The Gerties' new-found resistance to Dirtbag Dan and his clerical clown crew gives us hope. His Errantry has certainly by now settled in for some serious holiday money-raking after his return from conferring possibly doubtful confirmations in the gorgeous, tree-filled, provincial capital of Mendoza located in the heart of Argentina's rich wine country. That means it's time for you disgruntled Gerties to grill him about that unneeded expenditure when so much work needs to be done at fast-declining SGG.*
As in the past, we've once more laboriously compiled a list of questions and demands that cry out for response before Deacon Dan gets another dime. Previously our call for confrontation went unheeded. But this time, however, we think some of the cult's victims might take action. This costly trip could well be the straw that broke the camel's back. Gutsy Gerties should form a committee to force His Profligacy into providing concrete answers to the following concerns:
1. What was the total travel cost of the South-American vacation? Be sure he itemizes every penny -- flight, taxes and fees, transfer, lodging, food, tours, miscellaneous purchases, opportunity costs etc. (Visits to lovely Mendoza wineries should be disallowed insofar as the enormously popular Malbec grape variety is in no need of "One-Hand Dan's" dubious ministrations: a blessing from a malformed, gringo, vagus louse could wind up provoking an invasion of phylloxera, another ghastly export from the United States.)
2. Who were the donors to the "Bishop's Fund" that made this wasteful trip possible and how much money did each one give? (Demand 'phone numbers or e-mail addresses so you can verify the gift.)
3. Insist Li'l Dan show by means of bank statements his withdrawals from the so-called "Bishop's Fund" to cover the entire cost of the senseless junket. Don't take him at his word. If we were betting souls, we'd wager that all cult-center funds are commingled, so you won't be able to tell if the money came from "donors" or was diverted from the weekly collection.
4. If full-airfare was paid, question why Dannie didn't use his accumulated frequent-flyer miles to reduce the cost of the ticket? (We think his account is with Delta.) Also, determine whether he flew economy or business/first class.
5. Ask if the miles "Travelin' Man Dan" earned on this frivolous round-trip journey to far-off Argentina will be applied to defray the cost of future lame-brained "apostolic" adventures or if he will claim them for personal use. (At this point, it would be prudent to find out how he and the Blunderer paid for their recent flight to Santa Fe, New Mexico: did the Gruesome Twosome use frequent-flyer miles earned on flights paid for by Gerties' donations?)
6. If miles weren't used, press him on why he didn't feel duty-bound in justice and charity to apply accumulated miles to offset the price of the round-trip ticket to Argentina. This is a serious question of moral theology.
7. How much cash ("alms and stipends," as the SGG newsletter says) did His Indebtedness have to pay to the two clerics in Mendoza? (Everything has its price, you know, including the pretense of being a globe-trotting "bishop.") Where did that money come from in the first place? Can he prove that individual donors gave the money for that specific purpose, or did he use his own discretion?
8. Why couldn't the two Mendozan clerics have availed themselves of one of the several bishops in Latin America? Was Dannie trying to get even with the Argentine bishop who came to the United States to ordain a priest for the community in Lawrence, Massachusetts (the chapel he had unsuccessfully tried to capture for himself)? Or is it because no one else wants to work with those two guys? (They've got a shady reputation down there for "bishop-shopping.") Moreover, are those two sly ol' dogs taking advantage of Desperate Dan's pathetic neediness in order to make some extra cash at the Gerties' expense?
Dannie owes his benefactors a full explanation, so it's not impudent or un-Catholic to confront him. Anyway, you won't be in the presence of a "Great Man"; you'll be staring down your nose at a small-time operator. The truth is, Dinky Dan's just a free-lancing, baggage-laden episcopus (?) vagans with no brief from the Catholic Church, no jurisdiction, no authority, and no ecclesiastical privileges -- none whatsoever. All he's the master of is a down-market cult with more of a resemblance to Scientology than to authentic Catholic practice.
To question how Dan spends unwitting Catholics' hard-earned money is not only licit, it's positively virtuous. In the old days -- in the real Church-- there were accountants, finance committees, a diocesan bureaucracy, and a cleric's well-formed sense of his sacred duty to make sure the faithful's money was used wisely. That's all disappeared now. Stewardship and righteous agency have gone the way of sound clerical formation: they're both a faded memory. So it's up to the people who provide the funds for his life of ease to demand -- and enforce -- accountability.
Start after Mass this Sunday. Tell "One Hand" to set up your audit meeting for next week. If he refuses, walk away from the cult center forever.
* Airfare alone must have cost about two grand. And what about the "alms and stipends" he had to fork over to the Argentine priests in return for allowing him to pretend he has a worldwide apostolate? (Those two mercenaries would dump him in a New-York minute if he had come down empty-handed, and Dannie knows it.)
All that cash could fix a lot of leaks.
Come to think of it, all that money could go a long way toward ridding the cult center of the super-varmints infesting the rotting hellhole. After declaring victory over the menacing raccoon horde, Dubious Dan had to walk it all back last week because the filthy vermin had breached the slipshod defenses his handyman had erected against them.
Hypersensitive Tony Baloney, perhaps driven bonkers by all the scratching and clawing, was reduced to madly hurling dirt clods at the masked invaders. (The noise must've been worse than crying babies at Mass!) If Dannie had just saved the money to hire a licensed exterminator, the Cheeseball wouldn't be so exercised.
But there's a bright side to this dismal infestation: the Blunderer can use the raccoon interlopers as an excuse for all the errors we'll expose in his next written effort.
STARVE THE BEAST!