Saturday, January 25, 2014


In New York, boy, money really talks -- I'm not kidding. J.D. Salinger

The rector, our moles inform us, never tires of haranguing the pesthouse's pathologically credulous inmates on how very necessary a seminary formation is. It's almost an article of faith down in the lurid, fly-blown swamp. Yet, we find ourselves asking, if a seminary formation is essential, then why does the Flushing Rat allow "One Hand" to bring onto MHT's premises his new Bay-State protégé -- a man who never underwent formal seminary training? (For details, see last week's post below about "One Hand's" transgressive poison-pen letter.)

You'd think the ol' rector would never suffer the impressionable, feeble-minded inmates to come into contact with an outsider who obtained his orders without having set foot on a seminary. (Guided study is not a seminary formation*, in spite of what this Newbie might think.) Furthermore, it's not as though the Newbie was unaware of the existence of the pesthouse when he chose to take a shortcut to orders by apprenticing under a priest out West. Other wannabes who had college degrees later did time at the pesthouse, so you can't say he was just catching up on a few odds and ends he missed in his secular state university program. In fact, one wonders why, when the Newbie decided he "had to move towards going to seminary," he didn't get into contact with the rector right away. What kept him from applying? (The rector wouldn't like the answer, we assure you. He wouldn't like it one little bit! No, siree!)

Also, we wonder why, after the Newbie separated from the priest out West and found sanctuary at the SW Ohio cult center, Dannie did not insist he spend a year or two enduring the flies, heat, torrential storms, and mosquitoes at the swampland pesthouse. (At least he could have done a summer internship.) Shouldn't the Newbie first have "settled down to seminary life" (a phrase from "One Hand's" Nov. 21 nasty-gram)?

Dannie and goof-prone, "seminary professor" Tony Baloney are committed to the same formational philosophy as the rector, aren't they?  We thought the Terrible Trio had shared interests! Insofar as the rector stuck out his neck to save "One Hand" from becoming a big-box-store greeter during the 2009 SGG School Scandal, doesn't Deacon Dan have an obligation to support the swampland "seminary" mission by sending "Big Don" at least the Americans he plans to "ordain"? We're sure the rector would have welcomed with open and admiring arms a candidate who, by his own report, graduated with two degrees!

Yet in one published image, we see this well-nourished stranger to seminary life plopped down in a pesthouse group photo as though he belonged among them. Also, on the web, we think we spied him in sacred vestments at the Rev. Mr. Nkamuke's "ordination" in the pesthouse chapel. What kind of example does this offer to the distempered inmates, who must endure Scut the Prefect's flinty discipline, the energy-sapping drudgery of menial household chores, servile waiting upon the feeding cult masters, and mind-draining kitchen-police work?

If the rector truly believed a seminary formation were so fundamental and if that belief had risen to the level of principle, then it would seem that, as a matter of conscience, he could not allow a man so irregularly "formed" to cross the buzzing threshold of the pesthouse compound. The McNewbie's haphazard preparation for the priesthood should represent everything against which the rector has devoted both his life and the treasure of his benefactors, shouldn't it?

By now, everybody knows not to forage for consistent, principled action in the company of the Grand High Panjandrum and the Right Worshipful Poobah of Tradistan. Still it might be worth venturing a wild guess at motive, if only for the mental exercise: Could it be the rector senses that "One Hand" may be grooming this roughly formed but smooth-talking Johnny-come-lately as his successor? It's obvious to anyone that the other two flunkies carrying water for Dannie and the Blunderer aren't up to the challenge of keeping the cult center operating to support a comfortable, care-free retirement for "One Hand" in the chic and arty Southwest.

Perhaps the rector, acutely sensitive to the buttered side of his bread, calculated there's no need to ruffle the feathers of the turkey who may, one day not so very far off, be in charge of the cult-center collections and the checkbook. Everybody knows that alumni are more disposed to support their alma mater: What motivation is there for a non-completer like the Newbie except to pretend he's one of the old gang and hope for some handouts later?

Self-interested "Big Don" certainly doesn't want to jeopardize those periodic remittances of the laity's hard-earned cash. In Traddielandia, where King Mammon reigns sovereign, the smarter cult masters -- that excludes the Bonehead, whose offbeat theological antics (for starters, think Terri Schiavo, Leonine prayers, and una cum) have visited big-dollar setbacks on the cult -- know it's always in their best interest to park their shape-shifting principles at the door when there's a risk of losing a few bucks. That's also why the rector still plays the hireling to an Arizona lay board despite his firm resolve against lay governance.

As they might might say in certain worldly-wise, New-York neighborhoods: Principles-schmincibles!


* For the record: Pistrina is not at all averse to such a formation. It's far better than the current fiction of Trad "seminaries" as genuine institutions of sacred learning. (Think of the  forgetful "Skipper" in Michigan or the Frenchman who couldn't bless holy water without a crisis). The Readers merely wish to make public "One Hand's" and the rector's hypocrisy.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


And forthi, who that hath an hed of verre,/Fro cast of stones war hym in the werre! Chaucer*

The optics are always harsh in brutish Traddielandia. The feral cult masters never weary of beastly mischief-making and hypocrisy. For all their transparent efforts to appear benevolent, their lupine instincts ever find a way to manifest themselves. By nature, they cannot forbear from breeding dissension and alarming the laity in their manic drive for a control long ago lost to them.

Pistrina received an example of a recent effort to disturb the spiritual peace of a distant Catholic community. "One Hand Dan" sent a letter dated November 21, 2013, to a body of laymen (below we print his very words in blue). It contains a scurrilous attack on a young priest, in which a foaming Li'l Dan enviously snarled, "we should not even consider this man a valid priest." (His emphasis.) In every way, Dannie's vile letter is a classic example of the pot's calling the kettle black.

We'll revisit this nasty-gram again during 2014, but for today we limit our remarks to the reasons "One Hand" alleges for eliminating the man "from consideration as a Catholic priest." You'll see how Dannie convicts himself while he savagely struggles to impugn a Catholic priest whose possession of the priesthood is more certain than his own.

Just for laughs, we'll entertain the fiction that canon law operates. Of course, you and we know that, in the Sede Vacante, the 1917 Codex Juris Canonici has no more force than Hammurabi's code does in modern Iraq or the XII Tables** in today's Lazio. But, since "One Hand" brazenly invokes the code to legitimize his unprovoked, animalistic attack, we'll appeal to it, too, in order to expose his hypocrisy.


Wee Dan charges that the young priest is canonically unfit according to c. 974.1. That's a particularly embarrassing accusation for Dannie to make considering his own track record.  In 2012, "One-Hand Dan" himself ordained to the priesthood a man (1) who “had never completed a seminary academic program which properly tested his knowledge in Latin, Philosophy or Theology according to the mind of the Church as set forth in canon law and papal documents,*** (2) who had never followed “a seminary rule, and (3) who had never demonstrated “the requisite regularity of life” by attending a seminary, not even the grossly deficient swampland pesthouse. The man merely studied for a while under a busy priest who runs an active chapel.

Now, folks, at best that's a tutorial, not a seminary!

This man later separated from that priest and then studied "independently" for a short time at the cult center before "One Hand" ordained him a priest at his home chapel on the East Coast. Shortly afterwards, he abandoned that chapel to return to the SW Ohio cult center. (That's an instructive story in itself, which deserves a full telling someday on this blog.)


The following questions immediately come to mind:

In light of Dannie's opinion, should this man, who now works at the cult center and its missions, not be considered a priest?
Additionally, since Dannie wrote,"a bishop who ordains such a candidate 'sins most gravely' (c. 973.3)," did Dan himself, then, sin mortally by ordaining such a man? Did he commit "a sin 'against the public good, which is harmed exceedingly by unworthy ministers' (Regatillo, Jus Sacramentum, 919)"? 
 Or, is rule-tweaking "One-Hand Dan" exempt from the severe standards by which he condemns others? 

Now if, in spite of the inherent absurdity, canonical fitness is to be a standard in the Sede Vacante, then we must consider Dannie’s own worthiness for the episcopacy. Canon 331 sets forth several criteria whereby we may judge his canonical fitness, four of which are:

✭ A doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred theology acquired from a school approved by
the Holy See;
✭ Good character;
✭ Zeal for souls;
✭ Prudence.

Dannie possesses no advanced degree or a license from an approved institution. He has never demonstrated in the public forum that he is well-versed in the sacred sciences or canon law. As for his character, in his own state and in the city where he resides, there are many former members of his chapels who hold him in deepest contempt, as do many clergy throughout North America, Latin America, and Europe. He did not display zealousness for souls when his meddling a few years ago in Chambéry, France, resulted in a well-loved priest's departure from the little chapel there.  Likewise, at the cult center in 2008 and 2009, he did not exercise prudence when, by refusing to discipline an errant employee, his chapel was irremediably divided in the wake of the calamitous SGG School scandal.


The letter’s most laughable charges are those leveled against the licitness and validity of the young man's priestly orders. To our great amusement, "One Hand" appears to have forgotten that his own consecration and ordination as well as the 14 ordinations he has conferred over the years are themselves, strictly speaking, illicit and hence “an act that church law considered mortally sinful.”

His episcopal candidacy in the United States was never proposed by the Holy See through the Apostolic Delegate nor approved by a vote of the Bishops in his province. Like all sedevacantist clergy, "One Hand’s" orders are illicit in the strict sense. At best, he's a mere episcopus vagans with no jurisdiction, no authority, and no mandate from the institutional Church -- that is, if he is a bishop at all: there's no guarantee that the defect of a one-handed ordination is accidental, and remember: he's never obtained conditional orders to cure the defect and end all speculation.


If his hateful missive weren't so destructively mischievous, you'd feel sorry for such an absence of self-awareness. He sounds like a malign and embittered orphan cruelly taunting a fatherless child for having a single mother. The normal person wonders how "One Hand" cannot see his own exposure to the very charges he laid against the young priest. But, then, if he could, he wouldn't be in the predicament he is, would he? One's true character will always prevail.

Popular culture, sociology, psychology, and psychiatry all have terms to describe such lost souls. Feel free to select the one you feel most apropos, for they all capture a behavior condemned and ridiculed in the real world.


You'll note that we were amused at his hypocrisy, but not astonished. We know all the cult masters too well. They refuse to practice what they preach. Another pregnant example is the case of Dannie's not seeking re-ordination after the nine priests denounced his one-handed ordination. Repetition of his priestly orders should have been the first solution to his dilemma, if he had truly believed the words of the 1984 "A Statement of Principles in a Time of Crisis," to which he, Checkie, and "Big Don" subjoined their names along with those of nine other priests:
In the practical order, in the course of our pastoral activity, the Church obliges us to require the reiteration according to the traditional rites, either conditionally or absolutely, as the case may be, of any sacrament conferred in a doubtful or invalid manner. We refer the final determination of the validity or invalidity of the doubtful sacraments to the judgment of the Church when a normal state or affairs shall be restored.
If principles are truly principles in the Catholic sense, then (we're sure you'd agree) they must apply in every case that falls under the language used. In other words, principles must stand above any law of convenience.

But we know better, don't we? It's always only about the cult masters, and principles must be bent or broken or reformulated to suit their ad-hoc needs.

In Trad World's bleak and fatal woods, where dark-souled clerics prowl and brood, one law alone there rules: unprincipled expediency.

*Lit: "And, therefore, let him who has a head of glass beware of hurling stones in battle."

** A pity for chapels mismanaged by money squandering cultmasters that V.7 is not universally in force: prodigo interdicitur bonorum suorum administratio,"a spendhrift is forbidden the administration of his own goods."

*** We wonder how much philosophy Dannie himself has studied and knows. It would be nice to get him to answer that question on the record. We think older priests who know him well would be interested in his answer.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


All I did was tell you - you did the rest. Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip.

After three weeks, we're sure most of you get the idea: It's more than just possible that "One Hand Dan's" consecration did not assure his possession of the priesthood, if the defective one-handed priestly ordination rite denounced by nine priests in 1990 failed to confect the sacrament.  And if he wasn't a priest at the time of his consecration 20 years ago, then he's not a bishop now. But in case there are a few addlebrained cultists out there who haven't yet felt the shock of recognition, we'll conclude our series by citing the opinion of the venerable Arthur Vermeersch, S.J.:
The a sacrament so distinct from the simple presbyterate that not only do inferior priests lack the power conferred by episcopal consecration, but also, at least according to several [authors], that the episcopate does not contain the simple priesthood, [lacuna in original print version] priestly ordination having been bypassed, it would be invalidly conferred... (Author's emphasis.)*
Li'l Dan's reflexive defenders should realize they have to persuade him to see his way clear to undergoing conditional ordination and consecration. "One Hand" must for once consider the needs of the laity and act to relieve their unease. Read, now, with pious eyes the words of Henry Davis, S.J., on this matter (bold-face emphases ours):
…whenever a prudent doubt based on probable reasons persists regarding the validity of a Sacrament bestowed, that Sacrament may be repeated (c. 732,2), and it is to be observed that when the good of others is at stake or the mental anxiety of the recipient is concerned, repetition may the more readily be conceded.  The repetition of the Sacrament ought to be done where its validity is doubted — or rather, so long as its validity is not morally certain — in cases when the Sacrament is necessary, whether absolutely and of its nature, as Baptism, or relatively and in respect of the good of others, as Ordination, absolution, Extreme Unction. Consequently, in doubt as to validity, Baptism, Ordination, absolution of the dying, Extreme Unction of the unconscious, and consecration of doubtfully consecrated hosts, must be repeated.*
The holier-than-thou culties out there who breathlessly rhapsodize on the necessity of true sacraments need to get their act together if they really believe all the lovely pieties they repeat. If Catholics are truly obliged to do anything necessary to assure access to true sacraments, then "One Hand" had better do his part to make sure there isn't the tiniest sliver of doubt about those he administers. So far, he doesn't appear to have done anything to remedy the defect, so it's time for brow-beaten cultists to stand tall before diminutive Dan. 

We ask them to tell Wee "One-Hand" that he's got to get fixed for the good of souls. Instruct him that Cekada's error-filled, bush-league monograph on one-handed orders is toast. (Actually, Catholic prudence dictates that, for the good of others, even if gross mistranslation, faulty scholarship, slovenly mistranscription, and shameless special pleading had not impeached the Blunderer's article, Dannie should have sought re-ordination before his consecration two decades ago, just to be perfectly safe: it's the Catholic way, you know.)

Without appeal to that now discredited monograph, "One Hand" can no longer be morally certain of the validity of his priesthood and episcopate. Culties still capable of acting on conscience are obliged to insist that the faithful must have unqualified confidence in the validity of the sacraments they receive from his hands, even if he doesn't give a tinker's damn for the integrity of his own orders. Let him know that if he refuses to put the faithful before self, you will withdraw all financial and material support.


* Theologia Moralis, III, (Università Gregoriana, 3rd Edition), p.554, ❡619.  Episcopatus ... est sacramentum a simplici presbyteratu ita distinctum ut non tantum inferiores sacerdotes careant potestate collata per consecrationem episcopalem, sed etiam, saltem secundum plures, ut episcopatus simplicem presbyrteratum non contineat, [lacuna of 8 characters in printed text] praetermissa ordinatione sacerdotali, invalide conferretur... (Author's emphasis.)

*Moral and Pastoral Theology, Volume Three, (Sheed and Ward, 1943), p. 25.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Aw, why lose sleep over a bird like that. He sure looks like a bad one. Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip

We're continuing in the same vein as in the past weeks to show you we don't need to cherry-pick in order to make our point about "One Hand's" urgent need of conditional ordination and consecration, provided he wants to play it safe as a Catholic should. Today, let's see what the Jesuit Noldin had to say about jumping to the episcopate without valid priestly orders.

As late as 1960, the editor of the 32nd edition of Noldin's Summa Theologiae Moralis still could print the following:
Whether the episcopate is an order distinct from the presbyterate or a kind of extension and complement of the priesthood itself, is disputed. Nevertheless, it is more commonly affirmed that, when the priesthood has not yet been conferred, the episcopate cannot be validly conferred.*
So here we have another vote backing Pistrina's advice to "One Hand."  It's surely clear by now why Dannie's episcopal orders may not be enough. Oh, sure, the whole question of the leap is in dispute, and admittedly, we lack sufficient information to determine with certainty whether one-handed priestly orders are valid or not. And we won't know anything substantial until the Restoration, and maybe even then the world may have to wait for who knows how long to get a definitive decision. So, then ... wouldn't it just be better all around to play it safe now to assure the integrity of Dannie's Masses, absolutions, and ordinations, especially since the fix is so painless and easy? Wouldn't it also be better for the 14 sorry losers he "ordained"? Dannie could then re-ordain them all and ease their painful future.

And since we've cited the mighty Noldin in this post, we might as well hear what he has to say about the famous axiom in dubio pars tutior eligenda est -- "in doubt, the safer side must be chosen."

The Blunderer and his aping chorus of insolent e-viewers insist the axiom "applies only to a choice between a morally safe course of action and a morally unsafe one" (Cheeseball's emphasis.)  However, Noldin (p. 220, ❡236 [β]) instructs us that the axiom applies "where it is a question of the validity of the sacrament (ubi agitur de valore sacramenti)." Indeed, " is a question of a matter on which the validity of a sacrament depends, the certain means must be chosen (ubi...agitur de re, a qua valor sacramenti dependet, eligendum est medium certum)."

In other words, we are bound to follow the safer course when the validity of a sacrament is at stake, which is what we, and many others, have been saying all along. And since we don't know for sure whether one-handed conferral of priestly orders is an invalidating defect or not, this is the right occasion to opt for the safer side. The sacraments are just too important to run any risk at all, even a slight one. (Although, we suspect, the defect of one-handed ordination renders the risk more than slight, particularly in view of the Holy Office's documented practice of re-consecration in related questions.)

"One Hand" has a duty of care to get himself fixed because the risk of being wrong in this matter touching upon the sacrament of orders carries so many deadly consequences. His failure to do so is telling. It illustrates how far removed the cult masters are from a genuinely Catholic frame of mind. Rather than seeking conditional orders and consecration, i.e., acting in the interest of the care of souls (the first law), Dannie thinks that by repeating over and over that he's producing undoubtedly valid priests, everybody will ignore his BIG problem. (Just read a sampling of some of his recent missives -- you'll catch the motif immediately.)

And why won't he get fixed? Pride? Arrogance? Fear of wounding the perpetually wrong Bonehead's feelings? Insouciance? Sloth? A gambler's love of risk-taking? A constitutional antipathy to the exquisite Roman sense of justice, charity, and religion?

Nobody knows the real answer, but it's obvious that the whole cult is no more than just-pretend Catholicism. The brilliant constellation of precise knowledge, spiritual disposition, and rightly motivated action that furnish true Catholic guidance is simply not present in Trad World's pitchy firmament. No amount of dolly-dress-up pageants and cloyingly saccharine missives can make up for its absence.

Just-pretend priests and prelates. Ersatz clerics. Make-believe seminaries.  Sham scholars.  Phony theologians. In counterfeit Cultilandia, these cheap knock-offs are seemingly good enough as long as the money keeps coming in. Just don 't you try giving the cult masters any wooden nickels! They themselves may be bogus, but they insist on genuine coin of the realm from their blinded and undemanding followers. Your prayers or straitened finances won't buy European trips with fancy hotels, wintertime South-American junkets, and chic desert-spa vacations.

Sick of the pretense and hypocrisy? Repelled by the theater of hauteur and the impertinent expectation of unmerited privilege? Would you like to clean up the whole mess?


* Summa Theologiae Moralis (32nd editiion, Felician Rauch, 1960), p. 390, ❡454,1. Utrum episcopatus sit ordo a presbyteratu distinctus, an extensio quaedam et complementum ipsius sacerdotii, disputatur. Illud tamen communius affirmatur episcopatum, nondum collato sacerdotio, valide conferri non posse.