In the January 14, 2018 SGG bulletin, its Bishop’s(?) ‘Corner (click here) had this item: “The whole Church is called upon to pray for the precious grace of unity come Thursday, the opening of the approved, indulgenced Chair of Unity Octave. We pray for the return of different non-Catholic groups to Mother Church. We would do well to remember all of the confused Catholic groups out there as well in this great chastisement.” This was just part of the token lip service that Dannie piously intones every week in his ‘Corner – empty words about things that he knows won’t come true, nor does he want to come true.
The fact is, Dannie doesn’t want unity. Unity implies hierarchy; and hierarchy means that Dannie would have to report to a higher authority – which he doesn’t want. Dannie wants to be the boss of his own little realm, making up his own rules (and selectively applying and/or breaking them). If Dannie were part of a larger, unified organization, he’d be reporting to superiors, and having to do their bidding, not his. It also means that he couldn’t control his own purse-strings, use the sacraments as “weapons” (arbitrarily deny people the sacraments, etc.), or go on his winter getaway “apostolates” whenever he pleased. In short, “unity” would put him out of business.
In our last article, we noted that Dannie acted “as if this were the High Middle Ages, and Dannie were some sort of feudal lord ‘prince of the church.’” Well, that’s almost literally true. Dannie does treat his Gerties as if he was a feudal lord, and they were his vassals (and the rank-and-file his serfs). And that word -- feudal -- signifies in more ways than one. First, “feudal” implies feuding factions, all fighting with one another over “turf” (which was usually the case in medieval Europe’s feudal society -- and is certainly the case in today’s Traddieland). Most of the trad groups fight with one another – usually over technicalities – in order to expand their turf (at one another’s expense). And when they do “unite,” it’s usually some sort of loose “confederation” (as it was back in the Middle Ages), and usually temporary in nature -- where each group keeps its own autonomy. In Traddieland, it’s not about “the common interest,” but about self-interest.
And that’s the way it is with Dannie & Co.: SGG does not report to MHT (or to CMRI): they’re all separate dominions, each with its own “lord” (aka “bishop,” “superior general,” etc.) – and “cooperation” occurs only to the extent of agreeing on “safe,” non-turf issues (“Bergie bashing,” etc.). Dannie will never submit to Donny, and vice versa (nor will Marky and the CMRI, for that matter). All three of them – at one time or another – have dreamt of being “Emperor of Traddieland” – but not by cooperative unification, but by imposing his will on the others. They’re all rivals with one another – and NONE of them would ever voluntarily submit to being under one of the other’s suzerainty.
Big Don, whose MHT got “aced out” (at Our Lady of the Sun in Arizona) by the Pivmeister, will never merge with CMRI -- or with anyone else, for that matter. (Besides, Big Don’s “merging” days are over. He’s turning MHT over to “the Kid” now. Plus, his declining health will keep him from playing a “major role” anywhere from here on.) And as for the Pivmeister and CMRI, they’re not interested in “merging,” either. They have been content to carve out a “niche” that is mainly “domestic” (the continental U.S) – plus some isolated outposts in Australia and elsewhere. And Dannie? Well, he and Big Don, despite their seminary “collaboration,” have never been “chummy” – especially after SGG’s Schiavo and 2009 school scandals fiascos created a lot of unwanted “guilt-by-association” publicity for MHT. And now, since those same scandals (and other strategic blunders) have trashed Dannie’s (and Tony’s) one-time “reputation” here in the U.S., their only hope now seems to be to carve out their “niche” somewhere else: in Latin America, where their blunders are not so “well-known.”
That – Latin America – is where Dannie is pinning his main hopes these days (and now, to some extent, Africa).1 That is why Dannie is always braying about his “apostolates” in far-off lands: it’s about the only “prestige” that he (supposedly) has left with his Gerties anymore. With his junkets to Latin America, Dannie can give his Gerties the impression that he is a “world player” – especially with ”Africa” (the Nigerian mission) thrown in. Dannie can plaster pictures of both all over his website -- both for his cyber suckers, and for his Gerties back at the cult center. (Note, however, that when Dannie travels, it’s only to Latin America, not Nigeria. The latter is too expensive and too dangerous for Dannie – and not nearly as much fun. Nigeria has only propaganda value for Dannie. Monetarily, it’s a sinkhole.)
But even that – Dannie’s “world player” image -- is getting to be pretty tarnished these days – especially in Latin America. Dannie’s clumsy meddling in Lawrence, Massachusetts (click here) raised the ire of Argentine-born Bishop Andres Morello, amongst others; and other Latin American clergy (such as Fr. Siordia) seem to be getting Dannie’s “number” as well. Dannie’s one-time charisma with Latinos is evaporating fast. Nowadays, the only “south of the border” folks with whom Dannie (supposedly) still has any influence are those whom he can “buy off” (by playing “Gringo Santa Claus” for them).2
More and more, folks in Latin America are “jumping ship” with Dannie. As we intimated before, the only ones who have anything to do with him are those he can “buy” – and even their numbers are dwindling (because Dannie can’t afford to play “Santa Claus” for them as he once did). Plus, “word is getting around” about Dannie in Latin America: word about Schiavo, about Dannie’s doubtful orders – and about his opulent life-style. (At one time, Dannie could “hide” such adverse publicity from them – but not now in this age of the internet, where news travels fast, and knows no boundaries). “Santa” or no “Santa,” Dannie’s “prestige” there is eroding – and people are seeing him for the sham that he is.
So then, what does the future hold for Traddieland’s “feudal lords”? We’re not sure. Some of it hinges, as PL said, on what happens after “the Kid” gets his miter at the Swampland. Will MHT (as PL opined) become more “insular,” or will “the Kid” try to play a major role in Traddieland? 3 And, whether it goes one way or the other, will that set off another “turf war”? But, whichever way it goes, don’t look for any “unity” in TradWorld. That’s a myth, because – to repeat -- no one (least of all, Dannie) wants that to happen. They’ll all “pray” for “unity”; but they’ll do everything they can to prevent it, because – again -- it’s bad for business.4 Traddieland’s “feudal lords” don’t want to give up their positions and privileges –their “turf” – for some “ideal.” They’re all pragmatists – “political animals” -- who are not about to sacrifice their self-interest for some intangible, unprofitable “principle.”
So, don’t hold your breath for “unity.” “It ain’t gonna happen”! What will happen, instead, is that Dannie will continue to keep SGG as a separate entity – answerable to nobody, and free of interference from any “watch-dog” group -- so that he alone can benefit from exploiting his flock. (And his recent plea to join his “CAT Club” was just another “installment” in that exploitation.) Gerties, Dannie will continue to “sweet talk” you with his pious sanctimony, and “pray” for goals that he knows are unreachable (and, again, which he doesn’t want to be reachable).5 In the end, he’ll just keep telling the Gerties all those “sweet nothings” that they like to hear – and keep emptying their wallets.
One would hope that the remaining Gerties will eventually see what many others have seen (and borne witness) – and heed those warnings. (Heaven knows – they’ve been warned often enough!) But, realistically, if they haven’t woken up by now, they probably never will – until it’s too late. But whether they do or not, the good news is that the rest of us have woken up. And if the Gerties don’t – well, “that’s their problem!”
1 Dannie has a “mission” in Nigeria, run by a “Fr. Nkamuke,” who was “ordained” by Dannie (which, of course, makes him orders doubtful).
2 Of course, another big personal reason (besides playing “Santa Claus”) for Dannie going down south is to get away from the cold gringo winters, and -- equally as important -- for dodging fast and abstinence rules during Lent.
3 One scenario that Pistrina opined is that “the Kid” will not play a major public role in Traddieland, and that, under him, MHT will become more “insular.” This is probably a good guess, because “the Kid” doesn’t have the “leadership” skills (and forceful personality) that the Donster has; and education-wise, he was “educated” at MHT (which means that he has no credentials whatsoever). Add to that the fact that, as PL also pointed out, he comes from a rich family, and has been pampered and indulged all his life. That, combined with his lack of leadership skills, says that he’s not the “type” for putting out any “major effort” in Traddieland. Lastly, remember that not only “the Kid’s” family, but the other “elite” families, have plenty of money -- more than enough to sustain their operation comfortably – so why take on anything (or anyone) else? After all, “merging” or “unification” with anyone else might very well dilute their resources (monetarily or otherwise) – so why take that risk?
4 And, for the bishop-led cults, that’s just what they are: businesses. Their “Catholicism” is not so much a belief as it is a business model; and they differentiate themselves from one another with the “products” that they “market,” to keep their sheep loyal to their “brand.” We seriously doubt if any of them believe in what they “sell,” because their “product” often doesn’t match their “advertising.” Example: Dannie talks about “protecting the innocence of our children” – yet overlooked (and even condoned) the scandalous events of 2009. And he and Tony preach about “the sanctity of life” – yet they condoned the murder of Terri Schiavo. They tell their audience one thing, then do another.
5 The same, of course, goes for the other “bishop-led” cults of Tradistan. None of them wants to see “unity,” because that would mean reconciliation with Rome – and then they’d have to give up their cushy life-styles, their autonomy, and all the rest of it. (Besides, none of them are adequately trained; so, “post- reconciliation,” they wouldn’t last five milliseconds anyway.)