Saturday, December 28, 2013


Must be wonderful to feel as big and important as that. Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip

Editor's Note: The second in our series justifying why "One-Hand Dan" must undergo conditional consecration in addition to conditional priestly ordination.

Some of our correspondents have argued that even if Dannie had not been validly ordained a priest, his subsequent episcopal consecration makes everything hunky-dory. They must think he's so important that he deserves a pass on prudent Church practice in cases such as his. (Never would've happened in the past!) You see, Dannie's enjoying the "Novus-Ordo Bonus" -- things are so bad now that nobody knows which way is right, so fine points are allowed to slide.

As we showed last week, real theologians were divided on the question of whether a man can leap to the episcopacy without intermediate valid priestly ordination. Everyone knows we've staked out the safe side of the question, but since it's just opinion, like so much in this dispute, it merits full consideration. For today and the next two weeks, we'll briefly explore other authors' opinions on the matter.

Today, let's look at what Marcelino Zalba, S.J., wrote in 1958:
It is disputed ... whether [the episcopate] contains in an eminent degree the priesthood, such that if anyone should pass over by a leap from the diaconate to the episcopate, his consecration would be valid albeit gravely illicit, just as an ordination to deacon carried out with suitable ceremony upon an acolyte not promoted to the rank of subdeacon would be valid. The negative opinion, which once was the more common, is now no longer held by certain persons of great name [with a footnote quoting Lennerz].*
Our answer is simple: while to manic culties this may look like a slam dunk for Dannie's motley team of religious and social misfits, we must draw everyone's attention to the all-important phrase it is disputed.

In the face of a disputed point in theology, the only recourse is the safer way. There's nobody so important as to induce any Catholic to risk spiritual danger just to avoid wounding Wee Dan's feelings.

"One Hand" should have rectified the problem 20 years ago with his consecrating bishop instead of dispatching the habitually erroneous Blunderer to jump into waters way out of his depth. The Bonehead's ignorance of Latin and his lousy scholarship have made the situation worse. Any reasonable man must gasp in contempt at both the author and the effort of the Cheeseball's discredited monograph in defense of priestly orders conferred with one hand. 

For the umpteenth time, we repeat: in the crisis, no one can know for certain whether priestly orders conferred with one hand are valid. However, we do know for certain that one-handed orders are at least defective in light of the infallible teaching of Sacramentum Ordinis.

The only recourse, then, is to follow the hallowed and safer practice of the Holy Office in cases of doubt: conditional ordination and consecration.


* Theologiae Moralis Compendium, II (BAC ,1958), p. 704. Disputatur...num [episcopatus] presbyteratum eminenter contineat; ita ut si quis per saltum a diaconatu transiret ad episcopatum, eius consecratio esset valida etsi graviter illicita; sicut valida esset ordinatio in diaconum rite peracta super acolythum non promotum ad subdiaconi gradum. Sententia negativa, quae olim fuerat communior, nunc a quibusdam magni nominis non jam sustinetur.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Don't it feel like the wind is always howlin'? Little Orphan Annie, the musical

For over two decades, "One Hand Dan" has been plagued by both clergy and laymen with doubts about his priestly and episcopal orders. As you know, our advice has been for him to seek both conditional ordination and consecration to put an end to any and all doubts. To our surprise (for we thought we had been clear), we learned that a pack of Dannie's drooling defenders mistakenly thinks that Pistrina recommends Dannie's conditional consecration owing to his Thục lineage.


We've never had a quarrel with the validity of that line of priests and bishops. Our objections have more to do with their fitness. A masterly discussion authored by a formally educated layman, not a malformed priest, has put an end to all doubts about the Thục line forever. (It took a layman to do the real heavy lifting, for the cult's minor-key clerical wannabes are seriously overmatched: college-educated laity with real diplomas surpass them in every way.)

The reason for our insistence on re-consecration is based on sound theological opinion. Yes, that's right: Opinion. We won't try to pass our views off as certain, like some bouncing-off-the-wall goof balls in dog-collars we know. In the debate over the validity of priestly orders conferred with one hand, it seems that not a whole lot has been settled, in spite of Pius's best hopes. In fact, the only thing we know with absolute certainty is that the matter of the priesthood and the episcopate is the imposition of the bishop's hands and that of the diaconate is the imposition of the bishop's hand. In such a situation, opinion, not certainty, must abound.

As discerning, sophisticated Readers, we know that for almost every opinion there is a countervailing position defended by men just as well-intentioned and earnest as we are. That's normal, although some of our cult-addled interlocutors can't get their pea-brains around that notion. Our aim, then, is not to change any brainwashed cultie's mind (or the mess of confused bewitchment that passes for such). No, that's too high a hurdle even for us to clear.  Instead, we want to show the many intelligent souls in our audience the basis for our position on the safe-side of the issue. That's an easy caper.

For this first post in our new, short series, we'll own up to the fact that two sides do exist, and we won't try to vault over the opposing position, hoping you won't notice. For the sake of brevity, allow us, then, to jump in by reminding you of the argument that favors our recommendation. On August 11, we cited the Dominican Royo Marín to support our recommendation that "One Hand" be re-consecrated after his conditional ordination to the priesthood:
If there is well-founded and prudent doubt over whether or not something essential was missing, the ordination ought to be repeated sub conditione ["conditionally"], even though a higher order might have already been received, at least if it is a question of the three orders that certainly are sacrament and impress character. And so one ought to repeat sub conditione the doubtful ordination of deacon even though one may have already received the priesthood; and all the more one ought to repeat that of the priesthood even though one may have already received episcopal consecration, inasmuch as the validity of the episcopal consecation in one who may not be previously a priest is very doubtful. In this case, one would have to repeat sub conditione the two ordinations: that of priest and that of bishop.* 
However, the Spanish Jesuit Ferreres, footnoting the redoubtable Gasparri, tells us that some authorities found no problem with clerical leap-frogging:
...0thers claim with a great deal of probability that episcopal ordination confers the priesthood fully and independently of priestly ordination, and, therefore, for its validity it does not require in its subject either the presbyterate or the lower orders.**
Long-time followers of this blog will recall that just over two years ago we touched briefly on the divided opinion about orders per saltum ("by a leap").  Now may be the time to look into why we think conditional orders guarantee the safer course. Then you can decide if you should persuade Dannie to get fixed, get out of the raging gale that's sweeping his failed apostolate away, and patch up his heretofore hard-knock life. (His "ordinati" will sure be grateful.)

So hop on board the truth-express and join us next week, same Saurian time, same Saurian channel as we continue this series. (In view of the upcoming holidays, we promise to be brief.)

*Teología Moral para Seglares, II (BAC, 1961), p. 494 , ❡c: "Si hay duda fundada y prudente sobre si faltó or no algo esencial, debe repetirse sub conditione la ordenación, aunque se hubiera recibido ya una orden superior, al menos si se trata de las tres órdenes que son ciertamente sacramento e imprimen carácterY así debe repetirse sub conditione la ordenación dudosa de diácono aunque se haya recibido ya el sacerdocio; y con mayor motivo debe repetirse la del presbiterado aunque se haya recibido ya la consagración episcopal, por cuanto es muy dudosa la validez de la consagración episcopal en uno que no sea previamente sacerdote. En este caso habría que repetir sub conditione las dos ordenaciones: la de sacerdote y la de obispo." (Emphasis his.)
** Derecho Sacramental (Eugenio Subirana, 1932.)❡ 348 (1) p. 184 :"..otros pretenden con bastante probabilidad que la ordenación espicopal confiere el sacerdocio pleno e independientemente de la ordenación de presbítero, y, por tanto, para su validez no se requiere en el sujeto ni el presbiterado ni las órdenes inferiores."

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Finley Peter Dunne

Editor's Note: Yeah, yeah. We know we promised to launch our serial discussion of the saltus this week. But we have a good excuse for postponing it.  On Wednesday, Time magazine announced its "Person of the Year," none other than Papa Pancho. As conscientious web journalists, Pistrina's staff strives for timeliness. So we stopped the presses, so to speak, to upload right away the following seasonal meditation on the Man of the Year.  

First off, let's make one thing perfectly clear: We're ready to believe anything negative about Jorge Bergoglio. (Except, of course, for the rector's idiotic characterization of him as ignorant and stupid.) Yes, he's an enemy of the liturgy. Sure, he's probably a crypto-Marxist. Of course, he's a Modernist through and through, and he's absolutely not a Catholic. And right you are, he's a flaming heretic. No doubt about it: His mission is to put an end to whatever little of tradition remains in the corrupt Vatican Establishment.

That said, we have to confess that if his "pontificate" lasts for, say, five years, he'll drive a stake through the lucre-loving, cold-as-stone hearts of the Mammonite cult masters of Traddielandia.

Here's why.

Bergie's a past master of the affective bias, the transformative language, and the calculated media postures introduced by Vatican II. He understands how to play to the crowd, which at his level comprises the world. In other words, he's thoroughly adept at manipulating symbols and archetypes to achieve his objectives. The malformed, sub-educated, shortsighted Traddie cult masters aren't. They have neither the brains nor the will power. They're only conniving and willful.

This truth about Bergie came home to us on the morning of Saturday, December 7, 2013, during a break at an editorial meeting, when we turned, with mouths only partially filled with the vigil's sparing frustulum, to the Wall Street Journal's opinion section. We were leafing through the 'paper looking for a piece on Papa Pancho's anti-capitalist exhortation.

There, accompanying Peggy Noonnan's column, was a color photo, filling perhaps a sixth of the page. In a tight shot, Bergoglio embraces a man afflicted with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder. The man's features are buried in Pancho's bosom. Visible are the man's matted hair and the grotesque tumors the disorder produces. What flesh we see is an ill-stitched quilt of hideous carbuncles. For us, benumbed by revulsion, horror, and pity, the graphic pic was almost too much to stomach at breakfast time. We wanted to turn the page. Yet to a man we kept on looking, staring as though it were a rare renaissance woodcut from some early medical textbook.

Jorge Bergoglio, in profile, looks serene. No theatrical mugging to telegraph sympathy. No pursed lips or exaggerated rictus of feigned compassion aimed at the massive audience he realized was peering in at the pair of them from the other side of the lens. In that photo, and in others like it, he calmly beholds this disfigured child of God, a soul sorely tried here on earth, and cradles him as a father would an infirm, weeping son.

To the churched and the unchurched, to the maudlin and the cynical, to Bergie's fans and his ardent detractors like us, it is a shining image of the Gospel, full of pathos yet -- owing to Bergoglio's steady, unaffected gaze -- miraculously unsentimental.

Now, as we said, we'll believe anything bad about this so-called pope. We're sure the ol' Bergomeister knew the TV cameras were rolling and would capture this PR triumph. He probably planned the photo op. It wouldn't have been hard.

When we were in Rome this fall, we think we saw the poor wretch several times as we strolled up the straight and broad Via della Conciliazione on our way to St. Peter's or to the Vatican museums or to our favorite hole-in-the-wall arancini joint in the Borgo. He was just one of the many professional cripples and bums who inconveniently block the way of self-absorbed tourists. Each time we spied him, he was kneeling on the dirty sidewalk, face to the concrete, his hands -- sun-browned, filthy, gnarled -- raised above greasy wisps of blackish hair and cupped in expectation of alms.

Wincing and holding our breath, one time only, we gingerly dropped degli spiccioli -- some small change --onto his cracked, soiled palms. Then we tripped away, trusting our miserly charity and unsettling sympathy would charm away the memory of a ghastly sight on a bright, Roman autumn day. On our return hours later, we strategically crossed to the other side of the via, on the pretext of visiting the Carmelite church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, but really because we were resentful he was still there -- and  because we hadn't the courage to eye him again.

So, you see, it wouldn't have been hard for Pope Pancho to command a few Sisters of Charity to collect the beggar so he could be ready for his close-up. 

And, wow, Mr. DeMille, what a close-up it is!

Bogeyman Bergoglio the heresiarch, cunning enemy of the faith, without betraying alarm or repugnance or smugness, enfolded an unsightly --  no, let's say it to our own discredit -- appalling creature. He caressed the deformed and wounded flesh. He may have lightly kissed his forehead. He imparted the warmth of a hale, human frame to someone whom most men would regard a latter-day leper, a diseased outcast from whose slightest touch they would recoil in shivering disgust.

What a super-human act of the will! What focused purposefulness to fulfill an agenda! To herd more souls into the deadly Modernist fold, to bewitch them into believing its falsehoods, to alienate them from truth and tradition, he walked the path that only a few great saints have trodden. The whole scene might have come from some 1950's Hollywood sword-and-sandal B-movie set in Roman Judaea at the time of our Lord's ministry, except for the absent over-acting and over-wrought orchestral score.

To overcome the reflexive impulse to push the man away took real gumption. Authentic self-control. Singular self-possession. True grit.

How, we ask, can Trads defend against such an unforgettable, heart-tugging image? What can they offer as a visual response? Globe-trotting, aspirational prelates more at home at Gammarelli's than at Gethsemane? Undereducated priests hawking half-baked, scandalously cruel "theological opinions" about the Terri Schiavo tragedy? Loud-mouth bluffers in shimmering pontificals panhandling for more and more money for more ill-constructed Quonset huts in disguise?

Traddie cult masters are either busy kicking the faithful out of their chapels for attending an "una-cum" Mass, or they're breathlessly updating the bill-paying laity on their excellent adventures in fine dining and spa hopping. They spend their time planning for and practicing elaborate but largely unattended ceremonies or hatching tacky fund-raising schemes. Their preference is to comfort the well-heeled who suffer from "affluenza."

These Trad-World amateurs can't even camouflage their motives in order to achieve their ends. That's why after almost four decades they have so little to show. They haven't the steely discipline of Papa Pancho to lay aside for a higher purpose their jealousies, pet peeves, pathetic neediness, backbiting, and divisiveness. They can barely abide each other let alone suffer the gruesomely afflicted to come unto them.

That one, almost certainly stage-managed, Galilean-inspired gesture of Papa Pancho is worth a thousand ill-written, error-filled articles by half-educated phonies with no real Latin. It's worth a hundred thousand hellfire-and-brimstone homilies condemning Catholics to eternal perdition for attending the "wrong" chapel. That stunning image will rake in more cash and corral more followers than multiple lifetimes of cult-master cajolery and menace.

Chief among those bewitched by Bergie's publicity coup will be the younger Traddie generation. The kids are sick unto death at the cult masters' behavior. In their minds' eye, they will imagine that Provincial- Superior Bergoglio would have put an end to the SGG School principal's tenure after the 2008-2009 scandal erupted. Novice-Master Bergoglio would have dismissed irascible Scut the Prefect for driving guiltless, traumatized young seminarians out into the dead of night over the silly rector's wet cat. Archbishop Bergoglio would never have required a parishioner to leave his church because he took a job with a competitor of a big donor: he wouldn't whine about the bread taken from his mouth; he'd worry about feeding his sheep. And lastly, Trained-Scientist and Real-Seminary-Theology-Professor Bergoglio would never have been so misinformed as to claim that a feeding tube constituted extraordinary means to preserve life and imposed a grave burden on society.

The young will rush out of the cult as soon as they're emancipated from money-wastin', Kool-Aid-guzzlin' ma and pa. 

It's Advent. Don't let Bergie win. Resolve to starve the beast this Christmas, and send your cult masters packing. Replace 'em with caring, certainly valid priests and bishops.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Editor's Note: The last in our holiday series of answers to e-mails.
A little while back you posted a letter about the "generic institution of the sacraments." [See our November 3, 2013 post, "The Rite Stuff."] The "anonymouse" writer said the church could change the matter of the sacraments and that was why there could be different matter for Latin priests and eastern priests. I asked our priest about this and he never heard of such things. In fact he said it was heretical. The writer did not give any sources and you did not add one of your smart alecky footnotes with books in languages nobody knows. Whose [sic] the one now thats [sic] making things up?
Your priest must be one of the terminally ignorant pesthouse completers badly taught by the intellectually challenged, feebly educated faculty. Before we take you and your nitwit priest to school, let us by way of preface say (1) Pistrina, not the writer, withheld the name, and (2) the writer did provide a cite, although, as you say, the Readers did not insert an additional footnote. We omitted footnoting because the ideas in the letter are very well known to educated Catholics. (That's why your priest hadn't heard of this theological position -- like so many Traddie clergy, he's incurably handicapped by malformation and an in-bred reluctance to improve himself through study. We don't want to pry, but that "heretical" nonsense sounds as though it comes from "The Skipper" -- you know, the bean-brain who once skipped the consecration and has a habit of inventing new mortal sins.)

But we won't ask you or any other skeptic out there to take us at our word.  We'll draw our reply from a book written in English, the Jesuit Bernard Leeming's Principles of Sacramental Theology (The Newman Press, 1956). 

The Latin term for "generic institution" is institutio in genere (institution in a general manner, as opposed to institutio in specie, in a specific manner). As explained by Fr. Leeming, starting on p. 414, according to the theory of institutio in genere,
Christ settled the meaning of the sacrament, but left power with the apostles or the Church to determine the elements in which this meaning may be embodied ... in Orders, Christ settled the office and the grace to fulfill it, but left it to the Church to settle which particular rite would express the meaning of the grant of such power.
Therefore, Fr. Leeming concludes, "the same meaning" can be expressed in rites "differing in material form."   Hence it's not impossible to have one matter in the West and another in the East. Fr. Leeming informs us that among the authors who endorsed the generic-institution theory are de Soto, Lugo, Billuart, Billot, Tanquerey, Lennerz, and Doronzo. (Very good company to be in.)

As a reminder, neither Pistrina nor the letter writer argued that the substance of the sacrament could have been changed under the theory of generic institution. The change would have occurred in the rite. What we do hold is that after Sacramentum Ordinis, it's clear that two hands are the required matter for valid priestly ordination in the Latin rite. One hand, then, must be by definition a defect. Since in the crisis-ravaged Western Church we haven't a clue if less than two will do, the defect should be cured by conditional ordination. The stakes are too high to tolerate the slightest, tiniest doubt. Furthermore, the remedy is soooooo very, very simple. Why, even the rector could do it.

One final point about "making things up": we're not the Bonehead, so we don't have to rely on erroneous and misleading translations. In addition, we don't tart up undocumented hearsay and claim it's a "decision" of the Holy Office. The persuasive weight of the Church's best practices and thinking is overwhelmingly on our side in this dispute. Sticking with the truth is far easier and more compelling than inventing something. We don't need to play laughably transparent word games, confuse rites, ignore modern textual scholarship, or trot out a gross distortion of papal teaching. But to be fair, unlike the Bonehead, we didn't start with a losing proposition either.

It's a no-brainer that orders conferred with one hand are defective. They cry out for remedy. Dannie should've gotten fixed two decades ago.

The faithful -- including (for charity's sake) the mouth-breathing, hypersalivating, degenerate zombie cult-slaves -- deserve peace of mind.