucrative endorsement offers for good ol' Tiger, the straight arrow, the man of transcendent rectitude, the Honest Abe Lincoln of the links?

But he didn’t step up. He didn’t take Nick Faldo’s advice to think about “the mark this will leave on his career, his legacy.” He passively-aggressively explained how he moved the ball back two yards; he parsed his admission in terms of the right yardage; and finally (and predictably)  he “respected” the decision of the (ratings motivated?) Augusta rules committee to invoke a special-circumstances rule so he could play on through the weekend.

In a nutshell, he blew the ethics championship. Now he’ll be remembered for both the bimbos AND the weaseling. (And he didn’t even finish in the top three.)*

Before we consider how all this applies to Sedeville's panjandrums, let’s examine one more case from the sports world. At the 2004 Olympics,  Paul Hamm’s gold medal in the men’s gymnastics all-around was called into question. A South Korean had been incorrectly scored and should have won the gold.  Although the International Federation of Gymnasts (FIG) decided not to change the results, the body suggested that if Hamm would return his 
medal to the Korean if the FIG requested it, then such an action would be recognized as the ultimate demonstration of fair-play by the whole world. The FIG and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] would highly appreciate the magnitude of this gesture.
But star-crossed Hamm, no doubt pressured by the narrow interests of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), steadfastly and defiantly turned down his golden opportunity to be magnanimous

Hamm had been in talks with General Mills to appear on the Wheaties cereal box, but nothing came of it after the controversy. One can only imagine the other opportunities that would have opened up to him had he told his medal-counting USOC minders to stand down as he stood up for what was right. He might not have become the spokes-jock for “The Breakfast of Champions,” but countless other deep-pocketed enterprises would have knocked down his door to sign up the poster boy of good sportsmanship.

His refusal perhaps explains his descent. The last report we read was that Hamm had been arrested in Upper Arlington, Ohio, accused of assault. He was heard on police video admitting he'd had about eight drinks. As Hamm sat handcuffed in the back of a cruiser, he asked police to release him and protested, "I don't understand. I'm gonna kill you guys." Now in people's minds he's another one of life's losers: the media had him for breakfast, and he's definitely not a champion.

Like Tiger and Hamm, the rector, too, had his singular moment of choice in November and December of 2009. He should have demanded that “One-Hand” remove the principal, discipline the Blunderer for his active role in the whole mess, and restore the individuals he unjustly fired after first begging their pardon before the entire cult membership: if “One-Hand” were to refuse, the rector would then denounce him publicly and cut off the supply of indentured servants from the swampland. Instead, the rector helped “One-Hand” circle the wagons. He sent a letter to advise a former benefactor to resume donations -- the pesthouse, mind you,  was also a recipient of the lost largess -- and another to argue (rather snarkily, we think) lest “One-Hand” and the Blunderer be reduced to working as big-box-store greeters. Yet the rector provided more than written aid and comfort: he allowed "One-Hand" to host a retreat for the pesthouse inmates, where they bowed, scraped, and waited on the embattled cult master (as he later reported when he got back to the wobbly Traddie Trash of SW Ohio).

For his miscalculation, the rector received some unexpectedly harsh replies to his missives from the laity. (He thought he was untouchable back in those days.)  In fact, he was unceremoniously taken to the woodshed by one very educated layman. But far worse than the verbal thrashing he endured was the permanent loss of traditional Catholics' esteem. He showed he didn't have the right stuff: The rector laid an egg in the moral theater.

He'll never escape the ignominy. Had the rector stepped up to the plate, he would have been the toast of Traddielandia -- and doubtlessly the financial beneficiary of all that fuzzy, gooey, Traddie good will. Even more to his advantage, his flaws and the pesthouse's terminal defects would have remained uncovered. (You know, a forgotten consecration, historical and linguistic errors, a botched graveside service, a hurried late-night exodus after a manic screamfest, the invention of mortal sins, etc.) Maybe, just maybe, he would have been able to get his big $30 K beggar's plan off the ground.

He turned his nose up at a once-in-a-lifetime chance and chose ruin instead. No wonder the sede cult is flatlining in 2013.

*Tiger’s behavioral resemblance to the cult masters of Traddielandia is eerie. When speaking of the Friday slow-play penalty assessed against a 14 year old middle-school competitor from China -- a penalty seldom invoked against the old pros -- Tiger quipped, “Well, rules are rules.” Just like the sede cult masters! Some individuals are indeed more equal than others and consequently above the law.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


You're dethpicable! Daffy Duck

In the four years or so since "One-Hand Dan" suicidally delivered the death blow to his and the rector's stick-figure brand of sede-ism, all the cult's cartoonish claims have been unveiled as utter fictions, the cheesy product of reckless aspiration, fit only for the consumption of quickly duped hayseeds and profoundly warped social outcasts. The biggest of the myths -- and it was a real whopper, believe you us! -- was the brazen narrative of legacy and legitimacy.

The Toon-Town cult masters weren't content to insist they were the best of the motley and scattered sede characters. No. That was too relative. They wanted to be the best absolutely. In fact, they went for equivalency with the past: In their minds, they definitely were identical to the pre-conciliar Church. With this fiction in hand, they devoted all their meager talents and a great amount of the suckers' contributions to convincing the gullible, the guileful, and the thuggish into agreeing they were the real McCoy, that they had the right stuff, that they were -- how shall we put it? Ah, yes! -- dinkum (as some of their abettors might say).

And, for a while, you know, it really, really worked

The unsavory clergy got a pass on all their antics because they had marketed themselves, with a wink and a nod and a tongue-clucking, chin-wagging, mock coyness, as the genuine article. Through the alchemy of phony self-promotion, intellectual wooden nickels were circulated as coin of the realm in Traddielandia. The one-dimensional Blunderer was passed off as a scholar, a liturgist, a Latinist, and a theologian of the first water. (We can scarcely type without laughing -- or retching!)  Nowadays, irrationally driven by his ticlike hatred of his better-educated critics, the marginalized Blunderer stalks internet chatrooms talkin' trash (only to be firmly put, time and again, in his place by intellectually superior laymen).

The irrascible rector once also had a big, exaggerated rep. Why, he was not only the embodiment of pre-conciliar standards but also was a penetrating socio-political analyst to boot -- until "One-Hand's" folly brought about his exposure as "the great pretender."

Li'l "One Hand" was largely inked as an individual of wide culture, a connoisseur of fine cuisine, a man of letters, an accomplished orator, and a large-souled, kindly, gentleman-prelate, overflowing with grandfatherly blarney and ersatz-Hibernian good will. Better still, he was (almost) a Fulton Sheen redivivus -- but only better. (Oh, indeed, yes, they all thought.) Well, his behavior in late 2009 ripped off that mask.

As for the "sermon in stone" LOL -- we mean the crumbling cult center -- it was to be a destination site, where toothless, pink-eyed Traddie trogs, awestruck at this grimy, sede Shangri-la, could see what a Catholic church was really supposed to look like. (Yeah, right! Engineers predict it won't last another decade. But the cult will be finished well before the authorities condemn the structure.)

Oh, yes (we can almost hear the cult masters whisper to one another), they were the heirs of pre-conciliar Catholicism, and that gave them the right -- correction, the bounden duty -- to call the shots, to play the stern, little Miss Bossy-Boots, even if they knew they had no right. But they knew the people didn't know, and, soooo (they must have mused in triumph), who were they to dash the masochistic dreams of the sheep, anyway? Everything considered, you see, it was all for their own salvation, wasn't it? People need direction, don't they now! And, well (they would have concluded, with a flourish of the whip hand), that's what we were ordained for, right? Why else would the archbishop have gainsaid wiser heads?

Looking back, it's hard to imagine how so many Catholics fell for this caricature of the sacred priesthood and hierarchy. It was all just make-believe, and considerably less real and credible than Max Fleischer's Koko the Clown and his dog.  At the very best, it was nothing more than liturgical performance art.

Live and learn, we always say. The point is, it's all over now, thanks to "One Hand." Even the cult's supporters don't really believe the myth any longer. It's broken. Sure, they may still show up and surrender some cash, but in the back of their empty, troubled, bigoted minds lurks gnawing doubt. And why not? Trad World has come a long way since 2009.

First, we know that the under-credentialed Blunderer doesn't rise to the level of an ungifted amateur. His Work of Human Hands has been shown to be a sloppy, error-filled, ill-written piece of junk scholarship. His other endeavors, like trying to prove one-handed ordinations are kosher, have also been annihilated. Second, "One Hand" is not the urbane and cultivated churchman portrayed in the cult's puerile marketing campaign. (He may not even be a bishop if his one-handed priestly ordination proves to be invalid in the eyes of the institutional Church.) Third, the rector's unschooled errors of technical language and fact underscore that everything was just hype (and they explain the systematic malformation of his pesthouse completers).*  Maybe that's why his big $30K proposal was dead on arrival. Lastly, we know that the mirthless cult center proper, decaying visibly by the month in a shabby industrial park, is a shoddily constructed white elephant and bottomless money pit. Everything these cartoon characters did was motivated by an icy, arriviste ambition to get ahead on your dime.

Everyone at last understands that the cult masters are not-- and never were -- the exquisites of their over-wrought and under-informed imaginations.** Rather than haute cuisine, the wannabes would prefer to scarf up an oily, roiling bowl of fondue Néo-Mexicaine*** washed down with a couple of aggressively effervescent "big 24 oz." plastic bottles of Château de "Phaigeaux."**** All that collection money spent on chic restaurants -- *sigh!* -- was just image-making to keep the hill jacks in awe (and deep in debt).

Comical "One Hand" brought an end to these Traddie Toons. In the words of the immortal Porky Pig ... well, we'll let him speak for himself: (click here)

* We've got a hot, steaming, fetid, fresh example or two of his ignorance for next week. So, come on back!

** There's a very telling anecdote of the time when a small group of Traddie-trash clerics went to an Italian-American restaurant in Michigan. The owner, mistaking the priests for men of taste and experience, sent them over a complimentary plate of fried calamari. It went untouched, but not until after two barbarian ingrates giggled and grimaced in disgust. One of their table companions, a South American of Italian descent, was too intimidated to sample what he knew to be a fine dish.  He chickened out and allowed the uncouth losers to deprive him of a fine dining experience.  That's the cult for you! The lowest common denominator rules.

*** That's microwaved, store-brand processed cheese smothered with a bottle of extra-mild generic salsa, served with extra-salty, no-name, imitation tortilla chips.

****A richly sweetened, grape-flavored beverage imported from Detroit made from a variety "that goes 'pop'" when trodden "in a vat."

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Editor's Note: The third and last installment of the series.



The sermon (i.e., "presentation") and the confessional are the two chief dangers to the faith for most people who assist at a cult chapel. For some needy souls, however, a graver peril awaits: a counseling session about personal problems with a cult master or one of the brow-beaten apprentices. If the malformed completers and their money-obsessed mentors do not have a firm grasp of Latin, moral theology, Church history, dogmatics, Biblical languages, and scholastic philosophy, you may not expect them to know anything about pastoral theology. Furthermore, you can never be sure that confidences you entrust won't be used subsequently to manipulate you to become "more generous" or to micromanage your personal, family, and social life. You must ask yourself whether you are certain that the intimate personal knowledge cult leaders may capture from a counseling session will ever  be used covertly against you if you don't cooperate, if you resist their demands, if you raise a moral objection to bad form. Remember the history of cults: a large proportion of victims eventually ends up leaving in anger, self-loathing, and disgust. Here's how you can avoid leaving your secrets behind you.

There is only one step: never seek counseling from cultists. If you ever have a personal problem for which you must seek another's guidance, find a licensed professional counselor who is sympathetic to the emotional and psychological needs of a believer and who can formulate a therapy within a religious framework. There are many such ethical practitioners. They may not be sedes or Traddies, but even a good-willed Manchu shaman with a diploma from a recognized university and national certification can help you more than malformed, self-absorbed, agenda-driven sede cultists. Click here to start your search.