Saturday, May 25, 2013


But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts intentionally render a judgment on a matter that has been long disputed, it is clear to everyone that the matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free debate among theologians.  Pope Pius XII (Humani Generis)


The weakness of the Blunderer's monograph on one-handed priestly orders is not confined to misdirection and a gravely faulty, "enhanced" translation of the official teaching of a Sovereign Roman Pontiff. The other arguments he advances are rife with holes, through which doubt positively shines. Among his array of flawed defenses are the canonists' and theologians' opinions he advances in support of one-handed validity.

We'll grant him one thing: the names are big ones --  Cappello, Regatillo, Aeternys, Damen, Nabuco, etc. Their views naturally carry weight and are worth hearing. However, we must keep one thing uppermost in our minds: These are only opinions.
Theological opinions are free views on aspects of doctrines concerning Faith and morals, which are neither clearly attested in Revelation nor decided by the Teaching Authority of the Church. Their value depends upon the reasons adduced in their favour (association with the doctrine of Revelation, the attitude of the Church, etc.)(1)
Frankly, we still can't quite see how after 1947 there could be much free discussion on the question of hands in priestly ordination, inasmuch as Pius declared in paragraph 5 that "the matter is the first imposition of the bishop's hands..." (...materia est Episcopi prima manuum impositio). However, the Blunderer's authors must have had their reasons to promote an opinion that appears to have been settled by a Pope (i.e., hands, not a hand). Maybe it's not related to the faith or perhaps they didn't think the Pope was settling anything there. Who knows, right? At any rate, they offer a mere opinion, no matter how far flung their esteem in the eyes of men. Bear in mind, too, that an opinion is distinct from certainty or ignorance or doubt: It's an "adhesion of the mind to one of two opposite statements with a certain fear lest the other alternative be true."(2)

In other words, there's always the possibility the opinion could be wrong. The canonists themselves knew that hard fact despite their habitual manner of speaking categorically. The history of theology shows that bigger names than theirs have erred in the past. As Ludwig Ott observed, "the majority of the Scholastic Theologians wrongly regarded the traditio instrumentorum as the matter of the sacrament of Order."(3)  So, while we should lend an attentive ear to the canonists' opinions, there's no guarantee from them that priestly ordination with one hand is valid. Maybe yes, maybe no. It's mere opinion. But, we earnestly inquire, who wants to risk eternity on a mere opinion, no matter how grand a reputation its proponent enjoyed?

That's why the real question is: Why didn't "One Hand" simply and humbly seek out conditional ordination in the '90s to put this issue to rest before he was consecrated? Had charity so counseled, he would have spared the faithful -- and the priests he's ordained -- much vexation. 


Everything about all this expert evidence boils down to one huge challenge for the general Traddie reader: it's the issue of trust. Do you have confidence in the Blunderer's accuracy and knowledge? Is he motivated to discover the truth, or does he have another agenda? If he mistranslated official papal teaching and put words into a Pope's mouth, would he do the same with his experts?

Well, at least in one case, the answer to the last question is a resounding YES, he would! 

In his section on papal episcopal consecrations, Tony Baloney translates a line from Nabuco, an expert on the Roman Pontifical, as follows: "First the bishop, then the bishops present, impose the right hand alone in silence." [Blunderer's emphasis]. In the Latin text he transcribes in footnote 40, we find this: "...prius consecrator, deinde omnes episcopi praesentes, imponebant manum dexteram sub silentio."  Apart from the fact that Tone the Latin-less Bonehead translated an imperfect-tense verb ("imponebant"as a present tense ("impose"), we point out that, in the quoted Latin text, there's no word at all corresponding to Tony's  "alone." The text, as the Blunderer records it, literally reads, "...they imposed the right hand in silence."

So, now, was it just an oversight or was it deliberate massaging? How many of you have the resources to confirm our challenge by seeking out the original, printed text? Most of you don't. So, the $64,000 question is this: Can you trust the Blunderer here or anywhere else?

You know the answer.


One particular opinion of the experts Palazzini-De Jorio is of indubitable interest to us. The Blunderer quotes the authors' sweeping judgment: "No one doubts the validity of a priestly ordination or episcopal consecration conferred by the imposition of one hand." Ever smarmy ol' Tony then glosses the opinion by telling us it's a "categorical statement" of experts in canon law and moral theology. He's even so bold as to add, snarkily, that "no one doubts" is "shorthand for 'no one with any brains doubts'" the validity of one-handed ordinations. (Pretty insolent words for such a limited man, we'd say!)

Well, we decided to test this "categorical statement." And we didn't have to look too far afield. In Fr. Lennerz's little work on the sacrament of holy orders, we found the following:
The practice of the Roman Congregations in repairing defects of the ordination of priests done before the Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis is, that the ordination be repeated conditionally, if the defects were either in the imposition of hands (in the beginning of the ordination), or in the handing over of the instruments; it is supposed therefore that such defects can render an ordination invalid. [Our emphasis.](4)
And in case you were led astray by the Blunderer's smoke-and-mirrors hocus-pocus about the interchangeability of the words hand and hands, when Lennerz later talks about the  defects in a diaconal ordination, he employs the singular, viz.  "in the imposition of the hand (in impositione manus).

So, then, it looks as if, pace Palazzini-De Jorio(5), there were doubters of the validity of a priestly ordination handicapped by defective imposition. Moreover, it seems as if the Roman Congregations were concerned enough to specify a remedy for deficiencies related to imposition. Now, we'll say upfront that we don't know for certain whether the doubts about the imposition of hands were related to one-handed impositions or not, but Lennerz's remarks signal that defects of imposition were thought to render a priestly ordination invalid.  (And, in light of Pius's official teaching, using one-hand is a defect.) It appears that the ever cautious Roman Congregations -- like Pistrina and others -- opted for the safer side. Whatever the interpretation, Lennerz's note does bear witness that at least one person, most likely someone high up in the Vatican bureaucracy, thought there could be invalidating defects in priestly ordination with respect to the imposition of hands, and consequently he devised a remedy.

Accordingly, it seems as if Palazzini-De Jorio's "categorical statement"  was simply a manner of speaking, sort of like, say, the pre-adolescent, summer-camp challenge, "No one doubts that Superman can outrun the Flash." (Yet even the wiseacre champion of that proposition knew his pals would strenuously controvert it in the dorm that evening, long after lights out.[6]) The bottom line is that the phrase counts for nothing. It's just opinion, albeit somewhat emotionally loaded, and it seems to be dead wrong as a fact. Accordingly, nothing the Blunderer supplies in the way of citing theological opinions effectively banishes a prudent man's positive doubt about priestly ordination conferred with one hand.


Some of you smarter CLODs now see the danger to the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke's future peace of mind. That means you've got to act! Talk to Dannie. If "One-Hand" simply must ordain the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke lest his ego be crushed, then counsel him to seek conditional ordination and consecration. (But he'd better do it in public!) If he refuses, contact the rector immediately ( to remind him of his duty to this young cleric and to the faithful who await his return to Africa as an undoubtedly valid Roman Catholic priest.


In our next installment, we'll take a critical look at the Blunderer's problematic arguments about  the "Roman" books. Get ready for some more orderly thinking.

(1) Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (TAN Books), p. 9.

(2) Donald Attwater, A Catholic Dictionary (Macmillan Co.). Another definition of opinion is, "a conclusion resting on a probable or dialectical proof," and the following is even better: "assent to a probable proposition that does not certainly exclude its contradictory as untrue" (Wuellner, Dictionary of Scholastic Philosophy [Bruce]).

(3) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 455.

(4) De Sacramento Ordinis (Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana), p. 131. "Praxis Congreg. Romanarum in reparandis defectibus ordinationis presbyterorum ante Constitutionem «Sacramentum Ordinis» factae est, ut sub conditione ordinatio iteretur, si defectus erant vel in impositione manuum (in initio ordinationis), vel in traditione instrumentorum; supponitur ergo tales defectus posse ordinationem reddere invalidam.

(5) Actually, we believe that Palazzini-De Jorio were fully aware they were proposing an opinion, and therefore they would not assert as untrue the following "categorical statement": some man with brains doubts the validity of priestly orders conferred with one hand.

(6) In The Adventures of Superman #463, the Scarlet Speedster does, in fact, outpace the Man of Steel.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Editor's Note: Today's post continues driving a stake through Tony the Blunderer's monstrous distortion of official Catholic doctrine in his mistranslation of Pius's teaching on the matter of holy orders. scholarly matters, the truth must always be told. Alice Kober

Say you're in Tony the Blunderer's shoes. You don't know Latin well. You've got to deliver for Dannie, who's in hot water with the rector and eight other priests (and maybe even more). You don't have the instincts or the training of a real researcher.  So you don't look up other independent translations of Sacramentum Ordinis. You're already in a quandary because the version you happened consult doesn't suit your purposes. So, arrogantly, you dismiss it as wrong. Then, because you're really challenged when it comes to Latin (truth be told, you're really awful) -- and there's a lot at stake for your embattled master -- you invent an impossible reading. Why, you even add words that have no foundation in the text. 

At this point, you're cruisin' for a bruisin'. That is to say, a disaster's just waiting to come down on your pointy, pin-sized head. But...

...if you're a prudent person, if you've graduated with an advanced degree from a real institution of higher learning, then you might, perhaps, ask yourself, Just in case I'm dead wrong, is there anything in the official papal teaching that might keep me from making a big mistake about the matter of holy orders?

To be sure, the Blunderer would never be so self-aware. He always thinks he's right, even though he's wrong so often. But you, on the other hand, are not a blundering pinhead. You're not carrying "One-Hand Dan's" water for him, either (unless, of course, you're a CLOD, a "close loyalist of Dannie"). What if you were honestly searching for the truth and not trying to confirm a prejudice? What spite of very limited Latin or not having immediate access to professional, independent translations...what if you had some formal training in construing the meaning of legal prose when in doubt? [Ed. Note: Naturally, anyone who knows Latin would have no doubt about the meaning of the text in Sacramentum Ordinis, paragraph 4.]

Then, by George, you'd ask yourself, Can I construe the papal constitution in pari materia or by applying noscitur a sociis or by the rule reddendo singula singulis, or by some other appropriate canon of statutory construction? In other words, is there anything in the constitution's words, its sentence structure, or its expository configuration that might give clueless-me a clue?

You'd only have to glance at the adjacent clause -- the one about the form of sacred orders -- to get your answer. Let's look at the two clauses. Don't worry: you don't have to know any Latin. We just want you physically to look at the words. We'll color-code certain ones to show the clauses are almost mirror images of each other.  Ready? Remember, just look at the colored words and their endings. Ignore the words in black. We only want you to notice the parallelism.

O.K. Here we go:

materiam         eamque  unam  esse manuum impositionem;
formam   vero itemque  unam  esse verba      applicationem huius materiae determinantia

Do you see the rigid syntactic parallelism? Of course you do!  You're not the Blunderer, are you? You see it even if you're a CLOD. You've got sense, and you're looking for the truth!

Now, let's recall how the Blunderer "translated" the top line:
The matter* one and the same, and that indeed is** the imposition of hands. [Blunderer's emphasis.] 
If the Blunderer's reading were right, then in keeping with the compelling parallel structure of the original, one might make the following (ghastly) translation of the second clause:
Moreover,*** the form is likewise one and the same, and that indeed is the words determining the application of this matter.
Admittedly this is absolute nonsense on every level -- idiomatic, textual, theological, and doctrinal. For one thing, it would be an absurdity as well as an impiety to say that the form is one and the same, when in paragraph 5 of Sacramentum Ordinis, Pius formally teaches three differently worded forms: one for the ordination of deacons, a second for priests, and a third for bishops.

But, as we said, you're certainly not the Blunderer. You see that "one and the same" is impossible. (Most of you understood that after reading last week's post.) In addition, you've been to school, so you know you need find out how your betters translated the text. You're a little leery about Deferrari (click here for his text, in paragraph 4), so you get hold of a copy of The Church Teaches (TAN Books, p. 333) and find the following:
the matter of the holy orders of diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate, is the imposition of hands and that alone; and the form (likewise the only form) is the words determining the application of this matter.****
Then you wisely decide to toss out what you first stupidly wrote. You know you have to revise thoroughly your whole line of thought. So you put your thinking cap on and ask yourself, What did Roman academics teaching in the fifties think about Pius's 1947 constitution?  Since you graduated from a real university, it doesn't take you long to find a slim volume written in 1953 by the well-known Jesuit theologian Heinrich Lennerz, De Sacramento Ordinis ("On the Sacrament of Order"), printed by the Gregorian Pontifical University. 

Because you're looking for the truth, you study the whole book rather than sink to tendentious cherry picking. When you get to the dogmatic portion, you come across this thesis (p. 125), which offers yet another confirmation of how wrong you were:
Sola impositio manuum cum invocatione Spiritus sancti est et semper erat ritus essentialis ordinationis sacramentalis ("the imposition of hands alone with the invocation of the Holy Ghost is and always was the essential rite of sacramental ordination").
Fascinated by the liturgical implications, you read on and find an illuminating discussion about (1) the matter and form in the ceremonies described in the Pontificale Romanum and (2) the period when these rites were received by the Church. You open up your copy of the Roman Pontifical, an official liturgical book of the Church, and find in the rubrics that the bishop must lay both hands on the head of each candidate for the priesthood. (See the illustration at the top for the Latin and en-face English texts.)  You then read Fr. Lennerz's note on the Pontifical's rite of priestly ordination (p. 127):
Impositio manuum unius episcopi, ritus antiquissimus, semper et ubique... ("imposition of the hands of one bishop, a very ancient rite, always and everywhere...)*****
Both hands...very ancient rite...always and everywhere...Hmmmm.  So... it dawns on you: priestly ordination with one hand is a DEFECT. Defects should be cured, shouldn't they? Could it be that, maybe, just maybe, one hand may not be sufficient???

...TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK, when we explore whether there was really no one who ever doubted "the validity of an ordination conferred with one hand." We'll also add some pertinent observations about expert opinion.

But while you're waiting, email the rector. (CLODDIES, too, please.) Tell him what you've been reading on Pistrina. Butter up that bloated, unbridled, defensive ego by praising him for signing the 9/21/90 ad-cautelam letter to "One-Hand Dan." Let him know that he and the other eight priests were right the first time --  and it's O.K. to retract a retraction. Tell him that Tony didn't solve anything. (So what if Dannie makes Tony quit the Pesthouse. The rector surely doesn't need a "teacher" who altered papal doctrine. What kind of an example can that be to the quaking wannabes and completers?) 

Entreat the rector to say goodbye to Dannie and ordain the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke at the Pesthouse in the swampland with his very own two hands. Let him know that if he does, Pistrina will supply the ordination certificate in correct Latin.

* Here you should  mentally insert the long qualifying phrase "of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopacy," which in the Latin precedes the Pope's definitions of the matter and form of the sacrament.

** The underscored phrase is unwarranted by the original, unless "and that" refers to eamque. But eamque must be taken with unam. Moreover, there's only one word for "is" in the original, yet here Tony "translates " it twice. In addition, there is no word in the original that corresponds to "indeed": a pure fiction.

***There are a number of appropriate translations for the particle vero.

****Here's the 1954 Canon Law Digest translation: [We declare that] "the matter, and the only matter, of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy is the imposition of hands; and that the form, and the only form, is the words which determine the application of this matter."

As an aside: Think of the effort the Vatican bureaucracy invested to make sure that the Pope's teaching could be reduced to a clean categorical proposition: The matter for the sacrament of order is the imposition of hands alone. But then the goofy, untrained Blunderer confounds everything by the addition of unwarranted words and a twisted sense.  The result is, perhaps, something like this: The matter for the sacrament of order, viz. the imposition of hands, is one and the same. Who knows what theological censure could be applied to Tone the Bonehead's perverse reworking of clear papal doctrine? No censure will ever be levied, because Tony is so insignificant that he doesn't even count as a heterodox teacher. He's just plain, addlebrained wrong.

*****Like Pius's constitution, Lennerz's discussion distinguishes the plural hands for bishops' and priests' ordinations and the singular hand for deacons' orders.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


There may always be another reality/To make fiction of the truth we think we've arrived at. Fry


Last week, we commenced our crusade to assure that the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke will return home with indisputably valid priestly orders. We asked you to petition the rector not to allow "One-Hand Dan" to ordain this cleric in November. Our reason was simple: owing to the nine priests' claim -- buttressed by other credible reports -- that Abp. Lefebvre used only one hand to ordain Dannie in 1976, there are just too many doubts about his orders -- doubts that can't be safely answered until the Restoration.(1)

Many CLODs ("close loyalists of Dannie") counter our moral reservation by citing the Blunderer's booby-prize-winning defense of ordination, with one hand, which has only served to magnify the original doubts. Despite our having posted long ago a complete analysis of the Blunderer's perverse translation of papal teaching, self-righteous CLODs have pressed us to offer additional rebuttal. Since we're tired of repeating ourselves to every high-strung CLOD who decides to weigh in, we'll start today, from the beginning. This initial post a bit long, but they asked for it.


Let's get one thing straight right now: There are only two germane texts in this matter: The unambiguous and binding teaching of the 1947 Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis and, to a lesser extent, an unarguable rubric from the Pontificale Romanum, one of the Church's official liturgical books. Sacramentum Ordinis is so clear that it is sui ipsius interpres -- it interprets itself. If any birdbrain were to have a problem with the straight-forward text, the solution would come from internal evidence by means of intra-textual analysis.

There is no call whatsoever for inter-textual analsysis -- the only end of which is to muddy the otherwise limpid waters of Pius's Latin.  (The ultra-textual problems lie within the realm of psychoanalysis.) The Blunderer's references to confirmation are notably valueless because (1) as a sacrament, confirmation is numerically distinct from orders and (2) theologians have been divided on what constitutes the essential matter.(2) Moreover, the Blunderer's citation of ancillary sources'  interchangeable, indiscriminate use of the words hand and hands may likewise be dismissed as mere argumentative smoke and mirrors combined with sleight of hand (and quite a clumsy hand, if we may say so).

To emphasize: the bottom line here is that we really only need Sacramentum Ordinis, where the Pope decided the "question of what is required in the future for the valid administration of the Orders"(3) for deacon, priest, and bishop. Notwithstanding the self-sufficiency of the papal document, to the extent that CLODs want more, in separate, future posts we will take some time to address the probative value of several of the Blunderer's salient arguments,  in particular, his remarks on holy orders in Eastern rites.


It's important to note that the teaching of Pius XII, to wit, that "the matter of the Orders of the Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopate is the imposition of hands alone" is, in Fr. Ludwig Ott's estimation, a teaching proximate to faith (sententia fidei proxima), i.e., a doctrine commonly considered as revealed but not yet expressly proposed as a truth of Revelation by the magisterium.(4)  The contrary teaching is "suspect of heresy." As Jesuit theologian Clarence McAuliffe wrote in a volume cited by the Blunderer, "no Catholic can be opposed to this Conclusion (viz., 'the matter of the sacrament of order consists of the imposition of hands alone')."(5)

But you wouldn't know that Catholic truth from reading Tony the Blunderer's translation of the papal teaching. His laughably incompetent effort reads:
The matter of the Sacred Orders of Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopacy is one and the same, and that indeed is the imposition of hands." [Blunderer's emphasis.]
Anyone with an ounce of wit can see Tony's version is very different from what real, trained theologians read and taught in the past.

The Blunderer's translation, in fact, is completely bizarre. No reputable authority ever gave Pius's Latin the reading "is one and the same." Why not? Simply because here eamque unam does not and cannot mean "one and the same" (and it is not the grammatical predicate either). The writer of the note "Lost in Translation" referenced three independent translations -- two in English, one in French -- to demonstrate how far removed Tony the Blunderer is from mainstream, orthodox Catholic thought.  Just for giggles, we'll add a fourth independent translation, Fr. McAuliffe's:
 ...the only matter for the sacred orders of the diaconate, the priesthood, and the bishopric is the imposition of hands.(6) 
And, since we're in a generous mood, for good measure, we'll toss in a fifth, one by the Jesuits of St. Mary's College (where Fr. McAuliffe taught): 
... the matter of the holy orders of diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate, is the imposition of hands, and that alone.(7) 
From all this, you may draw but one appropriate conclusion:



Was the Blunderer's scandalous error maliciously intentional or cluelessly dimwitted?

Surely it resulted from dimwittedness (and a poor understanding of Latin as well as authorial intention, we might add). Despite writing an appendix touching upon the ages-old controversy regarding the essential matter for orders, the Blunderer didn't quite understand that Pius intended to clear up the oft-debated question once and for all

Otherwise, what in the world did the hopeless dullard Tony think the Pope meant when, just before his declaration of the essential matter and form of orders, he wrote quatenus opus sit -- "seeing that there is need"? Maybe the Blunderer, true to type, wasn't paying attention or thought it was filler!  He just couldn't take the hint from that short phrase that the Church needed the definition of the essential matter of orders to end the ongoing dispute, so Pius XII determined to settle the question for posterity.

Had Tony the Blunderer been keener on the semantic uptake, he might have then been able to grasp that Pius intended to exclude absolutely every other candidate for the essential matter of orders except the imposition of hands. What the Pope clearly said to everyone else possessed of some common sense was this: The imposition of hands is the one and only essential matter. Not the handing over of the instruments.  Not both the handing over and the imposition together. Nope! Not on your life!  Nothing else. Just the imposition of hands alone, period, settled, end of question!  


The practical effect of the dangerously inept translation "one and the same" is to nullify every argument based on it and advanced in support of it.  We count at least seven direct references to the gross mistranslation in support of  the Blunderer's sundry misbegotten conclusions.(8)  Indeed, Tony the Blunderer's error is so egregious, so alien to universal Catholic understanding, that no prudent man may give credence to anything else he writes in the monograph or elsewhere. Nevertheless, the agitated, defensive CLODs clamor for more arguments against Tony Baloney, so we'll slog on next week by continuing our analysis of what Pius really wrote and what real theologians say it means.

Then you'll see that one-handed priestly ordination is a defect, inasmuch as the imposition of hands alone constitutes the essential matter for priestly orders.  Whether it's an essential defect or no, we can't and won't say. The point is this: in the current crisis, Catholics must not gamble with the validity of the Rev. Nkamuke's orders in the sleazy, charity-free, go-for-broke, low-class cult casino. The Nigerian faithful who prayerfully await the soon-to-be Father Nkamuke's return deserve better from America.


Yet CLODs needn't fret: Dannie doesn't have to undergo the shame and humiliation of ego-bruising conditional ordination and consecration. (He was hurt enough, poor thing, when the rector got his own miter.) And he can be spared the contemptuous disbelief that would attend a vigorous, public denial almost 23 years after the 9/21/90 letter appeared.

All the rector has to do is to ordain the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke himself.

Simple -- and cheaper, by the way: No wasteful, laity-supported transportation expenses from the fetid Florida swampland to gelid cult headquarters in SW Ohio. And better weather, too. The Buckeye State is usually cold and dismally cloudy in mid November.

So we ask decent folk to email the rector today ( Tell him to ordain the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke himself and save the young man a lifetime of grief -- and the faithful the spiritual anxiety of positive doubt.  

(1) We hasten to point out, as ever,  that we are not certain ourselves whether one-handed ordinations are invalid or whether Dannie is or is not a valid bishop. In the same spirit in which Heinrich Denzinger wrote a century and a half ago, we say, Nos hic loci controversiam istam dirimere minime intendimus (Ritus Orientalium, vol. 1, p. 133), "by no means do we intend to settle this controversy right here." In reverent emulation of that great scholar, we'll just present the kind material from which the Church can later formulate solid conclusions. Our first contention is that "One-Hand" should have either (1) issued an unequivocal, vigorous, public denial in 1990 when the allegation was made or (2) had himself ordained sub conditione to dismiss any doubts. Our second is that Tony the Blunderer's monograph, with its special pleading and mistranslation of Catholic teaching, is of no consequence: the doubts raised in the 9/21/90 letter signed by the rector and eight other priests have not been calmed. More on all this in the weeks to come.

(2)  For the casual reader, Fr. Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Tan Books), pp. 363-365, has an brief, easy-to-understand discussion of the issues in English . Although this English translation of Ott's Grundriss der Katolischen Dogmatik has, as Fr. Hay pointed out in 1960, many inadequacies, it is still a useful resource for non-specialists.

(3) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma p. 454.

(4) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 454; for the  definition of the theological note fidei proxima, see p. 9, §8, n. 3.  The text of the Apostolic Constitution itself reads: [declaramus, etc.:] Sacrorum Ordinum Diaconatus, Presbyteratus, et Episcopatus materiam eamque unam esse manuum impositionem, which the Canon Law Digest translated as: "[We...declare ...that ] the matter, and the only matter, of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy is the imposition of hands." Note, if you will, Tony the Blunderer's illicit additions of the word "indeed"and a second "is," which aren't in the Latin original. Memo to Tony Baloney: Don't put words into popes' mouths. (If you'd like to compare Deferrari's translation to that of the Canon Law Digest, click here and go to paragraph 4.)

(5)  Sacramental Theology, p. 359; the wording of the  "Conclusion" is found on  p. 358, Conclusion 6. Note that Conclusion 6 occurs just three pages before the passage Tony cited (p. 361) to give the lie to the 9/21/90 letter's claim that a case of one-handed ordination "would have to be referred to the Vatican for judgment." Had he been smarter and less agenda-driven, he would have read everything in the section and been able to see that his translation was at variance with the understanding of a real scholar and theologian. (And McAuliffe was a real theologian and scholar, we kid you not.)

(6) Sacramental Theology p. 360. Wow! Just think that this was only one page away from the Blunderer's cite (p. 361) . If only he had glanced over to his left, he might have been spared all this humiliation. As an aside, reading Fr. McAuliffe is a wonderful reminder of the old intellectual and academic standards, where truth, not personal agendas, stood foremost before the eyes of priests. Of course, the entrance standards to seminaries were much, much higher in the old days. In his introduction, Fr. McAuliffe notes that he retained all his own translations of Church pronouncements despite the fact that Deferrari's and the Jesuits' translations were available: He thought "it might be better to keep his own, rather than to adopt either of these, so that the student can have access to three translations" (p. xi). The Blunderer now has access to five, but we bet he'll never revise his monograph.

(7) The Church Teaches, p. 333 (TAN books). Compare the Jesuit Fathers' version to those of the Canon Law Digest and Deferrari, above.

(8) E.g., in his summary:  "Pius XII decreed specifically that for diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy the matter is one and the same." [Blunderer's emphasis.] But all of you by now know the statement is not true. Why, we'll bet even our correspondent Introibo Ad Altare, Esq., now sees it's not true.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Intervene. O descend as a dove or/A furious papa or a mild engineer, but descend. Auden 

In the past few months, via email, comments on our posts, Skype, IM, and snail mail, we've been conducting a lively conversation on the subject of one-handed priestly ordination. Our correspondents have been legion and include both our supporters as well as several close loyalists of Dannie -- CLODs for short. (The CLODs have been of immense help, for they've helped us refine our thoughts on the subject -- something we might have postponed but for their inquiries.) In light of a recent request from commenter "Introibo ad Altare" for additional rebuttals of the Blunderer's inadequate monograph on the topic, we decided it was time to launch a new series. Our chief motivation, however, didn't arise from a miffed CLOD's challenge. It resulted from reading in the rector's March newsletter that this November "One Hand Dan" is slated to ordain the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke Okechukwu to the priesthood.

The Rev. Mr. Nkamuke, a Nigerian national, will no doubt return to his homeland to promote the traditional Catholic faith and offer the sacraments (unless the SW Ohio cult needs another gofer in holy orders and sees fit to co-opt him like so many other unfortunates). Africa, as we all know, may be the last bastion of Christian resistance to Modernism. Christianity in all its forms is flourishing there, and the continent promises a far more fertile ground for the traditional Catholic faith than does post-Christian Europe or secularized, cult-enthralled America. In addition, the rumor mill has it that the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke may have been tapped to receive the episcopacy some day so that Africa will have its own traditional bishop and not need to rely on high-living, neo-colonialist, fortune-hunting prelatasters from the U.S. or Europe.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance that no doubts at all, not even the slimmest, attach to this young cleric's priestly orders. If, as the rector and eight other priests affirmed in 1990, Dannie was ordained a priest with one hand only, then there was a defect in his ordination. Now, if that defect is essential, then it has to be remedied, especially if one must be a valid priest first in order to be validly consecrated a bishop, as Merkelbach -- a rector favorite -- holds.* In other words, if  "One Hand" is not a bishop, then he can't validly confer the priesthood on the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke in November; if that's the case, then countless traditional Catholics in Africa will be deprived of valid sacraments: their immortal souls will be in jeopardy. (At least in the U.S., we can find unquestionably valid priests outside the cult, for we have many valid bishops, and more are on on the way, from what we hear).

Of course, it won't be sorted out until the Restoration. There are just too many if's to know anything for certain  Better to play it safe. The Blunderer's defense of one-handed orders, with its scandalous mistranslation and other deficiencies, must be dismissed out of hand as useless. Moreover, in Sedeville there are no professionally trained theologians anyway to give it a competent try, and Trad World wouldn't accept an opinion written by anyone outside the cult, no matter how impressive his credentials. Therefore, inasmuch as "One Hand" is highly unlikely to seek conditional ordination to banish all doubts -- and shut us up -- there is only one option: 
Descend upon the rector's inbox and mailbox with fervent petitions that he himself, not "One-Hand," ordain the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke to the priesthood.
Make no mistake about it: when a question concerns the validity of the sacraments, one must follow the safer course in matters of doubt. As we'll see, contrary to what the ever-wrong Blunderer wrote, there IS sufficient doubt about one-handed ordinations to command our adherence to the safer course. Blindly supposing that "One-Hand" is a validly ordained priest as well as a valid bishop is simply not a safe course. In fact, it's morally unsafe, for there is too great a risk of losing eternal life without valid sacraments.

Don't believe anyone who tells you that the question of one-handed ordination is settled.  Indeed, owing to Tony the Blunderer's mortally flawed monograph, the matter is now as wide open as on September 21, 1990, when the rector and the other priests put their signatures to their ad cautelam letter to "One-Hand."

Over the ensuing weeks, we'll be posting additional information, arguments, and considerations about one-handed orders. (We've already posted a detailed analysis of the Blunderer's embarrassing mistranslation here.**) Meanwhile, we ask you to join the crusade to assure that the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke will return to his country a validly ordained priest and never have to worry about his orders' being called into question. (CLODs can assist, too, for if, like Pharoah's, rector's heart is hardened, they might, with enough pluck, be able to persuade a sniveling "One-Hand" to seek conditional ordination and consecration for the good of souls. He's rapidly losing the little influence he used to enjoy in France (oh, yes, big troubles there, just wait for the news!), so he just might be persuaded to do the right thing over here.

Here's where you can contact the rector to intervene. Plead with him, beg him, beseech him not to allow "One-Hand Dan" to "ordain" the guiltless and worthy Rev. Mr. Nkamuke:

Most Holy Trinity Seminary
1000 Spring Lake Highway, Brooksville FL 34602

*For a very brief discussion of diverse opinions on this issue, see our 10/9/11 post One-Hand Redux.

**To summarize the chief argument briefly: Pius XII's Latin absolutely does not translate as "The matter of the Sacred Orders of Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopacy is one and the same and that indeed is the imposition of hands," as the Latin-challenged Blunderer asserts. The correct translation is "the matter, and the only matter, of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy is the imposition of hands." (Be sure to read footnote 1 at the end of our document: it exposes the Blunderer's unwarranted addition of words that were never in the original).