ALL ABOUT THE LAY PULPIT

Saturday, May 20, 2017

But What About SSPX and FSSP?

In our last article (dealing with navigating the “minefield” of Tradistan  -- click here), one will notice that we made no mention of the SSPX and FSSP.  That was deliberate.  And the reason that we didn’t mention them is that, because they are part of the “”conciliar” Church, many traddies consider them to be not “traditional” – and we felt that dealing with that “issue” would have made the article prohibitively long.  But we will deal with it now.

The “conventional wisdom” in TradWorld is that one must be outside the conciliar Church to be “traditional” -- and that anyone within it is ipso facto “in communion with Rome,” and thus not validly “traditional.”  Furthermore, the cult-masters would have us believe that the SSPX and FSSP are conniving, evil men who are out to “sell us down the river.”  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The clergy of the SSPX and FSSP – almost to a man – DEPLORE the “reforms” of Vatican II (and the decrees of Franken-pope), and are doing everything they can to resist those reforms, and to save Catholicism. 

But the SSPX and FSSP, unlike the cult-masters, have chosen to remain in the institutional Church, and to fix it from within, while the cult-masters have left the Church, and are trying to re-invent it from without.   The former, unlike the cult-masters, have NOT decreed that “the chair of Peter is vacant” – because they know that they haven’t the authority to render such a judgment, any more than the cult-masters do.  (And, having left the Church, the cult-masters have forfeited any magisterial authority they might have possessed anyway.)

It is the cult-masters of Tradistan, not the SSPX and FSSP, who are “selling us down the river.”  The former have set themselves up as “the Church,” inventing new “doctrines” and issuing promulgations as if they were “the pope.”  But in doing so, what they have done is to invent a new counterfeit “Catholicism,” where appearances have replaced substance, where arbitrary, self-serving “rules” have replaced real Catholic morality, and where double-standard hypocrisy reigns supreme.  According to the cult-masters, one must be a “sedevacantist” to be “Catholic”; and going to an “una cum” Mass now counts as a mortal sin.  Yet watching porn (and animal-torture) videos and fornicating with (and impregnating) a fellow student are just cases of “boys being boys”; and having one’s wife dehydrated to death is “a husband’s right under God.”  Such is the kind of insanity that passes for “morality” under the cult-masters.

The SSPX and FSSP, on the other hand, issue no such prohibitions on being “Catholic.”  Under them, one’s opinion on “sedevacantism” or una cum Masses is NOT used as a criterion to determine one’s “Catholicity,” nor is anyone disqualified on that account -- and it is certainly not used as a pretext to deny people the sacraments.  They don’t try to pass off  una cum” and “sedevacantism” as dogmas – because they know that they’re not dogmas, but merely opinions – authorized by no one – and, as such, carry no weight.  

But, more importantly, with the SSPX and FSSP, one gets real Catholic morality, not some counterfeit, make-it-up-as you-go-along claptrap from one of Tradistan’s tinhorn “theologians.”  And that’s because their clergy are properly formed, with a real education at a real, accredited seminary – not some janitor-in-training apprenticeship from one of Tradistan’s trade schools.  And, because the SSPX and FSSP are part of the institutional Church – and thus answerable to a hierarchy – they must be fiscally accountable, and not use the collection basket as their own personal bank account, as the answerable-to-nobody cult-masters do.  They will not fleece their sheep for money to go on “apostolates” to posh destinations, nor will they solicit “donations” for questionable “improvements.”  In short, they will “play by the rules” – and not make up their own.

Lastly, there is the matter of the SSPX’s and FSSP’s priestly orders.  The cult-masters’ would have us believe that they are not valid.  But their claims are just that – claims – made by men who, again, have absolutely NO authority (or justification) to make them.  Rather, it is the trad “clergy” whose orders should be “suspect.”  And, speaking of “suspect,” an even bigger question mark is Traddieland’s “bishops.”  The truth is, for the most part, Traddieland hasn’t any bishops – at least legitimate ones -- because, first, the title of “bishop” can only be lawfully bestowed by papal mandate; and, second, to exercise real juridical power, a bishop must have a “See” (diocese) – neither of which applies in Tradistan.  Most traditional “bishops” are, at best, illicit.  And, at worst, they can be like “one-hand” Dan: invalid.

But getting back to the question: are the SSPX and FSSP (and their clergy) valid?  Until anyone with real authority (and jurisdiction) can prove otherwise, yes they are.  And are their Masses (and sacraments) valid?  By all means!  And, given the choice, one is far better off going to them than to one of Dannie’s, Donny’s, or Pivvy’s “clergy.”  At the SSPX or FSSP, you’ll get real sacraments.  But, in addition to that, you’ll get someone with real moral expertise -- who will render real moral judgments – and render them impartially, not selectively, as the cult-masters do.  You’ll also most likely get someone who is selfless – who is not out to exploit the parishioners for his own material gain, as Tradistan’s self-serving predators do.

And, contrary to what the cult-masters try to tell people, the clergy of SSPX and FSSP are good men, genuinely interested – not in people's money, like the cult-masters are – but in their souls.  And also contrary to what Dannie, Tony, or Donny claims, the majority of them, in our opinion, will NOT “compromise their principles” and “sell their souls to Rome.”  (In fact, they categorically loathe Franken-pope – but, again, they feel they must “resist from within,” not “fly the coup,” as the cult-masters have done.)  And, besides, when it comes to “compromising principles,” who are people like Dannie and Tony to be pointing their finger at anyone about that?  They – who justified the execution of Terri Schiavo, and who condoned the blatant immorality (and cruelty) at SGG’s school – who are these vermin to talk about “principles”?1

So, for those who are “looking for a priest” – and that, of course, includes those “only looking for the sacraments” – the SSPX and FSSP are eminently qualified – certainly more so than the unschooled trolls of Tradistan.  With Dannie, Big Don, or Pivvy, one gets “copious quantities” of sugary sanctimony (Dannie), hellfire and brimstone (Big Don), and moral ambiguity (Pivvy) – and, of course, lots of “Bergoglio bashing” – but no sound moral judgment.  With the SSPX or FSSP, one will get “the real thing”: a priest who, unlike the self-serving, double-standard phonies of Tradistan, will be one with real moral fiber and real Catholic teaching.  Given a choice, we heartily recommend one of SSPX’s or FSSP’s over one of SGG’s, MHT’s, or Mater Dei’s hatchlings. 2

The cult-masters (as we said earlier) claim that the SSPX and FSSP “are selling us down the river.”  Whether or not something like that ultimately happens, remains to be seen.  But one thing is for sure: Dannie, Tony, and Big Don already have “sold us down the river.”  And they are using any “technicality” they can to divide people, and to convince them that nothing but their particular cult is the one and only “true path to heaven.”  They want division, not unity -- and what they really care about is not “validity,” “legitimacy,” or anything like that, but MONEY.  These lepers are interested not in your souls, but in your bank accounts.  So, “bottom line,” avoid them like the plague – because they ARE the plague!

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1 If the cult-masters were really interested in “reforming the Church,” they would have led selfless, unworldly lives – not the extravagant, exploitative life-styles that they do.  Also, they would not have condoned the blatant cruelty and immorality that has gone on at the cult centers.  And as for “compromising principles,” the list of “compromised principles” at the cult centers is almost ENDLESS – as is their self-serving greed and their double-standard hypocrisy.  For the cult-masters to look down their noses at ANYONE is a classic case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

2 To those who would have us believe that the CMRI “is not so bad as SGG or MHT,” events prove otherwise: there have been many “horror stories” reported by former Mater Dei seminarians about both its academics and its “extra-curricular activities.”  Let us remind them, too, that Pivarunas, like Dannie and Big Don, has shown more than once that he really has no principles.  For instance, in addition to saying nothing against Cekada’s dreadful justification of Terri Schiavo’s murder, the Pivmeister basically did the same thing in principle by sanctioning the harvesting of a “donor” organ for a heart transplant (for the daughter of one of his rich parishioners).

He didn’t even have the moral judgment to realize that removing a vital organ from someone for “donation” ends that person’s life.  Like Terri’s dehydration, removing one’s heart is the proximate cause of death for that person.  In short, it is murder.  Pivvy “approved” this because, to repeat, the organ “recipient” was the daughter of one of his wealthy (and generous) parishioners.  Should this be the attitude of a Catholic, much less, of the “superior general” of a supposedly “Catholic” organization?  We think not.


The myth of “brain death” was (and still is) used as a justification for “organ donation.”  But, medical experts (and theologians) now agree that “brain death” is not a valid term.  Many people thought to be “brain dead” have come back to make a full recovery; and it is now widely recognized that “brain death” was just a convenient pretext ginned up to justify the taking of one’s life for purposes of harvesting organs.  And, just as Checkie claimed that keeping Terri alive was “a grave financial burden on society,” so too was Pivvy’s thinking along the same “financial” lines when he approved that transplant.  Money, not morality, was Pivvy’s “bottom line” here too.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Traddieland: an Ecclesiastical Mine-Field

Much has been documented, both by Pistrina Liturgica and by us at Lay Pulpit (and by others) about the “counterfeit Catholicism” of the cult-masters: their extravagant lifestyles, the doubtful validity of their orders, the woefully poor formation of their “clergy” (especially at their puppy-mill “seminaries”), their total disregard of real Catholic morality, their arbitrary “rules” (which, of course, are selectively applied), their draconian “dress codes” (also selectively applied), their blatant authoritarianism (even though they possess absolutely no authority) – in short, their overall cult-like behavior.

One begins to wonder, “Are there any priests (or places) left in TradWorld that are ‘legitimate’ or ‘safe’ – and what are the criteria for determining whether they are or aren’t?”  Well, we do not pretend to be the “ultimate authorities on everything” -- but there are some obvious things to look for, most of which are just a matter of applying a little common sense and prudence.  (Also, it’s not as if any of them haven't been mentioned before -- both by us and by others.)  And if one follows these steps, one just might be able to navigate his way through what we’ll call Traddieland’s “mine-field.”

Firstly, it should be abundantly clear by now that one should categorically steer clear of SGG and MHT, Dolan’s and Sanborn’s cult centers (and the satellites run by them and their clown crew of auxiliary “clergy”).  (However, for those who’ve been living in a vacuum until now, we’ll be citing some reasons in the discussion that follows.)  Let us also suggest – in addition to avoiding SGG and MHT outright, one should also be wary of the CMRI, because their leader (Pivarunas) has almost NO formation – and he’s just as materialistic and self-serving as Dannie and Big Don.  (Also, his “seminary,” Mater Dei, is also just as abysmal as Big Don’s flophouse in Florida.)

So what are the determining criteria for “safe passage”?  First, one should consider the priest’s “pedigree,” i.e., his lineage.  With all the claims and counter-claims going on between trad groups, many of whom are trying to “disqualify” their rivals, it makes one wonder “who’s valid,” and who isn’t.  To be “safe,” then, one should choose a priest with multiple lineages – and the more a priest has, the better.  This is one reason to steer clear of Dannie, whose one-handed orders make him doubtful to begin with (and his stubborn refusal to get conditionally ordained by someone else makes him even more suspect).  (And note too, since Dannie’s orders are doubtful, it also casts doubt on anyone whom he has ordained.) 

Next, look at the priest’s academic credentials.  Did he attend an accredited university and/or seminary -- or did he come from one of Tradistan’s “trade schools”?  The janitors-in-training turned out by Big Don’s MHT and Pivvy’s Mater Dei “seminaries” are, at best, simplex priests, who have little to no training in Latin, philosophy, theology (moral or otherwise), or any of the other subjects taught in a real seminary. 

Next, be suspect of any trad group that tries to disqualify other groups by claiming some sort of ”exclusivity” – especially on “doctrinal” grounds.  This, as we noted so many times, is a sure sign of cultish behavior.  Dannie’s “una cum” bugaboo is a prime example of this (as are the other “doctrinal” fabrications that he uses as caveats to keep his sheep from straying to other “pastures”).  Such fabrications should definitely not be used – as Dannie uses them -- to determine one’s “Catholicity,” or to deny one membership in the church’s congregation.  And, above all, they should not be used to deny the sacraments to anyone.

Next, examine the facility, and its staff.  If the church has a school, is it accredited?  Also, are its students regularly tested (via standardized state tests) to determine their scholastic aptitude?  Look too at its “graduation” rate and its college-admission rate: how many go on to college, and how many get scholarships?  What are the credentials of their faculty?  Lastly, see what kind of financial “accountability” the operation has.  Are their “books” open to the parishioners to see (or to an independent auditing body to examine)?  Do they have detailed financial reports that show where the money actually goes? 

Lastly, closely examine the clergy themselves.  Instead of being good, humble, selfless men, are they pompous, arrogant self-seekers, living extravagant lifestyles, as Dannie, Tony, Big Don, and Pivvy do?  Are they always asking for money – especially for questionable “improvements”?  Do they seem to go on a lot of “apostolates” to posh destinations (as those lepers also do)?  Do they try to orchestrate peoples’ lives to the point of dictating to them what they can and can’t do within their own homes (such as, forbidding them to have TV sets)? If the answer to any of these is “yes,” then beware!

The “bottom line” here, is that one must “really do his homework” to find a good, trustworthy priest.  So, what must one look for in a priest?  Well, we’ve just given a list of them, including both the “do’s” and the “don’ts.”  But, having given them, let us point out that they are not hard-and-fast rules, but guidelines.  And let us also point out that it’s hard to find a “perfect” priest, and that sometimes, one might have to settle for “acceptable.”  (After all, nobody’s perfect.)  However, it should be obvious to anybody that anyone connected with SGG and MHT is by all means to be avoided. 

And, again, because its leader (Pivarunas) is just as materialistic (and probably as unprincipled)1 as Dannie and Big Don, one should think twice before taking on a CMRI priest – especially if he’s a product of its “seminary.”  Perhaps if one is only looking to “get the sacraments,” one of those “simplex” CMRI priests might do.  However, if one is looking for more than that – real Catholic knowledge, i.e., a truly reliable interpretation of Catholic doctrine and moral theology -- then look elsewhere.  And in looking “elsewhere,” one should also look for a priest who is a humble, selfless man -- one who is interested in his flock’s spiritual welfare, not their pocketbooks.

Unfortunately, many of today’s trad “clergy” are not humble, but hopelessly mercenary and self-serving.  Tradistan, as we noted earlier, has become a veritable “ecclesiastical minefield”; and one must tread carefully in order to navigate through its many “hazards.”  Originally, to be sure, “traditional Catholicism” started out as a “noble cause,” led by people who deplored the “reforms” of Vatican II – and who wanted to do something about it.  But nowadays, it's peppered with self-serving hucksters like Dolan and Sanborn, who use “traditional Catholicism” to separate the gullible from their cash – camouflaging their true intentions with “Catholic” buzzwords and syrupy sanctimony (and autocratic authoritarianism).

But the good news is that, now, people more and more are seeing through all of this, and are becoming less gullible, because they’re now better informed about these maggots – especially those who’ve been “burnt” by them.  That being said, however, one must not underestimate peoples’ gullibility.  After all, SGG’s entire congregation witnessed the scandalous events of 2009 – but only half of them left.  The other half still fall for Dannie’s “syrup and sanctimony,” and Big Don’s “fire and brimstone” bullying.  But, fortunately, their numbers are dwindling, both at SGG and MHT – and the cult centers’ coffers are emptying.  And the other “good news” is that people are finding alternatives -- good, humble, selfless men who care about peoples’ souls, not about their wallets – and who have a good deal more knowledge of Catholic theology (moral or otherwise) than the know-nothing imposters of Tradistan.

As more people "network" with one another and thus become better informed, the exodus from the cult centers will continue to grow -- and this is happening.  Dannie and Tony, for instance, have had to shut down some of their “satellite” operations; and so too has MHT.  The latter have been kicked out of OLS in Arizona, and the swampland complex is becoming more and more insular and isolated.  In time, the cult centers will be completely abandoned, and people will no longer have to fear these predators.  In time, that “minefield” will be cleared.
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1 Besides being just as materialistic (and arrogant) as Dannie and Tony, Pvvy is also woefully malformed.  With barely a high school education (and some claim, not even that), he’s probably even more poorly formed than many of his so-called “seminarians” -- and that’s a scary thought!  The other thing to remember about Pivvy is that he really has no moral compass: it was he who okayed the “donating” of a heart to a recipient who was the daughter of one of his rich (and generous) parishioners.  At best, Pivvy is a moral weakling.  And at worst….?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

“Schiavo Alone” is Enough

Lay Pulpit has written several articles dealing with Terri Schiavo’s death by starvation and dehydration – and Anthony Cekada’s disdainfully smug and depraved justification of it.  And in one of our recent articles, we made a comment that this justification alone was reason enough for anyone to reject Dolan and Cekada out-of-hand -- but SGG’s gullible Gerties still cling to these two lepers.  They somehow dismiss or overlook Cekada’s monstrous justification of her murder – perhaps because they can’t do without “the show” that Dannie puts on for them every week.  But it is really hard to imagine that they can be that blind, that insensitive.  One wonders what it would take to open up their eyes. Well, something “linked” in a recent Pistrina article just might (at long last) do that.

The linked article, entitled Judicial Murder (click here), in addition to condemning Terri’s death on moral grounds, cites several legal reasons as well.  For one thing, it notes that Terri Schiavo was denied “due process”; and it also covers some “irregularities” concerning the judge in her case, George Greer.  The article’s author notes the following: “Among many other violations of her due process rights, Terri Schiavo has never been allowed by the primary judge in her case -- Florida Circuit Judge George Greer, whose conclusions have been robotically upheld by all the courts above him -- to have her own lawyer represent her.  He also notes that “the American Civil Liberties Union, which would be passionately criticizing state court decisions and demanding due process if Terri were a convict on death row, has shamefully served as co-counsel for her husband, Michael Schiavo, in his insistent desire to have her die.”

The author continues, “Months ago, in discussing this case with ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, and later reading ACLU statements, I saw no sign that this bastion of the Bill of Rights has ever examined the facts concerning the egregious conflicts of interest of her husband and guardian Michael Schiavo, who has been living with another woman for years, with whom he has two children, and has violated a long list of his legal responsibilities as her guardian, some of them directly preventing her chances for improvement. Judge Greer has ignored all of them. [Our bold emphasis]

He goes on: “In February, Florida's Department of Children and Families presented Judge Greer with a 34-page document listing charges of neglect, abuse, and exploitation of Terri by her husband, with a request for 60 days to fully investigate the charges. Judge Greer, soon to remove Terri's feeding tube for the third time, rejected the 60-day extension. [Again, our bold emphasis]

After noting that “Terri Schiavo has never had an MRI or a PET scan, nor a thorough neurological examination,” the author cited Republican Senate leader Bill Frist (a specialist in heart-lung transplant surgery, and hence thoroughly familiar with the testing required to determine “brain-death”), with the following: “During a speech on the Senate floor on March 17, Frist, speaking of Judge Greer's denial of a request for new testing and examinations of Terri, said reasonably, ‘I would think you would want a complete neurological exam’ before determining she must die.  Frist added: ‘The attorneys for Terri's parents have submitted 33 affidavits from doctors and other medical professionals, all of whom say that Terri should be re-evaluated.’"  All of this, to repeat, was ignored by Judge Greer.

For those interested in reading it, the article goes on to cover much more on the subject, but we will not include it here.  The foregoing should suffice.  The point we’re trying to make here is that all of this information – all made public and readily available during Terri’s long, gruesome death ordeal – was available not only to Judge Greer, but to Anthony Cekada as well.  Phony Tony, too, had access to all of this information – but he too willfully chose to ignore it.  Instead, in his usual ignorant and arrogant way, he came out “shooting from the hip,” proclaiming that Michael Schiavo (Terri’s husband) “had the right before God” to end her life.

Now one may ask, “Okay, so you made a point about the legal aspects of the case.  Is that enough to warrant writing again about Schiavo?”  One might also add that what has already been written heretofore about Schiavo was shocking enough.  (And besides, some of the legal aspects were mentioned too in those previous articles.)  So, why write again?  What makes this latest article so “special” – so much more “significant”?  What makes it “special” is this: it’s author was an ATHEIST.1  Yes, an atheist.  So, how is it that an atheist can see the wrong – both moral and legal -- in Schiavo’s death, but Checkie can’t?  Why is it that he, who calls himself a “traditional priest” – and one who has “the training in moral theology that priests have” (as he condescendingly told one parishioner) -- cannot see the evil that an atheist can?  And, just as well, why can’t SGG’s Gerties see it too?  They, who call themselves “real Catholics”: why can’t they recognize it for the obvious evil that it is?  

We could begin to understand how a biased Judge Greer, the ACLU, or biased, pro-death media could advocate the murder of Terri Schiavo – but not someone who calls himself a “traditional priest” (or, again, people who call themselves “Catholic”) – especially when an atheist can see it as murder.  That is what makes this so DISGUSTING, so DETESTABLE. That is why, just based on Schiavo alone, one must disqualify the cult-masters and reject them outright.2   It may interest SGG’s “traditional Catholics” to know that most of the clergy who championed Terri’s cause were, in fact, Novus Ordo (such as Fr. Frank Pavone) – those dreaded “heretics” whom those Gerties “love to hate.”  That observation begs the question posed in Our Lord’s parable about the Good Samaritan: who was Terri’s “neighbor” in this case?  Or, said another way, who was “Catholic” here?

What we got from Fr. Pavone, the “heretic,” was true Catholic charity – practiced in accordance with true Catholic principles.  What we got from Checkie was arrogant authoritarianism – practiced in accordance with NO principles.3  What a Novus Ordo priest saw – and even an atheist saw – Checkie chose not to see.  (But, of course, what kind of “principles” could one expect from people who see nothing wrong with watching porn on a school computer, impregnating a fellow student, or brutalizing the school’s students?  At SGG, all one gets are the appearances of Catholicism – “letter perfect” rites and rubrics, syrupy sanctimony, and pontifical pageantry -- but not real Catholic morality.  One only gets “the show.”) 4

As cult-masters, Dannie and Tony can’t afford Catholic principles, because that would mean giving up their lavish lifestyle, along with all their other “perks”: travel junkets (disguised as “apostolates”) to posh destinations, gourmet meals at fine restaurants, unneeded new “toys” (such as Tony’s new organ), and all their other “needs.”  They know that if they lived according to real Catholic principles, they couldn’t justify any of these goodies (all gained, of course, at the expense of their Gerties, who are expected to “offer it up” so that these sleaze-bags can “live it up”).  Dannie and Tony’s kingdom is of this world, not the next – and living by true Catholic principles would be too “unprofitable” for them. 

But their Gerties, on the other hand, have no such material stake; they have nothing to lose (but their bondage).  So, Gerties, why not free yourselves of the cult’s yoke.  Stop the “pretend Catholicism” of “the show” -- of spectacle, elaborate ceremonies, and “the right words and rubrics” -- and start practicing real Catholicism, i.e., keeping God’s commandments, and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.  So, Gerties, if you want to save your souls (and your bank accounts), stop “pretending,” and start “getting real.”  Leave the cult. Then, and only then, will you find out what real Catholicism is all about.

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1 In the article, the author openly admits that he is an atheist: “As an atheist, I cannot speak to what he describes as his abandoned wife's ultimate destination, but I can tell how Wesley Smith (consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture) -- whom I often consult on these bitterly controversial cases because of his carefully researched books and articles) describes death by dehydration.”

2 And, as if “Schiavo” wasn’t enough, add to that everything else that the cult-masters have done (such as the 2009 school scandals, and Dannie’s wholesale exploitation of people – especially Bernie Brueggemann), and it is absolutely incomprehensible why anyone would ever want to follow (or justify) these maggots.  Their tenure has been one long continuum of abuse, exploitation, and error; and absolutely no one of sound mind can claim “ignorance” of what they have done.  (This is especially so with Schiavo, since Tony’s position on that was SPELLED OUT in a printed insert in SGG’s church bulletin.)  

Bear in mind, too, that it wasn’t Tony alone who justified Terri Schiavo’s slow, methodical execution. Dolan thoroughly endorsed this depravity as well, as did Sanborn.  (Click here to see Big Don’s letter in support of Tony’s position – the letter that he erased from his website, but which we resurrected, and reproduced.)  In fact, all of Tradistan was aware of Tony’s position on Schiavo – and most said nothing in opposition to it.

Even many traditional “stalwarts” who should have known better, such as Fr. Martin Stepanich, stood by silently, in cowardly acquiescence, as Terri was slowly being put to death.  It was only a handful of traditional priests (such as IC’s Fr. William Jenkins) who dared to speak out in protest.  (There were several other priests who did voice their opposition to Terri’sdeath, but it was only Jenkins who actually called out the Checkmeister on it.

Now some might argue that Stepanich never actually endorsed Checkie’s position on Schiavo.  No he didn’t – but he never said anything against it either.  Instead, he “wimped out” by writing some non-conclusive words about it.  (He also took the same coward’s way out regarding the SGG school scandals.  In fact, in a caustic letter to one of SGG’s former parishioners, he actually rebuked the latter for daring to question his support of Dolan and Cekada on the 2009 SGG school scandals.)  (Click here and here for more on this.)

3 And what makes Tony so despicable is that, besides being so blatantly arrogant, he was so totally WRONG.  Witness what he said in his final response to an SGG parishioner (a woman) who had very respectfully asked for some clarification (from him) on his position on Schiavo:  “Finally, the larger problem I see is that lay traditionalists like you are trying to turn something into a mortal sin that isn't.  You have no business doing so. You don't have the training in moral theology that priests have, and you certainly don't have the confessional experience we do in applying moral principles.  [Our bold emphasis]

But this doesn't stop you from boldly expressing your ‘opinion’ on the moral issues in the Schiavo case, because in the practical order you simply cannot accept the fact that a priest probably knows a lot more than you do about certain subjects, chief among them, moral theology. I am supposed to make the distinctions for you between right and wrong, because I have the training, the sacramental graces and the experience to do so. [Our bold emphasis]
 
But because do not have the humility to recognize this in practice, you will go on endlessly arguing for your "opinion," rendering exchanges like this a waste of the priest's time, and in the process, I fear, turning traditional Catholics into members of the Church of Lay Opinion.”

This response was “vintage Tony”: arrogance, condescension – and (of course) ignorance.  Knows a lot more…about moral theology”?  Confessional experience … in applying moral principles”?  The “sacramental graces … to do so”?  Who are you trying to kid, Tony?  This woman had more knowledge of morality in her little finger than you could ever hope to have in your entire existence.  (For more on Cekada’s exchange with this woman, click here.)

4 As it turns out, Dannie’s “letter perfect rites and rubrics” really aren’t all so “letter perfect.”  Dannie omits and alters them at will, and at times resurrects arcane rubrics that have long since lost their relevance, just to give his Gerties the impression that he “keeps the old observances.”  (See It’s All About the Show.) (Pistrina Liturgica has written even more articles about Dannie’s liturgical fabrications and falsifications in his make-it-up-as-you-go-along “Catholicism.”  Click here and here for two of them.)


Note, too, that Dannie’s reputation as traditional Catholicism’s “ultimate authority” (and Tony’s as a “scholar”) have been conclusively trashed.  After Tony’s writings were exposed for the error-filled, amateurish drivel that they are (and SGG’s “Ordo” and “calendar” have been exposed as the same), Dannie and Tony have become the laughing stock of TradNation.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

“Who’s the Fool?”

This past February 19, 2017 marked the sixth anniversary of the passing of Bernard Brueggemann.  We dedicated an article to him last year on the fifth anniversary of his death (see A Man for All Seasons); and we do so again this year.  Bernie, as many recall, was SGG’s chief benefactor for a good number of years, until he left after the 2009 school scandals. The reason we’re writing here again, though, is not just to re-emphasize what was said before, but to drive home some new points – especially about the cult-masters and about those Gerties still there at SGG.

Those who knew Bernie – and that includes most of SGG’s Gerties – certainly remember him as a good and just man – a man who observed Catholicism’s spirit as well as its “letter.”  It is clear to all who knew him that he led an exemplary life.  But, in reading our previous article, someone might be tempted to say, ”Wow, they really made a fool out of Bernie, didn’t they?”  And they might then surmise that he was “too gullible” in letting himself be so bamboozled by Dannie and Tony.  And they might even deduce that his reasons for apparently “licking their boots” were merely to “score points” with them and to “please” them, in return for “recognition.”  Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Yes, the cult-masters did exploit Bernie – and horribly so.  And perhaps Bernie did what he did in  order to please them.  After all, it is only natural to try to do good for one’s fellow man.  But that was only part of it – and certainly not the main part.  Rather, his reason for doing what he did was supernatural: to please God.  He did it for God, not them. Bernie was simply following the precepts of Our Lord’s two greatest commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind,” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Bernie was not your typical “gullible Gertie” who slaves away for the cult-masters for the wrong reasons: “brownie points.”  Again, he did it for the right reason: he did it for God.

People tend to label those who let themselves be exploited as “fools.”  But if that is the case, then Our Lord was a “fool,” for He succumbed to the ultimate “exploitation”: He -- Innocence Incarnate -- let Himself be crucified by evil men.  Our Lord knew what the Pharisees were thinking – what “they were up to.”  He wasn’t “taken in” by them.  He knew all along that they would have Him crucified.  But He submitted – in history’s supreme act of humility.  Now in Bernie’s case, he may have been “taken in” by Dannie and Tony – at least to a degree.  However, to be taken advantage of does not make one a fool.  What makes one a fool, in the true sense of the word, is to do something for the wrong reasons.  Bernie did what he did, again, for the right reason, i.e., for God.

Even when Bernie had his suspicions about Dannie and Tony back in 2009 (and even before -- especially about Schiavo),1 he still gave them “the benefit of the doubt,” and supported SGG – not in deference to those two scumbags, but because he felt an obligation to his fellow parishioners to “keep things going.”  Only until such time that there was no doubt did he “cut the chord” with SGG.  Bernie always tried to do what God would do: he gave them every chance to make amends; but they, of course, did not.  They, being the shameless scum that they are, instead “took the moral high ground” and tried to “guilt-trip” him into coming back to SGG.  They even enlisted Big Don’s help in their guilt-tripping efforts, having him write to Bernie, to try to shame him into returning. It didn’t work.  (Click here for the letter.)

This, more than anything else, illustrates the stark contrast between Bernie and these worms: Bernie, giving them “every chance under the sun to come clean” -- and they, using every trick they could think of to “misrepresent the facts” and throw the blame on this innocent man.  It doesn’t get any “starker” than that.  To repay this man’s kindness and generosity with such treachery speaks volumes about just how low these creatures could stoop – and did stoop.  And what was the outcome of their efforts to malign Bernie?  The cult-masters got burnt, that’s what: half of SGG’s parish left; and in the process, their reputations were irreparably damaged.

During Bernie’s time at SGG, the cult-masters took complete material advantage of him, draining him of almost every cent he had, and then finished by discarding him.  They probably thought they were pretty clever in doing so, for Bernie died virtually penniless.  But, in trying to “fool” Bernie, these lepers were only making fools of themselves.  God, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived, was “keeping score”; and while these conniving con men were “laughing all the way to the bank” in this world, Bernie was earning his supernatural reward in the next. It is they, not Bernie, who are the real fools here.

But the cult-masters are not the only fools in this drama.  The other “co-starring” fools are those SGG parishioners who ignored “the hand-writing on the wall” back in 2009, but chose to remain at SGG with these lepers.  In fact, they are the bigger fools, because, in spite of the clear evidence before them, they chose to stay there and continue to be exploited.  But could it be that they were actually unaware of that evidence – of what was going on?  Was it, as they say, a case of “invincible ignorance”?  Not a chance.  As we reported in our last article, they were aware of it all.  The events that happened at SGG in 2009 were well publicized, and most of SGG’s parishioners were informed of them in writing.  And in the case of Schiavo, Tony Cekada’s official position on that was publicized by the cult-masters themselves: it was included as an insert in SGG’s weekly church bulletin one Sunday (in addition to being published on SGG’s website).  Hence, there’s no way that SGG’s Gerties could claim “invincible ignorance” on this. 2

So then, why did they choose to stay at SGG?  Well, to repeat what we said in our last article, a big part of it is “the cult mentality.” And it’s also about their “inertia” and their inability to do without “the show”: they just can’t seem to do without the pontifical pageantry that Dannie puts on every week.  They’d rather be exploited than give all that up.3  And in the years since 2009, that exploitation has continued unabated: the Gerties have been tapped for bankrolling all sorts of “improvements,” including fixing SGG’s ever-leaking roof, replacing its prematurely failing HVAC system, buying Tony a new organ (to replace one that was working perfectly well), financing Dannie’s vacations to sunny climes (aka “apostolates”), “etc., etc. etc.” (to quote the king of Siam).

And what do they get in return for having their wallets drained?  Again, “the show.”  (And, oh gosh, we almost forgot:  they also get SGG’s “school” -- perhaps the biggest “wallet-drainer” of them all!)  Well, Gerties, we hope that “the show” is worth all that exploitation, because, by backing these hirelings, you may endure the ultimate exploitation -- losing your souls – and thus become the ultimate “fools.”  So, what say you, Gerties?  Why don’t you stop fooling yourselves, stop pretending your “invincible ignorance,” and stop following your cult-masters into spiritual bankruptcy -- then start seeing what everybody else is seeing?  Then, give these fools the “pink slip” they deserve.  It’s long overdue.

___________________________________


1Bernie, along with many at SGG, deplored Cekada’s depraved justification of the murder of Terri Schiavo.  But, nonetheless, Bernie reluctantly “overlooked” this, and continued to support SGG, because he probably thought it was worth staying there for “the sacraments” and having a functioning school.  (However, if he knew how bad the school really was, we wonder if he would have stayed.)  But 2009 was “the straw that broke camel’s back” for him: amongst other things, some of Bernie’s own relatives suffered personal abuse at the hands of SGG’s “school principal”; and when Bernie questioned Dolan about it, he was rebuffed in typical “cult-master” fashion.  It was then that he finally made up his mind to exit SGG.  (He also received a caustic reply from Sanborn.  See A Tale of Two Letters.)

2 Not only were most parishioners informed in writing, but “word of mouth” news of it also “spread like wildfire” throughout the parish.  There was nary a single parishioner who didn’t know what was going on.  And in the case of Schiavo, several parishioners (including Bernie’s niece) exchanged lengthy correspondence with Cekada about it; but in every case, he rebuffed them in his usual arrogant, condescending way.  (His correspondence with Bernie’s niece was particularly condescending.  For more on this and other correspondence, click here.)


3 Of course, the biggest reason for the Gerties staying at SGG is, as we stated in our last article, pride: too proud to admit that they’ve been wrong all these years in backing Dannie and Tony – so they pretend “invincible ignorance” so that they can stay there and get their weekly dose of “fairyland fantasy.”