Saturday, October 15, 2016

Another Pawn in Dannie's Dirty Chess Game

In the days of the Austrian Hapsburg monarchy, when an emperor died, the funeral cortege would stop at the door of the cathedral; and an official would knock on the door, and ask permission for “the Emperor of Austria” to enter.  He would then be denied permission.  After repeating this process two or three  times (and being rejected), he would finally request permission for “ a poor sinner” to enter; and then -- and only then -- would he be allowed entry. The object of all this was, of course, to emphasize that all of us, from the low to the mighty, are “poor sinners” in God’s eyes – and not even a Hapsburg emperor — or a clergyman, for that matter -- is “exempt.” 

In our last article, we presented two letters -- one written by Fr. Martin Stepanich, and the other by a former SGG parishioner – concerning the SGG school scandals of 2009.  In examining the two letters, it should be obvious to the reader that the Stepanich letter, written in reply to the parishioner, - was about as vitriolic as one could possibly be.  In fact, it was embarrassingly vitriolic – almost childishly so.  Fr. Stepanich sounded like someone giving a severe tongue-lashing to a miscreant kindergarten brat.  In doing so, he used every possible “trick in the book” (including name-calling) to “shame” the man into submission.

Not only did Stepanich misconstrue just about everything the man said -- calling his charges “numerous falsifications and distortions and misunderstandings of the truth” -- but he accused him of things he didn’t even say or do.  He (Stepanich) also ignored not only this man’s complaints, but those of dozens of others (several of whom also wrote to him).  Stepanich preemptively (and unquestioningly) accepted Dolan’s and Cekada’s baseless assertions at face value, while ignoring the hard evidence of others.  In short, Fr. Stepanich made a complete ASS of himself.

Was Fr. Stepanich “senile”?  Did his “advanced years” adversely affect his ability to reason (or his judgment) in any way?  Not really.  If one had read his letter (without first seeing the parishioner’s letter), he would find Fr. Stepanich’s arguments “logical,” and would judge him to be totally lucid and “with it.”  So, no, one cannot chalk it up to his being “senile.”  A more plausible explanation for him taking the stance he did is the “Alter Christus” argument: he was trying to protect a fellow member of “the Roman Collar Club.”  Additionally, he was applying the “shut-up-and-obey” rule: the time-honored premise that Catholics should always “obey their priests,” no matter what.

But in doing this, Fr. Stepanich did a very foolish thing: compromising his own integrity by vouching for a couple of worthless vipers.  It was a regrettable lack of judgment on his part, for the “school scandal” evidence was overwhelming.  (One of the victims was the grand-nephew of SGG’s biggest benefactor, who wrote to Sanborn about it.  Sanborn, of course, took the same approach as Stepanich: denial.)  In aligning himself with Dannie and Tony, Fr. Stepanich put his own reputation – unsullied up to this point – at risk.  If he had only reserved judgment until after ascertaining the facts, he might have preserved his reputation intact.

But, as it turns out, Fr. Stepanich’s reputation was already “compromised” to some extent: some time back, in a letter (published on Droleskey’s Christ or Chaos website), he took an essentially neutral position regarding Schiavo – totally failing to condemn Cekada for his depraved position on that. (Click here for letter.)  This was a foolish thing for him to do, for it compromised his reputation, opening him up to ridicule and suspicion in peoples’ minds.  Now, in retrospect, his regrettable stance on the SGG school scandals has confirmed those suspicions (and correspondingly damaged his reputation even further).

And for what?  “Vouching for vipers,” that’s what.  For a man who heretofore had an otherwise splendid record and reputation, this is a blow to both, and even to his credibility – a devastating revelation for a man considered by many to be a quasi-saint of sorts.  He risked all of that, just for the sake of “showing solidarity” -- of unthinkingly vouching for a couple of moral lepers, without first getting his facts straight.  And in doing so, he allowed himself to be victimized – to be used as a cat’s paw by Dannie -- just as those SGG school kids were victimized back in 2009.

But perhaps that is a fortunate thing for Fr. Stepanich -- and here’s why: have you ever noticed how people will often prematurely consign the deceased to heaven – how they’ll say, “Oh, he’s already with God” (as is often done at Novus Ordo funerals.)  Well, traddies often make that same mistake – at least “functionally”:  they offer Masses (and pray) only for those who (they think) “need” those prayers.  The “good” and “holy” are often neglected, because people assume that “they aren’t ‘in dire need’ of our prayers.”

The fact that Fr. Stepanich did such a foolish (and sinful) thing is proof positive that he is indeed in need of peoples’ prayers.  It is also proof positive that he -- like the rest of us – is only human.  He is not some “near-saint” to be prematurely placed on a celestial pedestal, but – like that Austrian emperor -- is a fellow sinner to be prayed for.  Like him, Fr. Stepanich too is not “exempt” -- and, like the rest of us, must face God’s judgment.  Let us all, then, pray for his soul.

Now there are some who might condemn us for bringing these “negative” things about Fr. Stepanich to light – that what we say here, even though true, amounts to “detraction.”  “Who are we,” they might say, “to judge him?”  “After all,” they might contend, “why did you write an article (click here to see it) condemning Fr. Cekada for criticizing 'Abbot Leonard' (Giardina), when you’re doing essentially the same thing: criticizing Fr. Stepanich?"  Well, there are important differences between what we are saying about Fr. Stepanich, and what Cekada said about Abbot Giardinia.  Firstly, what we said about Fr. Stepanich is the truth; and what the Cheese-Doodle said about Abbot Giardina was a pack of LIES -- unjust, uncalled-for, and BASELESS lies.

Secondly – and more importantly – we here are writing about a man (Stepanich) who was guilty of gross wrongdoing, whereas Cekada was accusing a man who was guilty of nothing.  Lastly (and most importantly), Checkie’s sole aim was to discredit an innocent man, while ours is simply to set the record straight on someone who was actually guilty of serious wrongdoing.  Our criticism of Fr. Stepanich – as we stated in our last article -- is not meant to “throw him under the bus” (or “consign him to the dust heap”), but is offered in a constructive, remedial sense: to point out that he, like everyone else, is in need of our prayers.

We certainly realize that Fr. Stepanich was not a self-serving parasite like Dannie or Tony, and that he led an otherwise holy and dedicated life.  However, he committed a major transgression -- out of a mistaken sense of “solidarity for fellow priests” -- by supporting Dannie and Tony during the 2009 school affair.  He thus shares a degree of culpability, especially since he was made totally aware of what was going on, and chose to ignore it.  But, to be sure, the real culprits in this drama are those two lepers.  In the end, Fr. Stepanich, by being duped into pleading the vipers’ case for them, became just as much a victim as those SGG school kids – another pawn in Dannie and Tony’s dirty chess game.  One could make an argument that he did not act premeditatedly, or with any particular malicious intent – but one could not say the same for Dannie and Tony. 

That they prevailed upon Stepanich to do a whitewash job for them, thereby sullying his own reputation, is beyond despicable – and exposes Dannie and Tony for the human scum that they are.  Martin Stepanich deserves our pity.  Dolan and Cekada deserve our scorn.  So, we must do everything we can to stop them.  And, of course, the best way to do that is to do what Pistrina and we have been recommending for so long: STARVE THE BEAST! 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Another “Tale of Two Letters”

Editor’s Note:  Starting with this article, we will be posting every week – not every other week – while Pistrina Liturgica is temporarily shut down (for its conference).  Upon that blog’s return, we ourselves will take a “break” for a while, returning on or about the first of the year.

A while back, we posted an article, A Tale of Two Letters, one letter being a plea – and a most respectful one at that – by an SGG parishioner (Bernie Brueggemann) to Donald Sanborn, protesting the SGG “school scandals” back in 2009; and the other, Sanborn’s caustic reply.  (Click here for article.)    Well, here is another “Tale of Two Letters” (on those same scandals) – only this time, with a different cast of characters: another (former) SGG parishioner, and Fr. Martin Stepanich.  The Brueggemann and Sanborn letters are preserved on our website, and were therefore available as “links.”  The letters of Fr. Stepanich and the other parishioner, however, are not, and thus not available as “links.” 

Therefore, we have had to transcribe them, in their entirety, as appendices at the end of this article.  By the way, there were actually several letters that were written by dissident parishioners to Fr. Stepanich, requesting his helpful intervention in their grievances with the SGG cult-masters; but the two we have chosen for the appendices are fairly “representative,” and thus should suffice.  Appendix A is the letter written to Fr. Stepanich by the parishioner (whose name has been omitted), and Appendix B is Stepanich’s reply.

The parishioner’s letter is reproduced “as is” (except for some formatting changes). Fr. Stepanich’s letter was also reformatted; but in his, we have added our commentary (set off in parentheses, and in blue print).  We should also note that the parishioner’s letter (in Appendix A) was in response to a prior letter by Stepanich (his letter of “2-22-10,” to which that parishioner refers in his letter) – and that said prior letter (by Stepanich) was in support of Dolan and Cekada’s “version” of what happened at SGG’s school.  (Unfortunately, we do not possess that letter; but, again, it is obvious that the parishioner’s letter was a response to such a letter, and that said parishioner disagreed with Stepanich’s conclusions.)  That being said, we suggest that the reader now read both letters (Appendix A and Appendix B) before proceeding on.

So, after reading both letters, it should be obvious that the parishioner’s letter, although its rhetoric was a little “pompous” at times, was sincere – and, more importantly, TRUTHFUL -- and that it addressed charges (about the abuses at SGG’s school) that have been independently verified.1  It should also be obvious, from Fr. Stepanich’s response, that he never really acknowledged the genuineness (or legitimacy) of those charges, always referring to them as “alleged” -- and that he had no intention of pursuing the matter further to determine their veracity.  And it is also obvious that he willfully misconstrued much of what that parishioner had to say (and, most of the time, very condescendingly so) – and that his main intention was to belittle and scold that parishioner.  It was, in the main, a “shut-up-and-obey-me-because-I’m-a-priest” kind of letter. 

For now, the comment that we have added parenthetically (in blue print) to Fr. Stepanich’s letter is all comment we shall offer for now, because this article (with its two appendices) is already long enough.  Besides, there is another letter (about Schiavo) by Fr. Stepanich (“linked” in our next article) that has some further bearing on what we want to say, so we’ll hold off on any further discussion until then.  At this point, we’ll only add, to reassure those predisposed in favor of Fr. Stepanich, that we will not “throw him under the bus” (or “consign him to the dust bin”).  But, it would also be a disservice to the man to unrealistically “whitewash” what he has done.  The thing to do, instead, is to put this in its proper perspective, and then to draw constructive conclusions from it – and that is what we propose to do.   Until then, “stay tuned.”

1 The evidence, both from eyewitnesses and from documentation, is overwhelming, and verifiable not only by those numerous eyewitnesses, but by incontrovertible physical evidence.  For instance, part of the Lotarski boys’ immorality (about which Dolan was warned almost a year in advance) was borne out when one of SGG’s students gave birth to one of those sons’ child.  (And no DNA evidence is necessary; the child is “a spitting image” of its father.)  And many of those eyewitnesses were members of a family whose reputation at SGG was impeccable: the family of SGG’s main benefactor.

The other thing to remember is that Stepanich was informed not just by this one parishioner, but by numerous people (although ONE letter should’ve been “enough”).  There is no physical way that he (Stepanich) could not have been aware of the charges that those people made – or of the severity of those charges.

Appendix A. Letter of Parishioner to Fr. Martin Stepanich.

Editor’s Note: This is a transcript, reformatted and in a different font than the original (for ease of reading).  But, other than that, it is word for word what its correspondent wrote.  Here it is:

March 7, 2010
Sunday of Lent

Dear Fr. Stepanich,

I have wanted to write to you ever since you decided to comment on the situation at St. Gertrude the Great (SGG). You told me in December to “wait until after the new year”. After receiving your letter of 2-22-10 it is time to write. I will number the sections to make it easier for you to respond, if you so desire.

1. “Anti-SGG”
You label those who have left SGG over the current scandal as “anti- SGG agitators”.  Just like Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada, this is a very convenient way to avoid facing the real issues involved. It reminds me of the war hawks in the Bush administration who labeled everyone who opposed the Iraq war as “anti-American”. It also reminds me of those who label sedevacantists as “against the Pope” in order to just write us off without having to face the issues. The use of such generalized, sweeping epithets like “rebels”, while refusing to hear both sides of the situation in order to “judge just judgments”, is completely unworthy of a theologian of your stature.

No, Fr., we are not “anti-SGG agitators”. We are not against SGG but rather for the truth. You write just like Fr. Cekada, and act just like Bp. Dolan, because you write and act as though the truth is just not important. Nowhere in your commentaries on the SGG situation have I read what you think of Mark Lotarski’s criminal abuses and the SGG clergy’s consent to his iniquitous and soul-destroying words and actions (all publicly proven in the objective, external forum).
Fr. Ramolla has not started a new parish, and we have not joined it, because we are against something, but rather for something. You need to think about that.

2. False assumptions
You write as if Bp. Dolan, Fr. Cekada, and Mark Lotarski are innocent of the crimes they have publicly committed. Given this, your condemnation of Fr. Ramolla and his parishioners as “rebels” has the appearance of justice. But “judge not by the appearance”, Fr. Investigate the objective, public actions of those involved.  The fact is Mark Lotarski has abused, psychologically and even physically, many of the children put into his charge at SGG school. Parents and teachers have prayed (as you suggested) and reported the abuses to the pastor and assistant pastor, who both have refused to this day to take any substantive action to correct the abuses. On the contrary, those who have tried to protect their children have been privately, and even publicly, castigated and even thrown out of the school and/or parish.  You have added to the grief of the parents (and many others) who have made the difficult decision to leave the parish they loved in order to fulfill their God-given duty. You have rejoiced the criminals and grieved the innocent. May God forgive you for that.

3. The real issue – protecting the innocence of youth
Are you, like Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada (and Bp. Sanborn, for that matter), also without understanding of the real issue involved here?  There is nothing God and Our Lady love more on earth than the innocence of youth. That is why Our Lady appeared to children at LaSallette, Lourdes, and Fatima.  I tell you most solemnly that the Church is passing through Her crisis now, and the entire world is about to be severely punished with a celestial chastisement, because of the crimes against the innocence of  youth. I tried numerous times to explain this to Bp. Dolan, and I suffered greatly to start and run a school in his parish to try, despite his opposition, to preserve piety and innocence in children, but he has proven too dull and too much in love with himself to understand how he has grieved the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary by his horrendous lack of compassion and willingness to sacrifice himself for the children of his parish. In this he has found a more-than-willing accomplice in Fr. Cekada, who excels even the bishop in this regard.  And now you – you also join in condemning those who are trying to protect their children. I simply can’t believe it.  There is more to being Catholic than just having the Faith. There is morals as well. Faith without morals saves no one.

3. Clergy protecting clergy
I wish to serve a warning to you, and to all other traditional clergy in America, and indeed the world. Yes, this will sound bold, but someone has got to say it.
Many, many clergy and laity are completely fed up with the grotesque crime of clergy protecting clergy who have committed public crimes. God Himself is giving public testimony of what He thinks of the SGG situation by moving so many so quickly to form such a wonderful, humble parish as St. Albert’s. It is God Who has commanded us to shake the dust off of our feet, for it is He who “makes all things new”.

How is it even possible the horrendous crime of child abuse, practiced and rewarded by the perverts of the Novus Ordo, is repeated in our own midst! How is it possible that certain priests show an utter lack of compassion for children, let alone their struggling parents! I personally believe that such an utter lack of basic human compassion, as typified by Bp. Dolan and even more especially Fr. Cekada, is a very real sign of demonic possession. Absent basic compassion, a man is capable of any evil. We are witnessing this with our own eyes. We will witness it to the end on Judgment Day.

What is the action a true Catholic priest must take in the face of such public scandal? It is what Fr. Tarcisius (now Bp. Pivarunas) did when faced with the moral turpitude of Francis Schuckhardt – he booted him out on his ear, and fought for years through lawsuits to protect the flock given into his charge. I personally believe this is why certain clergy have such an abhorrence of him – he is a real man, a true father who protects his children.

I state publicly and categorically that what Mark Lotarski has done is worse that what Schuckhardt did because Lotarski’s crimes have been committed primarily against children. And who does Bp. Dolan castigate? Stephanie Johns. Who does he and Fr. Cekada boot out? Fr. Ramolla. They persecute the just, and let the guilty go free, just as one of the wicked elders prosecuted by the prophet Daniel.

4. “SGG territory”
I find it absolutely incredible that a theologian of your reputation could utter such a ridiculous statement as to mention the setting up of St. Albert’s “right in the middle of SGG territory”. Could you kindly define what “SGG territory” is? Is it what Bp. Dolan decides his “territory” is? If that be true, then it certainly includes all of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, since he told me he did not want to open a Mass center in northern Kentucky because it would “split his parish”. (What true love for souls...)

All of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky – gee, that sounds like a diocese to me. Please realize that there is no such thing as “SGG territory”. We have a perfect Catholic right, and in this case a duty, to allow God to set up a new parish wherever He thinks fit, even if it be across the street from SGG!  What kind of a dream world are you in? Do you not realize that there are no true parishes in the canonical sense (since there is no Pope), and hence there is no such thing as “SGG territory”? We are in an emergency situation, made far worse by those who have betrayed the trust put in them. Now we must start over. But start over we shall. Where God puts us is none of Bp. Dolan’s business. Or yours, for that matter.

GOD DOES NOT CARE ABOUT BUILDINGS, BUT ABOUT SOULS! Do you not realize this? You sound like Bp. Sanborn who said to a St. Albert’s parishioner “what do you want to see – pigeons roosting at St. Gertrude’s?”. Better pigeons than demons. Both you and Bp. Sanborn assume it is God’s will for SGG to continue. Why should God allow it to continue given the crimes that have been committed and the attempts to minimize, or even cover-up, the evils? (Cover up – like the black ooze of Fr. Siordia’s dream...)

Unlike certain clergy, God will do what is best for souls. He has no selfish interests. He is charity. He cares only for us, not what we can produce. Unlike Bp. Dolan, God is not a utilitarian.  I tell you solemnly that St. Albert’s parish is a work of the Holy Ghost. Everyone I have met at this parish is Catholic and (God forbid!) happy. The crushing burdens put upon us by Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada in refusing to correct the evils perpetrated against souls in their charge, and which they would not lift a finger to lighten, God Himself has mercifully removed. Our dear Jesus is truly our Father. Indeed, we who have left could say in all truth “a bishop we had, but no father”.

5. Recant
My advice to you, Fr., is simple. Have the humility to admit publicly that you have heretofore had only half of the story; recant what you have thus far written of the SGG scandal; learn the objective facts of the situation; then write a balanced, scholarly commentary that can be taken seriously.  If you do so, I, for one, would read it and take it to heart.  If you will not, then I can truly say that “I never knew you”.

In our crucified Lord,


Appendix B. Fr. Stepanich’s Letter of Reply to Parishioner

Editor’s Note: This letter was a “pdf” file, which cannot be “copied” per se.  Hence, we had to re-write it in its entirety.  We have, of course, reformatted it to suit.  But, other than that, it too is word for word what Fr. Stepanich wrote.  As we said earlier, we have put our parenthetical comments in blue. Here is the letter:

ATTENTION, SOLEMN ONE! (Fr. Stepanich starts of by “name-calling,” sarcastically referring to parishioner as “SOLEMN ONE”)

“I tell you solemnly that St. Albert’s parish is a work of the Holy Ghost….You write and act as though the truth is just not important…You have rejoiced the criminals and grieved the innocent…You also join in condemning those who are trying to protect our children…”  Guess who made those wild, sweeping assertions and slanderous accusations, without giving two hoots about the truth.  You did!  Yes, you of all people!

What I could have done is simply return to you your recent erratic and carelessly-worded, as well as most insulting, five-page document about the long, drawn out St. Gertrude the Great disturbance, asking you to tear up the thing and throw it into the waste basket.  Then you could have been asked to write – humbly this time! – a genuinely truthful and respectful and charitable letter that would go strictly by the real facts, without any of your shameful false accusations and distortions and deviations and rash judgments.  (Of course, the letter was NOT insulting, nor was it “carelessly worded,” nor were there any “false accusations.”  It was perhaps “confrontational,” but respectful -- and it was factual.)

But let’s do it this way: I will now once again state very clearly, as I have already done several times, my exact position in regard to the St. Gertrude situation, and then follow it up with an examination of at least some of your numerous falsifications and distortions and misunderstandings of the truth.  (Stepanich here is preemptively calling the parishioner’s claims “numerous falsifications and distortions and misunderstandings of the truth,” without ANY investigating whatsoever as to their veracity.)  Here is what, as you know all too well, I have repeatedly said: The principal need for the good of St. Gertrude’s church and school is to beg God fervently and perseveringly to intervene mercifully and bring about once again genuine Catholic right order and unity and charity and peace at St. Gertrude’s, and see to it that whatever needs to be corrected there will definitely be corrected.  (Is he asking God to “see to it that whatever needs to be corrected there will definitely be corrected”?  Or whom?  At any rate, “whatever needs to be corrected” was NOT corrected!)

And you know very well how I have even recommended Holy Hours of right-intentioned prayers by those who are able to devote that much time to such prayer, whether in the SGG church, or at home, or in some other suitable place.  That, then, is what I consider to be the real solution for the SGG reported problems.  And you?  What has been your response to that?  You have completely ignored what I said, as if I had said nothing.  Instead, you dishonestly jumped to the unwarranted and most insulting conclusion that I was defending the alleged abuses at SGG, as well as defending those who you say are guilty of those alleged abuses.  (But, Fr. Stepanich, you WERE, in effect, defending those abuses by denying that parishioner’s claims.  You had ample time to investigate them – but you didn’t.)

You obviously want me, an outsider, to declare that the alleged abuses have been at the SGG school, while at the same time condemning those that you say are guilty of promoting those alleged abuses or allowing them to continue.  But how could I possibly do that except by telling everybody that you told me what to say?  (No, Father, you could have looked into those claims; but, again, you made NO EFFORT to do so.)  You know all too well that I am not in the position to know anything firsthand, or as an eyewitness or ear-witness, about the alleged SGG school abuses.  I can only say that I have been told by others.  And I had been told plenty by others long before you injected yourself into my limited time and used up my limited energy.  If I were to tell anyone what I knew about the alleged SGG abuses, I could only tell what you and others have told me.  (This is a meaningless passage.  If Fr. Stepanich had been “told by others,” then why did he not heed their words like he did Dannie’s and Tony’s – or at least investigate what they had to say?  Why did he automatically take Dannie and Tony’s word, and not theirs – especially when the latter’s numbers far outweighed Dannie and?  Why did he ignore their hard evidence, and accept Dannie’s and Tony’s baseless assertions?)

Whether or not you yourself have been an eyewitness or ear-witness to the alleged SGG abuses that you talk about, or whether you only keep repeating what others have told you, or whether you have had children of your own in the SGG school, that you have not made clear.  (Why should he, Father?  The fact is, these things did happen.  Whether he was party to them or not is IMMATERIAL.)  I know of parents who have children in the SGG school, but who have said that they have not seen anything of the kind of abuses that you talk about.  (Not all families’ kids were involved, Father – but plenty were.  How many must there be to constitute “enough” for you?)  It would, of course, be no surprise if the alleged abuses that you talk about were seen by only one or by just a few persons on each given occasion, while others know about it only by hearsay.  (No, Father, they were seen by MANY eyewitnesses – but you didn’t bother to ascertain.)

Anyway, whatever the exact actual facts are, you need to be very careful not to give the impression that the SGG school as a whole is a place dedicated to the corruption of the innocent, nor should you make it look – as you actually have done! – as if that kind of situation is being deliberately and maliciously allowed, or even promoted, by those in charge of SGG.  (But it was, Father!  Both the principal and the SGG “clergy” actively promoted and/or “orchestrated” the vile activity at the school.)  Your plain intense hatred of those in charge of the SGG school has even made you descend to the lowest of levels in speaking of the “demonic possession” of the SGG leaders!  Yes, that’s exactly what you said, “demonic possession”!  Tell me now, what kind of spirit is it that prompts you to keep falsifying and distorting the facts and insulting others, especially priests of God?  It surely cannot be an Angel from Heaven!  (Father, what the parishioner actually said was, “the utter lack of basic human compassion, as typified by Bp. Dolan and even more especially Fr. Cekada, is a very real sign of demonic possession.”  And, you know what?  We heartily agree with him!)

You angrily protest that you are “not anti-SGG.”  Just whom are you trying to kid?  The plain truth is that you have over and over and over again shown how you are “against SGG”, and how much you have been hoping that SGG would close down and be left abandoned to the pigeons.  But that isn’t the worst of your hateful anti-SGG spirit.  What you have not even tried to keep secret is your intense desire that the SGG leaders would be “kicked out on their ears.”  Yes, that’s exactly how you and other anti-SGG noisemakers have worded it, “kicked out on their ears.”  (Again, what he actually said was, “No, Fr., we are not ‘anti-SGG agitators’. We are not against SGG but rather for the truth.”  Fr. Stepanich, you are putting words in his mouth.  He is not against SGG, but against its corrupt leaders.)

While untruthfully denying (How do you know the denial was “untruthful,” Father?) that you are “against SGG,” you evade the issue when you protest that you are rather “for the truth.”  That’s evasive nonsense.  (No it’s not “evasive nonsense,” Father – but what you are saying IS.)  The real issue is either being “for SGG,” or being “against SGG.”  Since you are plainly “against SGG”, you therefore cannot be “for SGG.”  If you are “for” something, you are automatically “against” its opposite, and vice versa.  Since you are plainly “for” the closing of SGG, you are plainly “against” its continued existence, and, since you are plainly “for” having the SGG leaders “kicked out on their ears”, you are plainly “against” having them stay there.  (Again, he’s against having them stay there – but NOT “against SGG.”  Those are two completely different things.)

Another thing that you dishonestly resent is that of being called a “rebel.”  (“Dishonestly”?  How so, “dishonestly”?!!)  You have obviously not given any sound thought to the full meaning of the word “rebel”.  (Actually, he has, Father.)  The full meaning is that rebels can be either “good rebels” or “bad rebels.”  You could have tried to defend yourself by insisting – though untruthfully! – that you are a “good” rebel against SGG.   Aside from your attitude toward SGG, you presumably are, as a supposed traditional Catholic, a “good rebel” in resisting and rebelling against the modernist Novus Ordo establishment.  In regard to that, you presumably would not resent being called a “rebel,” knowing that you are a “good rebel.

But you are definitely not a “good rebel” in regard to the SGG situation. (on what grounds, Father?)  You know very well that when your rebel leader was dismissed from SGG he vengefully (vengefully?) reacted by setting himself up where he knew many of the SGG parishioners lived and who would find it more convenient to come to his secular place for Mass rather than to SGG.  That rebel action of his plainly indicated that, since he was being dismissed from the SGG parish, he would make up for that by establishing himself in a secular building where he could take SGG parishioners away from their church, and this also meant that he was taking them away from their Eucharistic Lord in the SGG tabernacle.  (Father, let me remind you that SGG started out in such a “secular place,” as too did the early Christians in the catacombs.  Your accusation is petty, uncharitable, and BOGUS.)

You sure did let yourself get carried away in the wrong direction – in fact, right into heresy territory! [How so, Father?] – when I said that your rebel leader set himself up in a “secular building.”  Your mindless hasty reaction to that was this blasphemous insult to God: “God does not care about buildings, but about souls!” (Father, it’s neither blasphemous nor insulting – but you were.) And you put that insulting declaration into all capital letters no less!  It is as if you didn’t know that God is the one who has been inspiring men all through the Christian centuries to keep building worthy places for the worship of Himself, from the most magnificent basilicas and cathedrals down to the most humble of chapels and shrines, as if you  didn’t know how God kept after David and Solomon to build the first Temple of Jerusalem; as if you didn’t know how Our Lady, in various places of her apparitions (for example, Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima), repeatedly asked that churches be built there, with the all-important thing being the Real Presence of Jesus in those building [sic] and the offering there of the traditional Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (Fr. Stepanich, you WILLFULLY misconstrued what that parishioner was saying.  You knew full well that St. Albert’s, as all beginning parishes, HAD to start out humbly; and God doesn’t care what sort of building they had – as long as they did their best under the circumstances.)

Shouldn’t David and Solomon, as also Juan Diego of Guadalupe and Bernadette of Lourdes and Lucy of Fatima have objected: “But God does not care for buildings!”  You betray some more of your split thinking when you say that “God does not care for buildings, but for souls.  No one should have to tell you that God cares for buildings precisely because He cares for souls!”  You do not separate the souls from the buildings.  The two go together in God’s mind and intentions.  It is in the sacred buildings, sanctified by His Real Presence, that God provides the sacred means for the salvation of souls. (Your logic here is “all wet,” Father.  We thought you had a doctorate in sacred theology.  Go back to school!)

As if you had not already insulted God enough, you cut loose, from your exalted cathedra pestilentiae, with this brazen solemn pronouncement: “I tell you solemnly that St. Albert’s parish is a work of the Holy Ghost.”  You audaciously and untruthfully attribute the split of the SGG parish to the Holy Ghost, as if you didn’t know that the Holy Ghost is the God of unity, not of division. (Perhaps this parishioner sounded a little “pompous” in saying that St. Albert’s was “a work of the Holy Ghost” – but splitting away from a cesspool like SGG would at least qualify as a benevolent event.  At any rate, SGG itself originally “split off” from another entity – so why wasn’t that an act of “disunity”?  Again, your words are – at best -- uncharitable, and your logic, faulty.)

Don’t be so na├»ve as to imagine that everything is just hunky dory with the so-called St. Albert’s parish, and that the Holy Ghost sure enough created it, just because, as you say, you see so many “smiling faces” there. (Why not?  SGG uses the “smiling faces” ploy all the time to portray “contentment.”) You know that humans are notorious for putting on a silly smile or grin when they do a dummy thing.  And stop posing as some kind of prophet of dire things to come, such as many of us have seen coming already for many long years now.  And stop posing as some kind of mystic – in reality, a “mistake” – who has supposedly received some kind of super-terrestial revelations, and would like to tell us about them “most solemnly.” (Father, your words don’t make “a whole lot of sense” here; were you having a “senior moment” when you wrote them?  And, while you’re at it, is there anything else you’d like to nitpick to the “nth degree”?)

You, the Solemn One, pose as the one who makes decisions for God. (Again, Father, you are, at best, “putting words in his mouth.”  And, at worst, you are lying.)  You, the Solemn One, tell God that “He doesn’t care for buildings.” You, the Solemn One, tell the Holy Ghost to create that so-called “St. Albert’s parish.”  My, how easy you make it for God!  Since you do all the deciding for Him in regard to the SGG issue, all He has to do is sit back and take it easy.  God never had it so good! (Again, Father, you are willfully misinterpreting what the man is saying -- and your satire here is trite at best.)

You really went wild in protesting my statement that your rebel Mass location is “right in the middle of SGG territory.”  And you did a sneaky dishonest thing when you tried to make it look as if I was talking about a “canonical” territory – that is, a territory determined for a parish or a diocese according to Canon LawYou know all too well that I did no such thing.  You can plainly see that I was speaking simply of the actual area in Ohio in which SGG is located, and which makes SGG within easy enough reach for traditional Catholics in Ohio and Kentucky.  In objecting to a “canonical” territory, which you yourself dreamed up, you were actually arguing only against yourself, not against me. . (No, Father, it is YOU who are being “sneaky” and “dishonest” here. That parishioner was NOT referring to “SGG territory” in the “canonical” sense, but in a purely geographical sense.  And speaking of geography, since when does “SGG territory” encompass all of the southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky area?  It does not.  There are several other “trad” churches in that “territory” (including Immaculate Conception).  Additionally, St. Albert’s wasn’t “in SGG’s backyard,” so it was NOT infringing on their (or anyone else’s) “territory.”  So, you see, Father, it was you who were “arguing against yourself.”)

But let’s call it quits here.  Enough is enough!  You have made enough of a sorry display of your incompetence in handling the SGG situation. (Actually, it is you who have done that, Father)   And you crown it all with your solemn demand that I “recant,” that is, take back publicly all that I have said on the SGG issue!  What you very badly need to do is to get down on your knees before a crucifix and keep repeating the prayer of the publican, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (that perfect little act of contrition). (Actually, Father, we think that this prayer applies more to you; so, what you “very badly need to do” is to say this prayer for yourself.) And keep repeating it and repeating it, until you let the grace of God come through.  And then, use those knees of yours aplenty, while doing the kind of praying for the solution of the reported SGG problem that I have repeatedly recommended.  Show, finally, that you understand that God, and God alone, is able to restore the right order of things at St. Gertrude the Great Church and school, not you and your fellow anti-SGG agitators. (We must certainly enlist God’s help in restoring order at SGG, but the actual physical work must be performed by people.  And you, Fr. Stepanich, did NOTHING to help make that happen.  On the contrary: you did everything in your power NOT to make that happen -- to impede any SGG parishioners’ efforts “to restore the right order of things at St. Gertrude the Great Church and school.”  Many people presented you with material evidence – and you ignored it all.)

(“Most humbly prostrate at the feet of thy most solemn majesty”)
(“Most condescendingly self-righteous up here on my faux moral high-ground”)

March 29, 2010                         Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D

Saturday, September 24, 2016

“Parrot Talk”

A term that has lately been making the rounds is “parrot talk.”   Parrot talk is today’s label for the standardized speech that has replaced spontaneous conversation – phrases such as “Have a nice day,” “How may I help you,” “Welcome to WalMart” [or wherever], and all the other choreographed newspeak that people now automatically utter nowadays.  This is especially true in places like restaurants, where the words are pre-picked for employees to say:  “Hi, ‘you guys’ [to men and women alike], my name’s ‘So-and-so’; I’m your server.’’ [“waiter” and “waitress,” and “ladies” and “gentlemen,” you know, are now verboten, because they’re too “gender-specific”].  And the words are pre-picked for them because they are, in fact, required to say them.  In fact, it’s actually part of their “job description.”

The term “parrot talk” is an apt one, because it suggests mindless talk, i.e., talk that requires no rational thinking – like that of a parrot, which talks purely by mimicry -- not because it understands what it’s saying.  And the reason that many people now speak this “mindless talk” is that they have become “parrots” of sorts -- “dumbed down” to the point where they cannot speak in anything other than pre-rehearsed, choreographed lingo.  This, of course, is due in large part to the “boob tube” (TV) and the other mass media, which do peoples’ thinking for them.  “Experts” like “Dr. Phil,” “Dr. Oz.” and a whole host of other talk-show jockeys and “expert commentators” have sprung up to tell all of us what to think and say.  It has, in fact, spread to all facets of our society, with just about everybody “getting in on the act.”  And, of course, nowhere is this more apparent than at the cult centers, with their self-appointed “experts on everything.”  At SGG, they are “theologians,” “liturgists,” “Latinists” – you name it – except that they’re bogus.  In reality, they’re experts on NOTHING.

One really excellent point made recently by Pistrina Liturgica (click here for article) was about the SGG cult-masters’ mawkish characterization of the Mother of God: it sounds as though the cult masters learned their Mariology from a backward maiden-aunt who never reached the fourth grade.”  Indeed, at Dannie and Tony’s SGG, Mariologyreal Mariology – is non-existent.  But it doesn’t stop there: they are, in fact, deficient in knowledge of ALL of the other “-ologies” that real priests are supposed to learn.  (The same deficiency applies at the MHT and CMRI “seminaries”).  Not only that, but they are woefully deficient in just about every category of real Catholicism – especially Catholic morality.  They are, again, experts on NOTHING.

Dannie and Tony are – as they’ve demonstrated so many times -- nothing more than pompous, empty-headed blowhards who instead offer copious quantities of “ecclesiastical buzzwords” and syrupy sentimentality that they try to pass off as “Catholicism,” but which are totally devoid of substance.  Phrases such as “Immaculate heart of Mary,” “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” “Sacred Heart of Jesus,” “”Our Lady of (pick a place)” are sprinkled liberally throughout Dannie’s sermons (and his Bishop’s(?) Corner) with reckless abandon.  But as for real morality and real Catholic thinking, there isn’t any. What the cult-masters are giving their flocks is nothing more than ecclesiastical parrot talk.

And their culties, in turn, could be termed parrot listeners, because they mindlessly accept (and repeat) everything that Dannie and Tony say -- and accept it all at face value, “no questions asked.”  For them, Dannie’s sanctimonious pap passes for “holiness.”  And his unwarranted (and unnecessary) over-use of words like triduum and “men’s schola” passes for “Latin proficiency.”  At SGG, syrupy phrases like “immaculate heart of Mary” pass for “Mariology,” and the use of archaic rubrics1 (that no longer have any relevancy) passes for “Liturgical expertise.”  And, as always, Dannie’s “dolly dress-up” processions and extravaganzas pass for “real Catholicism.” 

But none of this IS Catholicism.  It is, instead, a cruel caricature of it.  As we’ve pointed out so many times, it’s all cosmetics.  If Dannie were really serious about real Catholicism and real Catholic morality, he would never have countenanced the blatant immorality2 of the 2009 SGG school scandals, nor would he have tried to cover it all up -- nor would he have “parroted” phony Tony’s depraved position on Schiavo.  And if he and Tony are such great “Latinists” and “liturgists,” why did they botch so miserably every attempt they made in those areas: “Ordo 2016,” SGG’s “calendar,” Tony’s hapless attempts at “scholarship”  (such as WHH), etc., etc., etc.    The fact is, these two boobs have failed miserably in everything Catholic – because they are NOT Catholic.

They are simply parasitic charlatans, preying on the gullible – and all for the purpose of material gain.  And, with classic cult tactics, they have done it: manipulating their followers -- plying them with pious parrot talk (mixed with fear tactics) to scare them into thinking that SGG is their “only hope for salvation” – and then cajoling them into submission.  Perhaps one day their “parrots” – er, parishioners – will wake up, and stop parroting what their cult-masters say.  Perhaps one day they will stop “towing the ‘parrot’ party line” (and letting the cult-masters do their thinking for them), and start thinking for themselves.  Perhaps one day they will wake up and see Dannie and Tony for what they are: a couple of imposters, draining them of their cash while simultaneously endangering their souls, and then reject these frauds – and LEAVE.  But meanwhile, until they get up the courage to do that, they can at least “jump-start” the process by tightening their purse-strings – that is, by STARVING THE BEAST.

1 Dannie once “waxed poetic” in one of his Bishop’s Corners (mentioned in its footnote) about a Praegustatio” rubric.  It’s an archaic rubric that the Church (wisely) discontinued, for it consists of one of the Mass’s MC’s tasting the altar wine (before it is consecrated) to make sure that it’s not poison.  (Well, perhaps Dannie had good reason for resurrecting that rubric!  And we also wonder if he uses one of his lackeys for his “food taster” as well – for similar reasons!)

2 Dannie and Tony were warned almost a year in advance about the scandalous goings-on at SGG by one of their parishioners (who was also a teacher there at the time).  The teacher told them about the immoral behavior going on between one of the SGG principal’s son’s and one of the school’s female students (the girl got pregnant by him).  He also warned them about the principal’s sons watching porn and animal torture videos on the school computer.  Dannie and Tony ignored his warnings.  Then, on Christmas Eve 2008, said parishioner, frustrated by his futile attempts to get Dannie to acknowledge what was going on, e-mailed him about it.

Dannie replied by banning the man from the property, and then proceeded to conduct a thorough character assassination of the man.  He was characterized as being “unstable” and being a “failure.”  (See “School Dazed Revisited 2article for more detail.)  A few years later, there was even a rumor started that he was toting an AK-47 rifle (see article) and was going to terrorize that year’s SGG parish picnic!  Of course, this was pure fabrication.  And, eventually, the man’s accusations (about the SGG scandals) were borne out in fact; and Dannie and Tony’s efforts to vilify him all came to naught.