ALL ABOUT THE LAY PULPIT

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.

______________________________

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.”

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Cult – and Its Consequences

One of the commenters on a recent Pistrina article sent in the following, excerpted from Big Don’s MHT bulletin: It is not permitted on Sundays and holy days to do a change of clothes on the premises of the seminary. It is not permitted for men to remove their ties in the parking lot. One should arrive in his or her Sunday Best and leave the church in Sunday Best. Please note a change in the dress code: Women's heels may not exceed 2 inches. This is in order to maintain modesty in The House of God.”  Yes, you heard it right: men can’t even remove their ties “in the parking lot” after Mass; and women’s heels, heretofore restricted to three inches in height, must now be a maximum of two inches.  

But wait!  Not to be outdone by the deranged Donster, Dannie Dolan (aka “The oracle of West Chester”) has recently uttered (from his pulpit) this latest decree: that going to an “una cum” Mass is a mortal sin.  Yes, boys and girls, going to an “una cum” Mass is no longer just a “no no.”  It has been “upgraded” to the status of mortal sin.

The foregoing dictums beg the following question:  Have Dannie and the Donster lost what’s left of their diseased minds?!  Well, perhaps – but whether that’s the case or not, what it signifies is a desperate attempt by these two bloodsuckers to reassert “authority” over their respective flocks -- to show them that they are still their bosses.  Big Don, reeling from the loss of Our Lady of the Sun in Arizona -- and Dannie, disappointed that his Quinquagesima “Sunday Social” didn’t lure any more suckers into coming to his Friday Night ordeal-a-thons – are feeling pretty insecure these days.  And what does an insecure dictator do when he feels like he’s losing his grip?  He becomes even more authoritarian -- that’s what.

But it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Big Don should issue his latest insane “dress code” missive and Dannie his equally insane “una cum” decree. These are just two more of the telltale signs that SGG and MHT are (and always have been) CULTS – exhibiting all the classic cult traits: making up arbitrary (and invariably irrational) “rules” that their followers must obey (but from which the cult-masters and their “favorites” are exempt); “living large” at their followers’ expense; and passing themselves off as “the real thing,” when in fact they are not.

That is why Dannie could summarily dismiss watching porn and fornicating with a fellow student (and getting her pregnant) as “boys will be boys” – because these deeds were done by the sons of one of their “favorites”: the “school principal.”  But let some poor unfortunate student miss his homework assignment, and he gets beaten with a wooden paddle – in front of faculty members called in to witness the “discipline.”  Or let some “rank-and-file” parishioner attend an “unapproved” chapel while on vacation, and he gets refused Communion.  Also, the rank-and-file are expected to obey the Lenten fast and abstinence rules, while Dannie skips off to Mexico for “copious quantities of meat.”  And that is also why Dannie and Tony dine at fine restaurants and go off on “apostolates” to posh destinations, while the Gerties get peasant fare back at the cult center: the former “enjoy” while the latter “obey.”

And what do the Gerties get for putting up with all this nonsense?  What do Dannie and Tony pass off as “the real thing”?  “The show,” of course.  Drop in on SGG’s High Mass any given Sunday, and chances are you’ll find a procession (or some other form of pontifical pageantry). Nary a Sunday goes by when His Self-Importancy isn’t oiling his way through SGG’s aisles (in full ecclesiastical regalia, of course, and surrounded by a huge contingent of servers, torch-bearers, and other assorted tinsel), with church bells blaring away -- and (of course) with enough incense billowing into the air to send everyone nearby into coughing spasms.  (In the past, it has even set off a smoke alarm.)

But is all of this “the real thing”?  Is SGG a place where one gets real Catholicism?  No, of course not.  It is a place where the “shepherds” preach about “protecting our innocent children,” but in practice condoned the aforementioned immoral behavior and the brutalization of those innocent children by a sadistic “school principal.”  (And the insanity doesn’t stop there: one of Dannie’s “religion teachers” proclaimed that riding a roller coaster or wearing a sports headband in church were mortal sins!)  And what kind of lunatic, we may ask, would say that one “una cum” Mass is worse than all the abortions ever performed?  MHT’s “prefect,” that’s who.  The sad fact is, there is no such thing as morality or real Catholicism at the cult centers.  So much for cult “Catholicism.”

So why do the Gerties put up with all of this?  Are they not aware of it all?  The answer is, in most cases, YES THEY ARE.  And that’s the problem: because they are, that’s what makes them, in fact, WORSE than the cult-masters themselves.  One could understand why Dannie, Tony, and Donny do the things they do.  They can’t help themselves: villains do what villains do.  But the Gerties – these “Catholics” who KNOW how evil these scumbags are, and who have personal knowledge of the many who’ve been victimized by them – why are they still there at SGG?  If they know, why do they stay?  That is why we reiterate that they are, in fact, WORSE than Dannie and Tony, because – with full knowledge of what kind of scum Dannie and Tony are – they still support (and therefore enable) these worms – simply because they can’t do without their “show.” 2  

And the most culpable of “those who know” are perhaps those who have children or grandchildren (whom they’ve kept “insulated” from all the chicanery of the cult-masters), who stay for “the show” simply because they want to see those youngsters make their first communions (or get married) in a “churchy” setting.  This is SICK.  These people are the real whores in the sordid SGG soap opera: willing to sacrifice those young peoples’ souls just for the sake of “the show.”  Do they not realize that those youngsters are eventually going to find out the truth about Dannie and Tony one day – and when they do, that they most likely will become thoroughly disillusioned – perhaps to the point of losing their Faith? Do they not realize that their allegiance is to their families, not to the cult, that they are responsible for their children and their spiritual well-being -- and that they are answerable to God for that?  Do they not realize that their children’s souls are far more important than “the show”? 3

If not for the support of these spineless wretches, the cult-masters would be out of business.  But, because of their support, Dannie, Tony, and Donny are able to continue to wreak their havoc.  And, whatever evil the cult-masters’ do, these people must realize that they are the cult-masters’ accomplices – that they share equal responsibility and equal accountability along with them.  Actually, their accountability goes beyond that, because, to reiterate, they are accountable as well for their children, many of whom -- because their parents put “the good of the cult” before the good of their families -- have gone astray and/or lost the Faith.  The importance of this (and its consequences) cannot be over-emphasized.

Do these people not realize what’s at stake here – and the lives (and souls) affected?  Do they not realize the consequences of their actions (or their inaction)?  Are they that blind that they cannot see the handwriting on the wall?  The answer is “yes” and “no.”  Yes, they have been “blinded” in a sense by the cult-masters – with the dazzle of the spectacle, and the syrupy “holy speak” that the cult-masters pass off as “Catholicism.”  But no, they really don’t care, as long as they get their “show.”  Deep down, they know “something’s wrong”; but they allow themselves to be deluded, because that is the path of least resistance.

Will they come to their senses?   We doubt it, because their problem is not so much “blindness” as it is something more basic -- PRIDE – which no amount of “elucidation” can remedy.  They’re too proud to admit that they’re wrong, and that they’ve been “backing the wrong horse” all these years (or some other such bogus reason as that).  Dannie has them convinced that, like the Pharisee in the parable, they’re “right” and everybody else isn’t.  And once they have taken that moral high ground, it’s hard for them to relinquish it.  Humility comes hard to people -- but especially to the Pharisaic.  Besides, they’ve become too “comfortable” with their ersatz “Catholicism” (and change comes hard to the “inertial” as well).  But their “moral high ground” is quicksand – and if they don’t change, they will surely “sink,” along with the cult-masters.  So, will they come to their senses?  Well, we certainly hope so – but, again, we doubt it.

_______________________________

1 Overburdening people with “chores” is a classic cult tactic:  preoccupying them –both physically and mentally – with the cult, to the point where they haven’t time to think of anything else but that, to where it becomes the single most important thing in their lives.  The classic case of this is the Jonestown cult, where the “Reverend Jim Jones” persuaded his followers to commit mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.

2 There probably isn’t one person at SGG who is not aware of Schiavo, and the sordid part the cult-masters played in that sad saga.  THIS ALONE should have been cause enough for them to send Dannie and Tony packing.  Add to that the myriad (and well-documented) 2009 school scandals – of which virtually all the parishioners were aware – and there was absolutely no excuse for any of them to remain with (and support) these lepers – but they did.

3 Many of SGG’s young have already found out, and have left – especially back in 2009.  Back then, when one of the principal’s sons got a girl pregnant, word of it “spread like wildfire” amongst the younger set.  Word also spread about the other abuses that happened (especially at the school); and the kids saw through all of this -- and the hypocrisy of the cult-masters’ wretched laissez faire attitude toward it.  This obviously disillusioned many of them – some to the point of losing their Faith.  We can only imagine the disillusionment of those “insulated” youngsters when it’s their turn to “find out” – and the consequences of their disillusionment.


And many such “consequences” have already occurred: As we noted in at least one previous article, not only have many of the younger set left the Faith and “gone astray,” but some have even had children out of wedlock -- and one became a lesbian, and another, a “transgender.”  But the even sadder thing is that in many of these cases, the parents involved don’t seem to care that their children went astray – nor do they seem to have any sense of accountability for what happened: they “wash their hands” and continue on, sanctimoniously following this or that cult-master, pretending as if nothing ever happened -- as if one’s children going astray is no longer one’s concern or “fault.”  (But what else could one expect from a cult-indoctrinated mind?)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Do as I Say, not as I Do"

One of Dannie Dolan’s perpetual laments these days is the SGG cult’s dismal attendance record.  Week after week, Dannie has tried to shame his Gerties into “coming to the show” (especially for Lent) – using all sorts of guilt-tripping and intimidation techniques – all to no avail.  So, for this year, Devious Dan has decided to try something new: bribery.  And to kick off this Lenten season on that note, Dannie announced a Quinquagesima “Social Sunday” (see Pistrina’s article) complete with free pancakes (“a pancake or two”) and “informal games.” 1

Never mind that Dannie’s “Social Sunday” was nothing more than a a latter-day version of “bread and circuses” -- a peasant-fare starch-a-thon, coupled with “games” probably about as “entertaining” as one of Checkie’s sermons.  However, it was, at least, a freebie – as he put it, “a fun raiser, not a fundraiser” -- a pleasant departure from his past use of heavy-handed coercion, and a tacit admission by him that this past policy of coercion has failed miserably.

However, one can “take it to the bank” that there was a “hidden agenda” for that “Social Sunday,” because the whole idea behind the dime’s worth of pancakes and “games” was to sucker these folks into coming to the Lenten Friday-night “marathons” that Dannie puts on.  And marathons they are.  The entire program includes not only Stations, but a Mass, an assortment of novenas and prayers (including Dannie’s “blessing of the sick” scam, where those who are “sick,” i.e., those with anything from a hangnail to a hiccough, come up to receive “faith-healer Dan’s” “blessing”), a supper (after which strategically-placed “lieutenants” stare down those trying to “sneak out” afterwards without staying for the rest of “the show”).  And the show, of course, continues with a “candlelight” sermon by Dannie, some more prayers, and then the final distribution of Communion (purposely held off until last to keep those who want to receive it there ‘til the bitter end.)  If one stays for the entire sit-stand-and-kneel-a-thon, it’s a four-hour ordeal – throughout which the wee ones are expected to remain silent and motionless.2

Will Dannie’s new bribery trick work?  Will more folks come to “the show”?  We think not.  Oh yes, the hard-core culties will be there, and perhaps an initial flurry of freshly recruited newcomers (from the "Social Sunday"?) will be there.  And Dannie, by the way, will provide free suppers (even more starch-laden than that Social's pancakes) in an effort to make his Friday night show look more like a “bargain.”  (His former “potluck dinner” policy never went over that well with the Gerties.)   But, in spite of all these measures, the attendance – as Lent wears on -- will probably dwindle, and revert to “pre-bribery” levels.3

And why?  Well, first of all, his Gerties will see those “freebie” dinners for what they are: starch-laden “bowel stoppers” that aren’t worth the risk of verstopfung.  Besides, a belly-full of starch (free or otherwise) won’t be incentive enough to entice folks into staying for the Friday-night ordeal (nor are they the determining factor). The problem is that “the show” is just too long -- especially for those with small kids, whom Dannie presumptuously (and unrealistically) expects to remain silent and still throughout the entire performance. 

Okay, we know what some of Dannie’s aficionados might be saying right now: “You people really don’t believe in sacrificing during Lent – and (so) how dare you criticize ‘His Excellency’ [LOL!] for trying to do the right thing,” etc., etc., etc.  Well, we’re saying (or thinking) nothing of the sort.  Lent is a penitential season, and it is right and proper to do penance during this time.  But, many Gerties are now aware of how much “penance” Dannie did when he was in Mexico the other year (when he stuffed his face with “copious quantities of meat”).  So why did “His Excellency” not set an example for his flock, and refrain from such excess?  (And why, for that matter, did he not decline the offer of a pleasure boat ride while he was there, as at least some token display of “penance”?  Why is it always his Gerties, not he, who must “offer it up”? 

Why?  Because Dannie has NEVER “set the example,” that’s why – not a good one, at least.  His “Mexican Lent” is actually typical of the kind of “self-denial” that Dannie practices.  One look at Dannie, and it is obvious that he is not in the habit of “denying” himself – and we’re not just talking food here, either.  Dannie, for instance, cannot tolerate any kind of “discomfort.”  When his sinuses were bothering him some years back, he couldn’t “just offer it up” like the rest of us.  Instead, he had to have his sinuses operated on (an operation, by the way, that didn’t work), after which he underwent a lengthy “recuperation” at The Bishop’s Lodge (an all-inclusive “destination” resort in the desert southwest).4

Another example of Dannie’s “self-denial” was his silver jubilee, which he decided to hold at the most prestigious venue in the area, the Palm Court in downtown Cincinnati’s Netherland Hilton Hotel.  (Tony’s was held there too.)  The peasants were allowed to come (they had to be!) – but they were served different “beverages” than Dannie and his entourage.  Besides, the tab for these affairs (somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 each) was, of course, picked up by “the parish.” 5  When it comes to Dannie’s and Tony’s creature comforts, no expense has ever been “too great.”

The fact is, word of all of this is getting around, and the Gerties are starting to “read between the lines.”  That is, it’s beginning to dawn on them that Dannie really doesn’t practice what he preaches, and that “mortification and self-denial” are for them, not him.6  Oh sure, he no longer goes to posh restaurants (see footnote 3), that is, he doesn’t admit to going.  But that’s because his old “underwriter” (Bernie Brueggemann) is now gone; and it’s also because, again, “word is getting around.”  Dannie now knows that he can’t flaunt his extravagance as he used to, because he knows we’re all watching – and reporting.  That's why he's now being forced to be more subtle in his (exploitation) approach, and resorting to bribery – a thing he’s never had to consider doing in the past. 

The “bottom line”: the sun is setting on Dannie and Tony – and they know it.  Dannie’s comment (in his Sexagesima Sunday bulletin) that the Quinquagesima “Social Sunday” was to be “a fun raiser, not a fundraiser” was a Freudian slip on his part: it was not only a tacit admission by Dannie that his “financial exploitation” days are over, but also that his Gerties know this – and that they’re not standing for it anymore.  Another reason that the sun is setting on Dannie and Tony is that their older parishioners, brought up in yesteryear’s “Catholic obedience” mindset, are dying off; and the younger set, although using the same “traditional” buzzwords and phrases as their parents, don’t think the same way.  More and more, they’re thinking for themselves, as their contemporaries do in today’s modern world.  (And, actually, many of those “parents” are adopting that mindset too – especially as they “find out” about Dannie and Tony.)

One recent visitor to SGG commented that Dannie looked “bloated” and “worried.”  We don’t doubt it.  Dannie’s in trouble.  His credibility in Trad World is all but gone, as is Tony’s – especially his reputation as a (LOL) “scholar.” 7  And all their recent desperate attempts to regain their prestige -- SGG’s “Ordo,” it’s calendar, Tony’s hapless videos, etc. -- have all failed miserably.  Nobody takes them seriously anymore.  Couple this with the fact that more and more Gerties are realizing, at long last, that Dannie and Tony never really practice what they preach (and never will), and this spells “trouble” for SGG.

With Tony’s reputation as a “scholar” in the toilet (and deservedly so), all that the cult-center has going for it now is Dannie’s “charisma” (for what that’s worth).  But that charisma is wearing thin with many of his Gerties, especially as Dannie’s credibility continues to tank.  Another ongoing problem for Dannie and Tony – and a real “wild card” – is “the school principal”: how long are they going to have to put up with this parasite?  (And why, more and more Gerties are wondering, can’t they just “get rid of him”?!)

For the time being, SGG will limp along, because some of Dannie’s Gerties will still fall for his “charisma” and Tony’s “scholarship” – but their numbers are dwindling.  The day will inevitably come when the scales will tip to the point where SGG will collapse under the weight of its own moral decay (if its crumbling infrastructure literally doesn’t do so first) – and we look forward to that day.

________________________________

1Dannie, of course, sent his regrets about coming to the “Social”:  “I regret not to be here, but I had already been scheduled for a long delayed Milwaukee visit.”  Yeah, we bet you “had already been scheduled,” Dannie.  Why is it that you always seem to “miss” such occasions, as you did when you were partaking of “copious quantities of meat” in sunny Mexico while your Gerties were back at the cold cult-center partaking of macaroni and fish sticks?  It kind of makes us wonder: when you were in Milwaukee, did you have pancakes there too, or did you have “copious quantities” of something else?

2 And, oh yes, there may be a “Lenten alms offering” collection taken up as well. Yes, in the past, this has been a Friday night “staple”: those conscientious enough to make the sacrifice of packing up all their little ones in the car, braving the (usually) inclement Lenten weather, and coming to the Friday marathon were “rewarded” by being shaken down for a “Lenten alms” donation. Will Dannie continue this “tradition” (in which case, “so much for that “free supper”!), or will he (for once) realize that this is a gross imposition on these folks, and scrap it?

3 And, according to Dannie’s Lent I (March 5, 2017) ’Corner, it looks as though “attendance” is already starting off at “pre-bribery” levels: “Ash Wednesday was sparse, as it was the previous two years, due perhaps to bad weather.”  “Bad weather,” Dannie?  Do you think, instead, that “bad attitude” might have something to do with it?

4 The Bishop’s Lodge has traditionally been one of Dannie’s “favorites.”  And what makes this so inappropriate is that, in addition to being hideously expensive, this place has a wide reputation as a Mecca for hedonists and homosexuals – not a very good example for Dannie to set for his Gerties.  Besides this extravagance, Dannie and Tony regularly feasted ((back in “the good old days,” when they were being bankrolled by the Brueggemann family) at local high-end restaurants. (La Petite France, The Grand Finale, and The Iron Horse Inn were their favorites.)  Now, they must settle for Taco Bell (which more suits their fancy anyway, because their tastes are actually decidedly plebian -- two sow’s ears pretending to be silk purses.)

5 It was most certainly Bernie Brueggemann (SGG’s chief benefactor at the time) who picked up the tab for both of these events.  Bernie, being the generous soul that he was, was regularly taken advantage of by these con men.  But it is Bernie who has the eternal advantage now, for his innumerable acts of kindness and generosity have, no doubt, been richly rewarded by our Lord, while Dannie and Tony await a much different “reward” for what they have done.

6 But that’s the way it is with cults: “mortification and self-denial” are for the followers, not their masters.  In every classic cult, the leader does (and gets) whatever he wants, living high while his followers, guilt-tripped and intimidated into submission, must “deny” themselves.  Does all of this sound familiar? 


7 Tony’s “scholarship” has always been nothing more than “ignorance wrapped in arrogance.”  In everything that he has ever said or written, he has thoroughly embarrassed himself; and he would have fared much better if he had only kept his mouth shut -- on Schiavo, for instance.  But his monumental ego wouldn’t let him do that.  A “legend in his own mind,” he just had to “blow his own horn” – and ruined his credibility in the process.