Saturday, November 30, 2013


Editor's Note: Our holiday mail call continues with this electronic message from an outraged traditional Catholic:
My husband and I were shocked to read that Bishop Sanborn allowed Bishop Dolan to ordain that young Nigerian. He always seemed to be a cut above Dolan and the rest. You Readers are often brash and always insulting but you have made the case that ordination with one hand is at least defective. You have also proved that Father Cekada's defense of these defective orders is untenable. Of all people, Bishop Sanborn should have seen that. He is the best educated and smartest of all the traditional clergy. Why he sent that young man out into the world with this burden is a mystery and a tragedy. We have decided to stop all monetary support.
We applaud our correspondent's strong sense of right and wrong. We hope other traditional Catholics imitate her example and turn off the cash flow, too. STARVE THE BEAST, for, if rumors from the East Coast have any truth in them, it looks as if Big Don's already ginning up his next cash-vacuuming campaign in order to add a new wing to the pesthouse. (We guess he may hope to revive his stillborn big $30 K plan in order to build dormitories to house more misfit Euro Trash and native-born, home-schooled knuckle draggers, so hang on to your wallets.*)

The writer's disappointment in Big Don is based on a false assumption. The beginning of wisdom lies in acknowledging that the rector is not the erudite, widely informed, analytical thinker the sputtering cult public-relations machine portrays him to be. He's really a dud.  On numerous occasions in the past, Pistrina has documented his ignorance, botched assessments, and howling errors in language and history. Remember how he had to walk back his stupendously off-base prediction that the SSPX would run to the arms of Modernist Rome? (Even toothless carnival fortune-tellers have a better track record than this blowhard.)

From recent pesthouse newsletters, we now offer a fresh example of his shallowness to demonstrate that any respect for him as an authority is sorely misplaced. In June, Big Don accused Bergoglio of "a profound ignorance of even the basics of sacred theology and of church (sic) history." He characterized Papa Pancho as "a man of limited intelligence who has received a very poor formation"; to boot, he is a "first-class Loser."  In August, the rector repeated his criticisms, ranting that P-Squared is "ignorant of theology and Church history." Moreover, in the rector's eyes, he is "an intellectual dullard" and "dumb." In September, the obsessed rector shrieked that Bergoglio -- hobbled by a "lack of education in the basics coupled with a dull mind" -- "manifests a serious lack of intelligence."

What triggered this violent spasm of school-yard name-calling was Papa Pancho's novel (to say the least) understanding of the term "pelagianism." Apart from its childishness, the rector's superficial analysis betrays a seriously misinformed underestimation of his enemy. "Ignorant," "malformed," "dullard," "dumb," and "loser" are all fit descriptors for his buddies, the Blunderer and "One-Hand Dan," but it's a fatal mistake to tar the calculating Modernist Bergoglio with that brush.

If the rector were a subtler thinker or if he possessed a university education that had exposed him to techniques for the formal analysis of discourse, he might have read with care the Jesuit John O'Malley's What Happened at Vatican II. In it, O'Malley, a novus ordite, argues that the council produced a radically new language and style, an Orwellian ecclesiastical New Speak. In O'Malley's apt phraseology, Vatican II constituted a language event that drew a line separating its documents not only from those of other councils but also from all other official Church documents.

The revolutionary conciliar rhetoric, in O'Malley's view, represented a shift in language and style that modified the previous operational mode and model of the Church. For the drafters of Vatican II documents, style and literary genre were essential. The radically new language indicated and induced a shift in values or priorities. To endow the altered discourse with substance, the council's agents developed a new vocabulary with updated definitions and understandings.

The result was the subversion of fixed lexical meaning. In its place, Vatican II rhetoric established the foundation for ad-hoc definition. Ancient terms of art, once thought stable, take on any new meanings an "authoritative" speaker wants them to assume. The audience colludes in the distortion by acquiescing to the linguistic revisionism: Old understandings are laid aside as surprisingly novel, strikingly unconventional understandings emerge to drive the old away through repetition and social pressure. (The untested presumption of an "authoritative" religious speaker's competence is a robust obstacle to critical thinking and the search for truth, as many Traddies have learned from bitter experience: that's how both the Vatican-II establishment and the cult masters have survived for so many years.)

To effect such a move from precise denotation to unstable signification requires not only boldness of spirit (some would say chutzpah) but also rhetorical aptitude joined with a deep psychological understanding of how unwilling and unfit most Catholics are to question those who seem to be in authority, screaming error notwithstanding. (That may explain why before Pistrina's exposé no priest [including the rector] publicly noticed Cekada's grossly misleading mistranslation of Pope Pius XII's definition of the matter of the sacrament of priestly orders.) 

The man who purposefully manipulates for his own persuasive ends the meaning of words may be dishonest or conniving or cynical, but he is certainly not "ignorant" or "dumb." Team Bergoglio is both agenda-driven and savvy in their way with words.  Any traditionalist adversary, even a feeble one, who underestimates these men, does so at Catholics' peril.

Intelligent Trads must read Bergie's revision of the meaning of the pelagianism in the context of the revolution in theological discourse attendant to Vatican II. The rector's failure to interpret Papa Pancho under something other than this rubric proves him to be unworthy of our attention as well as our largess. A man this clueless won't participate in the Restoration. 

His superficiality also explains why he allowed Dannie the Deacon to "ordain" Bede Nkamuke in the face of overwhelming evidence that "One Hand's" ordination to the priesthood is patently defective. If he had an ounce of sensus catholicus, he would have known that "One Hand" needed to remedy the defect before laying on hands again.  Let's face it: the rector just doesn't have the equipment upstairs to see the problem, though he prays deep-pocketed Traddie moneybags don't notice.

We think they do.

*There's really no need for a wastefully expensive, brick-and-mortar seminary any more, given that in 2012 "One Hand Dan" ordained a man who had studied independently under one priest for just a few years and then under you-know-who for a much shorter period. The supervising priests had significant responsibilities to their own chapels and hobby horses, so they couldn't have given their pupil the same attention a seminarian would receive in a more formally structured and supervised academic environment aimed exclusively at forming clergy. (Even the intellectually atrocious pesthouse is better than independent study.)

There must be huge gaps in amateur's Latin, philosophy, and theology (and one day we'll go into greater detail after we finish gathering all the juicy data -- there's a great back story here, believe you us); however, this "well-rounded" guy appears to be able to say the Mass and take care of the basics, and that's good enough for the crisis. (He claimed, in an oral address to squirming, wedgie-chafed cult members, that he graduated from a four-year university with two (!!) degrees: criminal justice and philosophy -- what a combination! Wow! Two degrees, not just two majors!

 If true, that puts him light years ahead of Deacon Dan, Cheeseball Checkie, Big Don the Beggar, and most of the unibrow, stuttering-and-twitching completers. Apparently, he's adept at juggling, too, which adds to his usefulness to the fumbling cult masters. He'll be a worthy successor when (and if) the Gruesome Twosome head off for their long-wished-for Southwestern retirement.

What "One Hand's" ordination of this too-cool-for-school newbie means for contributors is that the laity don't have to cough up their precious savings to fund another wing for the pesthouse in swampy Florida. Basic, functioning priests can be churned out at a far lower cost. (Pistrina, as you know, heartily endorses such a plan of action.) The ol' rector doesn't seem to object either, because he lets this haphazardly formed interloper visit the pesthouse and particpate actively in ceremonies. (We think we saw him at luckless Bede Nkamuke's "ordination.")

So much for Big Don's insistence that only a "seminary formation" will do.  He doesn't have the courage of his convictions or else he would have barred a "priest" without seminary experience from setting foot on the pesthouse premises. 

Starve the Beast, so that this year, you can give your kids the Christmas presents they tearfully begged Santa to bring. They know the jolly old elf's itinerary includes more stops than just Brooksville and Rialto Road.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Editor's Note: As Americans settle back in anticipation of the approaching holiday feast, Pistrina will offer lighter fare this week and the next by answering a few e-mails about Traddie turkeys, their troubled orders, and the shameful decision to allow Dannie the Deacon to "ordain" Bede Nkamuke. In the weeks afterward, we'll get on to the saltus to explore in depth why holy Mother Church herself demands that "One Hand" be re-ordained and re-consecrated. But first, an email from someone who just may not be a fan:
Okay, okay, okay, Readers. I get your point. Fr. Cekada stumbled badly. He is no scholar, but you have to admit he is a valid priest. So just leave the priest be. He's toast anyway after your hatchet job.  My question is, why can't you go along with Fr. McAuliffe's opinion that "it is very probable that the imposition of only one hand would suffice for validity"? Remember, you defended him. You agree he was [a] real theologian. Then why can't you humbly accept his opinion and stop trying to scare everybody to death?
As long as you concede that being a valid priest doesn't render an under-educated wannabe immune from error, we can agree. For our part, we'll stipulate he's certainly far better off than his doubtful boss and the poor slobs ordained by him.  

You're right:  We did defend McAuliffe and his work against the Blunderer's cheap put down, but we can't see how exposing dodgy mistranslations, howling transcriptional blunders, text-critical simplemindedness, and the mischaracterization of undocumented hearsay as a decision of the Holy Office can in any way be a "hatchet job."

Since when is it invidious to expose, with surgical precision, gross error and slovenliness?

But before we reply to your questions, let's first say something one more time: We have never affirmed that one-handed priestly orders are invalid. We've always said we don't know for sure, and neither will anyone else until the Restoration. Our position is: The sacrament of order is so important that Catholics cannot tolerate a soupçon of uncertainty. The fix -- conditional orders -- is easy, and it's in keeping with Church's best past practice: reordinetur cum manibus.

Now that's done with, we can get on with our answer!

Although we think Fr. McAuliffe's judgment merits attentive consideration, our problem lies with his qualifier very probable. You see, very probable falls short of certainty (and sacred orders cry out for certainty). It's true the term very probable tells us that an opinion has a notable degree -- or, we might say, an abundance -- of probability. A very probable opinion (opinio probabilissima) can move a prudent man to assent more readily to the likelihood (verisimilitudo) of an opinion than if it were merely probable. Nonetheless, we must ever be mindful that something very probable, like something merely probable, is not manifestly true; it only bears abundant signs that can move us to assent.

With anything probable or very probable, there's always the chance of error, which means there's the presence of risk. In everyday life, we can live with a certain amount of risk, but decent traditional Catholics must harbor the lowest tolerance for risk -- we prefer zero -- in the sacrament of order. If mule-headed clergy refuse to remove the risk incurred by one-handed conferral of orders, then the laity's situation is not too much more advantageous than staying home alone, making an act of perfect contrition, and keeping the family treasure. (If the clergy's stubbornness bars them from pursuing the safe course, then the safe way for the laity is to become home-aloners.)

Let's defend our caution with what can only be called a perfect example. In 1932, the Spanish Jesuit Juan Ferreres wrote the following in his Derecho Sacramental (Sacramental Law)*:
Con respecto al presbiterado: ... Probabilísimamente [la materia] consiste en la sola imposición segunda de la mano que hace el Obispo juntamente con los presbíteros asistentes. (Lit.) With respect to the priesthood:...Very probably [the matter] consists in the single second imposition of the hand that the Bishop makes jointly with the assistant priests.
With the benefit of hindsight, we know today that the learned Fr. Ferreres was flat-out, dead wrong.  Fifteen years after the 4th corrected and enlarged edition of the book appeared in print, Pope Pius XII authoritatively taught:
In Ordinatione Presbytertali materia est Episcopi prima manuum impositio quae silentio fit, non autem eiusdem impositionis per manus dexterae extensionem continuatio, nec ultima. (Lit.) In priestly ordination, the matter is the first imposition of the hands of the bishop, which is done in silence, but not the continuation of the same imposition by the extension of the right hand, nor the last ...** (Our emphasis.)
Fr. Ferreres didn't know the truth at the time he wrote, for the magisterium had not yet decisively settled the matter and form of orders. He had to make an educated guess, presumably after reading deeply and consulting with eminent canonists.  Nevertheless, in retrospect, we know that through no fault of his own, this theologian's very probably was way, way short of the mark.

Perhaps Fr. McAuliffe wrote under similar invincible ignorance of a future decision that may consign his "very probable" opinion to the wastebasket of sacramental theology. So, while we admire Fr. McAuliffe, his very probable cannot calm our mortal fears in the face of a valid pope's explicitly clear, authentic teaching, which is: The matter of priestly orders = the first imposition of the bishop's hands.

Consequently, one-handed conferral of priestly orders, my friend, is very scary! Contrary to what the Blunderer erroneously wrote, the Church has NOT settled the issue. For true peace of soul, security requires not a theologian's probable assurances, but rather a written, dated, and certain ruling published by an uncompromised Holy Office. 

C'mon, Deacon Dannie -- get thee to a sanctuary and get fixed! (And then order your flunky the rector to fix Bede Nkamuke before he returns to Nigeria in December.)

* p. 186, IV (a)

** Denzinger 2301, ❡5. Here's the translation from the Canon Law Digest on papalencyclicals,net:"In the Ordination to the Priesthood, the matter is the first imposition of [Ed. Note: corrected from "off"] hands of  the Bishop which is done in silence, but not the continuation of the same imposition through the extension of the right hand, nor the last imposition..." 

Saturday, November 16, 2013



People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Proverb

The surprising thing about the Blunderer is not all his errors or his intellectual untidiness. We've known for nearly 15 years that he's a half-educated poseur constitutionally incapable of acknowledging his mistakes and bitterly resentful of those who easily discover them.

No ... what's really surprising is how he won't follow his own advice. Even when it's sound! 

In 2006, Erroneous Anthony wrote an article calling into question the validity of the 1990 ordinations of two SSPV priests, owing, for the most part, to the ordaining bishop's reported mispronunciation of an essential word of the rite.

Following his analysis, the Blunderer presented a number of practical conclusions. First, said Tone the Bonehead, the two priests "must submit to another ordination." In support of this recommendation, he cited Regatillo:
"There is an obligation to correct a defect:* First, if it concerned something either certainly or probably essential... Manner of correction: a) If the defect concerned something either certainly or probably essential, the entire ordination must be repeated, either absolutely or conditionally."
He backed up Regatillo with this zinger of a quote from Nabuco:
"Further, even if one were to maintain that the ordination was not certainly invalid, but merely doubtful, the same course of action must nevertheless be followed: "A doubtful ordination, at least in practice, must be repeated again conditionally in its entirety."
Then the Checkmeister wrapped up his argument:
Therefore, until such time as the Society of St. Pius V provides convincing proof that the two priests ordained by Bp. Mendez in 1990 have undergone a repetition of their ordination, the faithful should neither assist at their Masses, receive sacraments from them, nor receive the Eucharist from tabernacles in the churches they serve.
For all the foregoing reasons, therefore, the re-ordination should take place as soon as possible.
(Does all this sound familiar? But let's not toot our own horn. Let's get back to Checkie's counsel.)

Whether the bishop's actual pronunciation error constituted a substantial alteration or not, no one can say for certain. The whole narrative is a thigh-slapping, Traddie low comedy of claims and counter claims. But that's not our point: We think the Blunderer gave good advice in this instance. (He must've been in idiot-savant mode at the time.)  As we have insisted over and over again, the slightest doubt about a priestly ordination demands we act out of an abundance of caution, for in the matter of priestly orders, there's no substitute for certainty.

Based on the account of one witness** -- and considering the possibility that singular not plural forms might have been used -- we agree there was enough doubt present to counsel choosing the safe way, namely, re-ordination. We also think that Cekada was right in advising the faithful not to assist at these priests' Masses and not to receive the sacraments from them until the doubt could be erased.

Bear with us as we reiterate:
There's just no room for any doubt whatsoever in priestly orders -- no matter what!
The smart move would have been re-ordination, even if, as we suspect, the one priest's attestation that the bishop "had pronounced the form exactly and correctlywere true. Why? There is just too much doubt that cannot not be resolved without an audio recording to settle things.*** In such doubtful situations, the sound advice is: fix it, forget it, and move on!****

The parallels between this case and that of "One-Hand Dan's" are too obvious for extended comment. Let's leave it at this:
Absent any official Church pronouncement, we don't know for certain whether, after the publication of Sacramentum Ordinis in 1947, conferral of priestly orders with one hand represents a substantial defect in the sacramental matter such that it does not signal what the Church intended. In the same way, we don't know whether Bishop Mendez's reported mispronunciation was sufficiently egregious as to corrupt the meaning of the form.
Anyone can see the bottom line here: There's a serious defect in both cases.  There's at least a well-founded and prudent suspicion that quite probably something essential might be missing in both cases. Defects, as Regatillo said, must be corrected. (But you don't need a learned canonist to tell you that, do you? Didn't you learn that lesson at your mother's knee long ago? And weren't you tearfully sorry when you didn't listen to her?)

The Blunderer could see this childhood truth when he was busy vexing an old adversary. Why, then, couldn't he see it when his boss, patron, and protector faced a similar crisis? If, instead of penning his troubled (and now thoroughly rebutted) monograph, he had given ol' "One Hand" the same practical advice he gratuitously pressed upon his nemeses in the SSPV, Dannie and the men he's ordained would be able to exercise their orders in peace today -- and poor, young Bede Nkamuke could return to his homeland without the stigma of doubt that will scar his priesthood forever, unless he is re-ordained.

* We can't help observing that, while Cekada's translation of the clause is accurate, in his footnote he incorrectly transcribes Regatillo's Latin. (How typical of that serial blunderer!) Tony Baloney printed Obligatio est defectus corrigenda (our emphases and color coding), which makes no sense at all. Any proofreader with a whit of Latinity would have known the original text must have read corrigendi. The Bonehead's faulty transcription results in all manner of nonsense. One possible but unbearably tortured reading could be, "The obligation of a defect must be corrected." Say what?

But to be fair to the Latin-handicapped Cheeseball, we checked a couple of editions of Regatillo, including the one he cites, just in case there might have been a printer's error. As we expected, both the 1946 and 1949 editions read corrigendi (as also does Regatillo's 1954 Theologiae Moralis Summa, ❡668, which covers the same material). Unlike Cekada, Regatillo along with his editors and compositors actually knew Latin. (Cekada should really stay away from Latin texts, and Catholics should stay away from anything he writes.)

** This witness was also a signer, along with the rector, of the September 1990 ad cautelam letter to "One Hand Dan." Doubtless he has a keen eye for discerning irregularities in bishops' conferral of sacred orders.

*** An audio record is necessary because the situation is more involved than Cekada, with usual tunnel vision, could imagine. For instance, if Bp. Mendez uttered "da quae [pause] sumus etc.," an unbiased jury of genuinely educated experts would have to evaluate the length of the pause to determine whether the meaning of the essential words disappeared (but see note **** below). However, if Bp. Mendez said "da [pause] quae [pause] sumus [pause] etc.," then the job of evaluation becomes trickier. The reason is that a pause after spoken da and spoken sumus might signal that quae+sumus was a parenthetical element logically, but not grammatically or syntactically, related to the rest of the clause.  To be sure, that's exactly how the word functions in the text of the Pontificale as commas signal its separation from the other words of the clause. Then, regardless of a pause between quae and sumus, the meaning of the form might have remained intact.

However, we have to concede that informed, expert analysis might not wipe away all doubts:  What if the panel of experts couldn't agree? What if other experts outside the panel disagreed? And so on, and so on. No, the only satisfactory course of action is the safer course: re-ordination. That's the same course of action that "One-Hand Dan" and all the men he's ordained should take. They should erase the slightest trace of doubt because the question cannot be settled or can't be settled until the Restoration, which at this time promises to be in the distant future. In the meantime, the faithful remain in doubt about the validity of the sacraments they receive from these clergy. The laity who are not mouth-breathing cultists will heed Cekada's advice and  "neither assist at their Masses, receive sacraments from them, nor receive the Eucharist from tabernacles in the churches they serve." We emphasize that the faithful should not receive absolution or last rites from any of these men, and no one should undergo confirmation from "One Hand" until re-ordination and reconsecration.

**** We so assert in spite of two reservations: (1) we tend to believe the individual priest who affirmed the exactness and correctness of the bishop's pronunciation; and (2) Cekada's argument is not as strong as it seems at first sight. According to Cekada,  "the way Bp. Mendez separated the syllables of a word (quaesumus) substantially changed the meaning of the sacramental form from 'Grant... the dignity of the priesthood,' to 'Grant the things we are.'"  We grant this charge sounds very persuasive in Checkie's abbreviated text, but the argument weakens when you examine the whole clause: Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Pater, in hos famulos tuos [or famulum tuum if only one priest is to be ordained] Presbyterii dignitatem (literally, Bestow, we beseech [Thee], almighty Father, the dignity of the priesthood on these Thy servants [or this Thy servant]).

To someone who understands spoken Latin, the idiom of which language requires the listener to wait until a structural unit is complete in order to register the full meaning, it would very likely still be clear, in the event of a noticeable pause between quae and sumus, that the object of the imperative da is the accusative dignitatem, thereby ruling out the possibility that quae was neuter plural accusative.

A fortiori, if that Latin-competent listener were an attentive, Missal-literate Catholic, he would have immediately recognized, in spite of the pause, the formulaic elements of petition found in the collects of the Mass: Da or Tribue or Concede or Praesta +  quaesumus or deprecamur or rogamus + the direct address to the Divinity. (See, for example, the oration for Pentecost xvii:  Da, quaesumus, Domine etc. or that for  St. Prisca: Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus etc.) Therefore, the actual probability of an educated Catholic's thinking that the meaning of the form completely disappeared is low -- perhaps even zero.

Notwithstanding these linguistic counter-arguments, on the basis of just one of Cekada's citations (viz.,  Cappello: "Separating syllables changes the meaning [of a sacramental form] far more easily than separating the words, so that even a moderate separation would render the sacrament either invalid or at least doubtful"), we would have strongly recommended re-ordination, too. In the same spirit of pious caution, we have recommended that "One-Hand Dan" and all the men he's ordained (both as priests and as deacons) be conditionally re-ordained.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one. Johnson

"One-Hand Dan" and the rector doubled down last week. In spite of all our impassioned pleas on behalf of the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke's orders, "Big Don" suffered "One Hand" to ordain the hapless young man. It's our fervent though fragile hope that the rector clandestinely re-ordained this wretched victim to vanity the minute Dannie took off for the cult center with his motley posse of brown-nosers.

We can't say we're surprised, however. We knew when we posted the report about the change of ordination venue that "One Hand" would lobby heavily to get back in charge. He just couldn't lose face -- nor could the Blunderer. Oh, to have been one of the dozens of flies swarming on a humid, swampland wall when Dannie laid down his cards and called! It's no wonder our ears have been burning for so long.

Bonehead Tone, the serial blunderer, and his lip-synching, wrong-thinking croaking chorus of lay stooges, smugly (and erroneously) urge Catholics to ignore their instinct to choose the safer course. Maybe the rector fell victim to that hollow argument. (He's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree either, you know.) However, as we have made clear, in the case of "One-Hand Dan" and all the men he's ordained, that safer course is conditional re-ordination (and consecration, where applicable).

Real Catholics will laugh off Tone and his squawking parrots -- first, because Pistrina has rebutted all the reasons advanced in support of his now-demolished claim (v.g., papal ordinations, Eastern rites, Sacramentum Ordinis* etc.); and second, because we ground our position on the prudent, piously cautious practice of the Holy Office in times long before Modernist moles burrowed into its ranks in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Last summer, in our replies to sundry comments, we referenced a famous instance where, despite Pope Pius VI's decision in a controversy over the necessity of physical touch at the imposition of hands for the episcopate, the Holy Office maintained its policy of conditional of re-consecration.  Owing to recent comments aping the Blunderer's wayward assurances, we think it appropriate on this sad day to devote an entire post to this subject.

In his commentary on Sacramentum Ordinis, Fr. Hürth wrote that the Holy Office "always chose the safe way in deciding particular cases" (in decidendis casibus particularibus, semper viam tutam elegit [p. 34]). After summarizing the transactions attendant to the pope's decision to accept the majority view of a committee of theologians, which decided that, in the particular case before it, physical contact was not necessary for validity, Fr. Hürth appended the following observation (p. 36):
Notatu dignum est: S. Officium ... non obstante decisione Pii VI. controversiam de necessitate tactus physici non habuisse solutam, ideoque, ob securitatem et ad arcendas funestas sequelas ordinationis forte invalidae, continuasse consuetam suam praxim, statuendo in casu dubii insolubilis: ad cautelam reordinetur ex integro sub condicione cum tactu physico. Literally: It is worthy of note that the Holy Office ... notwithstanding the decision of Pius VI did not consider the controversy on the necessity of physical contact solved, and therefore, for the sake of safety and to avoid the deadly consequences of a possibly invalid ordination, continued its customary practice, deciding in a case of insoluble doubt: as a precaution, let him be entirely re-ordained conditionally with physical contact.

Let's restate for emphasis Fr. Hürth's observation: notwithstanding a papal decision in a particular case, the Holy Office determined to follow the safe course in cases where doubt could not be resolved .  As you all know, cases of one-handed priestly orders conferred after the 1947 publication of Sacramentum Ordinis are insoluble until the restored Church makes a pronouncement. Neither a valid pope nor the Holy Office has officially and formally addressed the issue. All we have to rely on with certainty is the plain teaching of Sacramentum Ordinis, where Pius explicitly taught that the first imposition of the bishop's  hands constitutes the matter of the sacrament of priestly orders in the Latin rite.  All this leads to one fundamental conclusion: 
If the Holy Office decided to be safe even in the face of a papal decision in a particular case, then traditional Catholics must cleave all the more tenaciously to the safe side in the face of proximate-to-the-faith papal teaching directed in general to the entire Latin Church.
In the absence of any authoritative, authentic ruling to the contrary on the part of the magisterium, the safe bet is to adhere to the clear and unambiguous letter of the lawgiver: imposition of hands is the matter of the sacrament of priestly order in the Latin rite. Accordingly, since the question about the validity of one-handed conferral of priestly orders in the Latin rite is currently insoluble, conditional reordination is the only safe way out of this mess.

Now, we know "One Hand" will never remedy his own difficulty, not the least because doing so would be tantamount to admitting publicly what everybody knows as a fact: the Checkmeister's monograph is dead wrong. But those unfortunate men who were ordained by "One Hand," whose uncertain ranks Bede Nkamuke has now been compelled to join, are under no such constraint.

The MHT completers should immediately demand conditional orders from the rector. (We suggest they do so as a group: there's strength in numbers.)  Those who have no standing to petition redress from the rector -- who, we remind everyone again, signed the 1990 ad cautelam letter to "One Hand" --  must try to find another bishop to regularize their orders. A few may apply to the Italian seminary whence they came; others who have burned their bridges behind them must look elsewhere.

No matter what, for the welfare of the faithful, all these unlucky losers should obtain conditional orders soon, especially Bede Nkamuke, before he returns to Africa.  "One Hand" is on the back end of a train-wreck of an apostolate, but his "ordinati" are either at the beginning or the mid-point of their ministries. Bede Nkamuke is headed back to his homeland, where he may not have access to a valid bishop. Who knows how his fellow countrymen will react when they learn that he received his orders from "One-Hand Dan"? (And they will learn of it -- you can bet the farm on that.) Why should Bede Nkamuke put hopeful, trusting souls through such anguish when the cure is so simple? He'll surely be sorry later if he doesn't act now. He'll have a lot to answer for at his judgment.

No priest in his right mind can want to go through life without being entirely certain he possesses valid orders. In these times, there's no room for the slightest possibility of invalidity. The best play is the safe play. These men should run, not walk, out of Dannie's "Casino Loyale": they must ignore the Blunderer's dangerously bad idea that "there is no 'doubt' present that dictates choosing a supposedly 'safer' course.' " He's just whistling in the spooky grave yard of the sede experiment. Whom does he think he's kidding? Doubt has been present since 1976, from the moment the archbishop got back to the sacristy and realized what he'd omitted.

The time-honored practice of the Holy Office -- with just a little updating -- will open the door to securitas, "safety, security," or more literally, peace of mind, freedom from care:

ad cautelam Beda Nkamuke et socii infelices reordinentur ex integro sub condicione ab  episcopo haud dubie valido.

* By now nobody, we're sure, needs to be reminded that Pope Pius XII never wrote in Sacramentum Ordinis that the matter of the diaconate, priesthood, and episcopacy was "one and the same." Only an ignoramus like the Blunderer could have come up with that translation. And if the gross distortion of papal teaching wasn't caused by ignorance, then by what? Of course, this foul-smelling misrepresentation of formal papal teaching is only one of the vile ingredients in a reeking dog's dinner of mistranslation, faulty transcription, special pleading, and text-critical naïveté.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime. Burgon

Editor's Note: Well, our visitor stats are starting to get back to pre-hiatus levels, so it's time to pick up where we left off in September and begin to finalize our demolition of the Blunderer's flatfooted, cringingly unscholarly defense of the validity of priestly orders conferred with one hand. Just to show you that we're not the only ones who can discern all his errors, we thought you'd like to read a thought-provoking email we recently received from a distinguished Catholic scholar who reads this blog.

Dear Pistrina Liturgica:

Cekada and his supporters are off the mark when they argue that calling one-handed priestly orders dubious would “imply a substantial difference between Holy Orders in the West and in the East.” 

When one speaks of the validity of ordination conferred with one hand in an Eastern rite, even supposing that it be so, it is perfectly possible that a sacrament may have one matter in an Eastern rite and another in the Latin rite. The Jesuit Hürth expressly says so when he comments on the validity of “moral contact”: he writes that, in the case in which there had been no physical contact of the hands on the head of the ordinand in an Eastern-rite ordination, Rome must be consulted to determine whether the ordination is valid or not. (I have found the same opinion in other authors.)

One must not forget that Pius XII defined the sense of the word substance as given by Trent, and he did not identify sacramental substance with the matter and the form. Furthermore, the notion of the generic institution of some sacraments (among which is the sacrament of order) is a perfectly valid theological opinion. We are always going to be able to return to this argument in order to uphold the dubiety of a one-handed priestly ordination.

Even if it were proved that in the West one-handed conferral of priestly orders was valid, datum sed non concessum, there always remains the possibility that the Church may have the power to change the matter of the sacraments (generic institution), and, in fact, in Sacramentum Ordinis Pius XII may have done just this by specifying the imposition of (both) hands.

The weakness of Cekada’s defense of one-handed priestly orders by appealing to analogues in Eastern-rite practices is made more evident when we consider the centuries-long debate about whether the traditio instrumentorum formed a part of the matter of the sacrament. (One of the principal reasons behind the issuance of Sacramentum ordinis was the resolution of that very question.) Now, the traditio never existed in Eastern rites, so the whole question of the traditio as the matter of the sacrament in Latin orders would have been absurdly and entirely useless if similarities between the Latin and Eastern rites were required to make a determination.

There are differences between the rites, and it is misleading to compare apples to oranges.

Accordingly, I can see no viability whatsoever in defending the certainty of a one-handed priestly ordination by invoking the practice of an Eastern rite.

Editor's Note: Our learned correspondent hit the nail on the head: Certainty is indeed the operative word here. Traditional Catholics have in justice and in charity a right to be certain that their clergy have been properly ordained, that not the slightest suspicion of irregularity attaches to their orders. Even soulless zombie cult followers -- the moral walking dead, as it were -- deserve the spiritual comfort such certainty provides. Trad World should be able to say, "No matter how far short of ideal our ill-trained, ill-bred clergy may fall, at least they are real priests."

Over the years people, perhaps even the nine priests who signed the 1990 ad cautelam letter to "One Hand," in their ignorance relied on the Blunderer's monograph for assurance that one-handed priestly orders were kosher. However, as we have shown definitively, the Cheeseball's monograph is an amalgam of errors, chief among which is its grossly distorted, achingly erroneous translation of the formal teaching of Pope Pius XII. The whole shoddy mess is an imitation of scholarship at the tenth remove. It has not withstood scrutiny. Toss it out. Traddielandia is back where all this began on September  21, 1990.

But let's not repeat what we've already made abundantly clear over the last six months. Let's cut to the chase:  There is absolutely no evidence to show that, in the words of the the nine priests who signed the letter (two of whom are now bishops), "one-handed ordination is certainly valid" (N.B.: the key word is certainly).

The sede cult masters have been busy casting doubts on the validity of Ratzinger's and Bergoglio's orders while blithely ignoring the problem in their own ranks. Just as we will never be sure whether B16 and Papa Pancho are valid bishops until the Restoration (when the Church may choose to decide the question), so, too, we will never know for certain whether one-handed priestly ordinations are valid until such time. Meanwhile, you'd think the cult-master clergy would want their orders to be above suspicion. You'd think they'd do anything in their power to remove every scintilla of doubt.

The tragedy for Traddies is that simple and easy means of assuring certainty  -- and of relieving faithful Catholics of any concerns -- are at hand: conditional ordination and consecration. It's time now for "One Hand" to get over it and admit that the Blunderer's monograph is worse than useless. His nine fellow priests' grounds for doubt remain as cogent as ever. 

Whether that doubt is positive, negative, or just nagging, we have to ask two questions:  First, why won't "One Hand" put an end to a controversy that has haunted him for over 30 years and just get fixed ... and then fix all the men he's ordained? Second, why can't he give Catholics and the witless men he's ordained the gift of peace of mind?

The answers to these questions are as difficult to reach as the answer to the question raised in late November 2009, at the height of the SGG School scandal: Why did he risk and lose so much in a stubborn, seemingly irrational defense of what many of his own parishioners and countless outsiders found indefensible?