ALL ABOUT THE LAY PULPIT

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Unity? Forget About It!

In the January 14, 2018 SGG bulletin, its Bishop’s(?) ‘Corner (click here) had this item: “The whole Church is called upon to pray for the precious grace of unity come Thursday, the opening of the approved, indulgenced Chair of Unity Octave. We pray for the return of different non-Catholic groups to Mother Church. We would do well to remember all of the confused Catholic groups out there as well in this great chastisement.”  This was just part of the token lip service that Dannie piously intones every week in his ‘Corner – empty words about things that he knows won’t come true, nor does he want to come true.

The fact is, Dannie doesn’t want unity.  Unity implies hierarchy; and hierarchy means that Dannie would have to report to a higher authority – which he doesn’t want.  Dannie wants to be the boss of his own little realm, making up his own rules (and selectively applying and/or breaking them).  If Dannie were part of a larger, unified organization, he’d be reporting to superiors, and having to do their bidding, not his.  It also means that he couldn’t control his own purse-strings, use the sacraments as “weapons” (arbitrarily deny people the sacraments, etc.), or go on his winter getaway “apostolates” whenever he pleased.  In short, “unity” would put him out of business.

In our last article, we noted that Dannie acted as if this were the High Middle Ages, and Dannie were some sort of feudal lord ‘prince of the church.’”  Well, that’s almost literally true.  Dannie does treat his Gerties as if he was a feudal lord, and they were his vassals (and the rank-and-file his serfs).  And that word -- feudal -- signifies in more ways than one.  First, “feudal” implies feuding factions, all fighting with one another over “turf” (which was usually the case in medieval Europe’s feudal society -- and is certainly the case in today’s Traddieland).  Most of the trad groups fight with one another – usually over technicalities – in order to expand their turf (at one another’s expense).  And when they do “unite,” it’s usually some sort of loose “confederation” (as it was back in the Middle Ages), and usually temporary in nature -- where each group keeps its own autonomy.  In Traddieland, it’s not about “the common interest,” but about self-interest.

And that’s the way it is with Dannie & Co.:  SGG does not report to MHT (or to CMRI): they’re all separate dominions, each with its own “lord” (aka “bishop,” “superior general,” etc.) – and “cooperation” occurs only to the extent of agreeing on “safe,” non-turf issues (“Bergie bashing,” etc.).  Dannie will never submit to Donny, and vice versa (nor will Marky and the CMRI, for that matter).  All three of them – at one time or another – have dreamt of being “Emperor of Traddieland” – but not by cooperative unification, but by imposing his will on the others.  They’re all rivals with one another – and NONE of them would ever voluntarily submit to being under one of the other’s suzerainty.

Big Don, whose MHT got “aced out” (at Our Lady of the Sun in Arizona) by the Pivmeister, will never merge with CMRI -- or with anyone else, for that matter.  (Besides, Big Don’s “merging” days are over.  He’s turning MHT over to “the Kid” now.  Plus, his declining health will keep him from playing a “major role” anywhere from here on.)  And as for the Pivmeister and CMRI, they’re not interested in “merging,” either.  They have been content to carve out a “niche” that is mainly “domestic” (the continental U.S) – plus some isolated outposts in Australia and elsewhere.  And Dannie?  Well, he and Big Don, despite their seminary “collaboration,” have never been “chummy” – especially after SGG’s Schiavo and 2009 school scandals fiascos created a lot of unwanted “guilt-by-association” publicity for MHT.  And now, since those same scandals (and other strategic blunders) have trashed Dannie’s (and Tony’s) one-time “reputation” here in the U.S., their only hope now seems to be to carve out their “niche” somewhere else: in Latin America, where their blunders are not so “well-known.” 

That – Latin America – is where Dannie is pinning his main hopes these days (and now, to some extent, Africa).1  That is why Dannie is always braying about his “apostolates” in far-off lands: it’s about the only “prestige” that he (supposedly) has left with his Gerties anymore.  With his junkets to Latin America, Dannie can give his Gerties the impression that he is a “world player” – especially with ”Africa” (the Nigerian mission) thrown in. Dannie can plaster pictures of both all over his website -- both for his cyber suckers, and for his Gerties back at the cult center.    (Note, however, that when Dannie travels, it’s only to Latin America, not Nigeria.  The latter is too expensive and too dangerous for Dannie – and not nearly as much fun.  Nigeria has only propaganda value for Dannie.  Monetarily, it’s a sinkhole.)

But even that – Dannie’s “world player” image -- is getting to be pretty tarnished these days – especially in Latin America.  Dannie’s clumsy meddling in Lawrence, Massachusetts (click here) raised the ire of Argentine-born Bishop Andres Morello, amongst others; and other Latin American clergy (such as Fr. Siordia) seem to be getting Dannie’s “number” as well.  Dannie’s one-time charisma with Latinos is evaporating fast.  Nowadays, the only “south of the border” folks with whom Dannie (supposedly) still has any influence are those whom he can “buy off” (by playing “Gringo Santa Claus” for them).2 

More and more, folks in Latin America are “jumping ship” with Dannie.  As we intimated before, the only ones who have anything to do with him are those he can “buy” – and even their numbers are dwindling (because Dannie can’t afford to play “Santa Claus” for them as he once did).  Plus, “word is getting around” about Dannie in Latin America: word about Schiavo, about Dannie’s doubtful orders – and about his opulent life-style.  (At one time, Dannie could “hide” such adverse publicity from them – but not now in this age of the internet, where news travels fast, and knows no boundaries).  “Santa” or no “Santa,” Dannie’s “prestige” there is eroding – and people are seeing him for the sham that he is.

So then, what does the future hold for Traddieland’s “feudal lords”?  We’re not sure.  Some of it hinges, as PL said, on what happens after “the Kid” gets his miter at the Swampland.  Will MHT (as PL opined) become more “insular,” or will “the Kid” try to play a major role in Traddieland? 3  And, whether it goes one way or the other, will that set off another “turf war”?  But, whichever way it goes, don’t look for any “unity” in TradWorld. That’s a myth, because – to repeat -- no one (least of all, Dannie) wants that to happen.  They’ll all “pray” for “unity”; but they’ll do everything they can to prevent it, because – again -- it’s bad for business.4  Traddieland’s “feudal lords” don’t want to give up their positions and privileges –their “turf” – for some “ideal.”  They’re all pragmatists – “political animals” -- who are not about to sacrifice their self-interest for some intangible, unprofitable “principle.” 

So, don’t hold your breath for “unity.”  “It ain’t gonna happen”!  What will happen, instead, is that Dannie will continue to keep SGG as a separate entity – answerable to nobody, and free of interference from any “watch-dog” group -- so that he alone can benefit from exploiting his flock.  (And his recent plea to join his “CAT Club” was just another “installment” in that exploitation.)  Gerties, Dannie will continue to “sweet talk” you with his pious sanctimony, and “pray” for goals that he knows are unreachable (and, again, which he doesn’t want to be reachable).5  In the end, he’ll just keep telling the Gerties all those “sweet nothings” that they like to hear – and keep emptying their wallets.

One would hope that the remaining Gerties will eventually see what many others have seen (and borne witness) – and heed those warnings.  (Heaven knows – they’ve been warned often enough!)  But, realistically, if they haven’t woken up by now, they probably never will – until it’s too late.  But whether they do or not, the good news is that the rest of us have woken up.  And if the Gerties don’t – well, “that’s their problem!”

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1 Dannie has a “mission” in Nigeria, run by a “Fr. Nkamuke,” who was “ordained” by Dannie (which, of course, makes him orders doubtful).

2 Of course, another big personal reason (besides playing “Santa Claus”) for Dannie going down south is to get away from the cold gringo winters, and -- equally as important -- for dodging fast and abstinence rules during Lent.

3 One scenario that Pistrina opined is that “the Kid” will not play a major public role in Traddieland, and that, under him, MHT will become more “insular.”  This is probably a good guess, because “the Kid” doesn’t have the “leadership” skills (and forceful personality) that the Donster has; and education-wise, he was “educated” at MHT (which means that he has no credentials whatsoever).  Add to that the fact that, as PL also pointed out, he comes from a rich family, and has been pampered and indulged all his life.  That, combined with his lack of leadership skills, says that he’s not the “type” for putting out any “major effort” in Traddieland.  Lastly, remember that not only “the Kid’s” family, but the other “elite” families, have plenty of money -- more than enough to sustain their operation comfortably – so why take on anything (or anyone) else?  After all, “merging” or “unification” with anyone else might very well dilute their resources (monetarily or otherwise) – so why take that risk?

4 And, for the bishop-led cults, that’s just what they are: businesses.  Their “Catholicism” is not so much a belief as it is a business model; and they differentiate themselves from one another with the “products” that they “market,” to keep their sheep loyal to their “brand.”  We seriously doubt if any of them believe in what they “sell,” because their “product” often doesn’t match their “advertising.”  Example: Dannie talks about “protecting the innocence of our children” – yet overlooked (and even condoned) the scandalous events of 2009.  And he and Tony preach about “the sanctity of life” – yet they condoned the murder of Terri Schiavo.  They tell their audience one thing, then do another.    

5 The same, of course, goes for the other “bishop-led” cults of Tradistan.  None of them wants to see “unity,” because that would mean reconciliation with Rome – and then they’d have to give up their cushy life-styles, their autonomy, and all the rest of it.  (Besides, none of them are adequately trained; so, “post- reconciliation,” they wouldn’t last five milliseconds anyway.) 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

“Arrogance on Steroids”

Last week, Pistrina Liturgica had an article (click here) about an item that appeared in SGG’s Jan. 7, 2018 ’Corner:  Dannie’s request to form a  CAT club” – a “Clergy Airport Transportation club,” as he put it.  In its article, PL’s emphasis was on how bad of a deal it was for Gerties to pay for a service for which they derived no benefit – and also on what an example of Dannie’s managerial ineptitude it was.  PL chose not --  consciously at least -- to mention what an example of Dannie’s arrogance this was – perhaps because they didn’t want to belabor the obvious.  However, we have decided to cover that base, by looking at it from that angle.

But first, let’s recap what Dannie said in his ’Corner about his “club”: “I would like to ask you to join our CAT club at St. Gertrude the Great. No, nothing to do with Caravaggio or Puccini, cat food or vet trips. CAT stands for some-thing like “Cars and Transportation,” actually “Clergy Airport Transportation,” I guess. In a word, it assembles our drivers who would be willing to give an airport ride or pickup for the good Fathers going about their mission rounds.” He then went on to lament, “We’re low at the moment, and nobody picked up Fr. Lehtoranta returning from his Milwaukee Christmas. I was mortified. It seemed a little unfriendly.  Cold.  And at Christmas.  He took a cab.” 

But why, one of Dannie’s apologists might object, is all of this an example of his arrogance?  Well, it should be obvious: that Dannie expects this as a “perk.”  It is common knowledge that Dannie himself must be chauffeur-driven everywhere (as if he is some kind of corporate magnate or mini-potentate, or as if he was physically incapacitated in some way – which he isn’t).  And now he expects a similar perk for his journeyman “clergy”: for them to be driven to and picked up at the airport (on whatever trips they’ve taken) by a pool of Gertie “taxi drivers.”  Dannie was, in his own words, “mortified” that “nobody picked up Fr. Lehtoranta returning from his Milwaukee Christmas.”  So now, Dannie has laid this new expectation on his Gerties – as if they don’t do “enough” already.

And more than "enough" they do. As it is, his Gerties are already swamped doing a variety of “volunteer” work: a small army of women doing sacristan work, cleaning, cooking – and, in addition to other personal laundry for the “clergy,” also washing and ironing SGG's altar linens (which must be spotless -- and changed on an oppressively frequent basis).1   The men do a variety of “volunteer” work as well (though not so much – and not so regularly – as the womenfolk): janitorial work, yard work, and a lot of other “heavy” work that the women can’t handle.2  And, of course, every family, in addition to all of this, is tapped for the weekly collection (as well as “special” collections) -- and is expected to “tithe,” (as is pre-printed on the collection envelopes).

And now, in addition to all this, Dannie wants this “taxi” service.  Now if SGG were a “big-time” operation (and Dannie a major “prelate”), one might rationalize (or legitimize) Dannie’s unrealistic “expectations” in some way. But SGG is a pathetically small, jerk-water operation, and Dannie (and his “clergy”) are nobodies.  Besides, drivers for real prelates are usually paid for their services – and they certainly don’t have to provide their own car and their own gasoline.  At SGG, the drivers (as PL noted) are not only saddled with these expenses, but must incur the “wear and tear” on their vehicles as well.  Lastly, most clergy at real churches – and that includes pastors – either drive themselves, or take turns with their fellow clergy driving each other.  They don’t ask their parishioners to volunteer their time, their car, and their gas.  Such an “expectation” is absurd.

This, of course, is not the first instance of the dynamic duo’s “unrealistic expectations” – that is, of their arrogance.  They have a long track record of it.  In an earlier article (click here), we cited, amongst other instances of their arrogance, how one of SGG’s office staff had not only to bring in Dannie’s and Tony’s mail for them, but to open it for them as well – and Tony even expected her to shine his shoes for him.  (Needless to say, she didn’t.)  The “CAT Club” is just the latest “edition” of their arrogance.  And we’re sure that not only does Dannie expect his Gerties to provide “curb to curb” service to and from the airport, but that they provide it with all the pretentious deference that Dannie has come to expect as “proper protocol”: “greeting them in the proper manner,” handling their luggage for them, opening the door for them, etc., etc., etc. – in other words, do all the things that one expects from a servant.

That’s the key for Dannie: one must not only do the task, but be “subservient” in doing it – as if this were the High Middle Ages, and Dannie were some sort of feudal lord “prince of the church.”  But Dannie, this is not the “High Middle Ages”; and you are not a “prince bishop,” entitled to fealty from your vassals.  This is twenty-first century America, where people are not illiterate peasants bound by “fealty” to some feudal lord, but intelligent, free people with constitutional rights.  They are not your “serfs” – but you would certainly like them to be, wouldn’t you?

And indeed that is what has happened over the years at SGG: normally rational, intelligent people have, by degrees, been “conditioned” by Dannie to be his obedient, obsequious “serfs” – automatons to do his bidding.  The Gerties are “guilt-tripped” on a regular basis to come to the show more often, and to “do more and more for the cult” (which is merely the classic cult tactic of gradual “noose tightening” -- straight out of the cult “handbook” -- until one becomes so loaded down that he has no time left for anything else but the cult).

Gerties, Dannie’s “CAT Club” is just the latest round of that “noose-tightening.”  If you “give in” to that, Dannie will only think up another “expectation” – because Dannie is never satisfied.  (One need only witness his never-ending guilt-tripping about coming to “the show” as proof positive of that.)  in your heart of hearts, you know that Dannie will not stop with this “CAT Club,” but will come up with new "expectations" -- new ways to ways keep tightening the noose.  Gerties, don’t let that noose get any tighter.  Get out before it’s too late, and it chokes you – or you become a “casualty” in some other way (as Katie Bischak did).

Thinking back about what Dannie said in his ’Corner -- that “nobody picked up Fr. Lehtoranta returning from his Milwaukee Christmas” – it seems rather ironic, too, that Dannie was “mortified” (and thought that “it seemed a little unfriendly” and  “Cold”) that an able-bodied young man was so “inconvenienced”; yet, when Terri Schiavo was put to death by court-ordered starvation and dehydration, Dannie felt no such “mortification.”  Tell us, Dannie, what is more “mortifying”: missing a cab ride, or being put to death? 

Gerties, it’s time for you to get mortified – not just at Dannie’s intransigent, blasé attitude about Terri, but his blasé attitude about you.  To this tinhorn tyrant, you are just so much cannon fodder – expendable resources to be used at will.  Gerties, isn’t it time to come to the obvious truth that Dannie is an arrogant, uncaring, and self-serving opportunist, who doesn’t give a damn about anybody but himself – and that this “CAT Club” is just the latest in his long history of exploitation schemes?  Isn’t it obvious that Dannie’s “bottom line” always has been – and always will be -- money?  And isn’t it time, Gerties, that you “just say no” to this conniving huckster, before he tightens the noose even more around your necks? 

Do yourself a favor: leave the cult.  “Pull the plug” on this arrogant, pretentious nobody.  Don’t give him a “free ride” -- either figuratively or literally.  Get out now, before he takes you “for a ride.”  Keep your “cab fare,” and leave the cult.

Starve the beast!
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1 SGG’s parishioners have always been expected to do their work for the cult on a volunteer basis; but the “principal’s” kids have – more often than not – been paid for their services.  Also, in much of the cooking that the women do for Dannie & Co., not only are they expected to donate their time, but are often expected to donate the food as well. 

2 And for Easter, Christmas, and Lent (especially Holy Week), the workload is particularly unbearable.  Dannie’s Altar of Repose, for instance: every year during Holy Week, Dannie has his sacristan (and others) construct this altar – and it must be a new design each year.  The effort takes several people several days to do – and, after being up for one day, it’s all torn down the next. (See The Cult Masters: Mysogynists -- and More

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Caution: Working for the Cult May be Hazardous to Your Health

In his Dec. 9, 2017 ‘Corner, Dannie Dolan reported that one of SGG’s long-time “sacristan” helpers (Katie Bischak) had fallen (while working at the cult center) and seriously injured herself: “Our hearts, our prayers, our intentions were all given to Katie Bischak, our devoted sacristan, this past week. Katie fell in the sacristy on Monday and broke several bones, necessitating surgery. During the operation, she had a stroke, and fell into a coma. We are praying for her all the way through. Pray with us to St. Joseph, Katie’s special saint. She would need a miracle to recover, or the grace of a happy death.”

As Dannie noted, she “broke several bones, necessitating surgery.”  Sadly, she died a few weeks later.  In his December 31 ’Corner, Dannie noted that she died, and that she was buried from SGG: “The church was full on Friday for another Pontifical Mass, this one a Requiem to lay our dear friend and sacristan to rest.”  He then went on to thank those who afterwards were “stepping forward to help with the always heavy sacristy workload for a bishop and four priests.”   Lastly, let us mention that, in his Dec. 24 ’Corner, Dannie thanked all the cult slaves who helped put up SGG’s Christmas decorations: “A quiet, cheerful, prayerful spirit made our church decorating seem almost effortless this year, although it certainly is not. God bless our workers.”

Now we are not certain whether Miss Bischak was putting up Christmas decorations at the time when she fell, but it doesn’t matter.  The point is that she, a 74 year-old woman, was undoubtedly at a considerable height when she fell – considerable enough that she “broke several bones” -- and considerable enough to culminate in her death a week or so later.  This is a risk that a 74 year-old shouldn’t even be asked to take.  The fact that Dannie could even permit – much less, expect -- a septuagenarian to take such an unnecessary risk borders on criminal negligence.  But Dannie doesn’t care.  As he opined in his ’Corner, one could simply hold out hope for “a miracle to recover” or “the grace of a happy death.”  Oh, Dannie, how magnanimous you are to proffer two such “attractive” alternatives!1

How is it, we wonder, that Dannie’s band of hapless milquetoasts – McFaker, Lurch, and the Forlorn Finn – couldn’t trouble themselves with such “arduous tasks”?  How is it that these men, all young, well-fed, and healthy, were unable to perform such work, but had to rely on a 74 year-old woman to risk her life – make that, LOSE her life – because doing such work was “too much” for these wimps (or “beneath their priestly dignity”)?  Why was it “appropriate” to expect this 74 year-old woman to do such work, and not these able-bodied young men?  Is it because their lives are more “precious” than hers?  But aren’t “good shepherds” supposed to take care of their sheep?  Tell us, Dannie: do “good shepherds” ask their “sheep” to risk life and limb for them?  Isn’t it “the other way around”: that a good shepherd is supposed to lay down his life for his sheep?   Or were those words of our Lord’s just so much empty rhetoric?

The answer to all these questions is simple: Dannie is NOT a good shepherd.  He is a hireling.  Mrs. Bischak certainly wasn’t the first to take such risks for Dannie, nor will she be the last.  Dannie habitually has his Gerties take needless risks for him – those “Christmas decoration” helpers, for instance.  Every year, they, too, take grossly unnecessary risks in “helping out.”  (They’ve been doing so for decades.)  Look at the picture of SGG all gussied up for Christmas (click here).  Note the decorative lights hanging from the ceiling.  These are about twenty feet (seven meters) or so in height – high enough to cause a fatality if someone fell from that altitude.  We can’t tell from the picture if there were any other decorations put up at that height; but in the past, there were plenty of them at such heights, all put up by people on ladders.2

The real miracle, though, is that more people haven’t been injured before now, as Miss Bischak was.  In the past, here have been many “accidents” where the injuries either went unreported and/or weren’t considered “serious” enough to report – and there were even more “close calls.”  But that doesn’t matter to Dannie.  For him, Gerties are “expendable.”  There is always is more “fodder” where they came from.  (And they did come: as Dannie expressed in his Dec. 24 ’Corner [after Miss Bischak died], he was thankful “to those who are stepping forward to help with the always heavy sacristy workload.”)

Now one might think that Miss Bischak’s death would have given Dannie sobering pause, and made him seriously reflect on the unnecessary risk at which he was putting his Gerties by having them do such frivolous “make-work” tasks – like putting up all those gaudy, over-the-top Christmas decorations he expects every year.3  One might think that Dannie would, instead, take a solemn vow NEVER to put anyone at such risk ever again – and to beg God’s forgiveness for having done so in the past.  But not Dannie: God forbid that he should ever feel any remorse or regret for what happened to Miss Bischak – much less, to admit any wrongdoing in the matter.

As Pistrina reported last week (click here), an announcement was sent out from SGG regarding the details of Miss Bischak’s funeral -- and dispensing (from the Friday abstinence) anyone who showed up for the funeral (which was on a Friday).  The fact that Dannie thought he had to grant a “dispensation” in order to get enough people to show up is a testament to his insecurity (and the fact that he’s losing his grip on the Gerties).  But it’s also an indication that his main interest was not so much Miss Bischak herself, but simply “filling up the pews” for her funeral – to impress her family and friends, no doubt.  In fact, it shows that he held Miss Bischak in so little esteem that he felt he had to use a “dispensation” as bait to bribe people into coming.  (Another reason for the “dispensation,” of course, was to allow Carnivorous Dan to satisfy his lust for pigging out on “copious quantities of meat” -- and The Farm was a perfect venue for doing this.)4 

The fact is, Dannie hasn’t much esteem for anybody.  His Gerties are not so much his parishioners as they are, again, his fodder – to do with what he will.  His “caring” about them extends only to the point of what they can do for him.  And he can always count on (and expect) an ample supply of Gerties to “throw into the breech” to put on his “show” for him – no matter what the risk.  But can he?  Although, in the short run, some Gerties came “stepping forward to help” after that woman’s accident, how many will be there for the long-term?  Not many, we wager. 

And who could blame them?  They all saw what happened to Miss Bischak – and how all Dannie could muster at her untimely death was to lamely volunteer: “Her warm and friendly presence will be missed.”  How, we wonder, can Dannie sleep at night, knowing that this woman died -- needlessly and before her time – just to gratify his insatiable appetite for gaudy, over-the-top decorations?  The truth is, Dannie has no trouble sleeping – because he has no conscience.  The woman was undoubtedly tired (and performing an undeniably unsafe act) when she had her (ultimately fatal) fall.  But Dannie doesn’t care: Dannie loves to see women endlessly toiling away on useless, make-work projects.5 

By now, the Gerties should surely be asking themselves this: Why risk life and limb, year after year, just for some token (and empty) words of praise from Disingenuous Dan?  Why do all of this, just for an invite to his yearly “pat-on-the-back” (his once-a-year serf appreciation party held on Epiphany)?  By now, his Gerties should surely be thinking twice before risking their necks “volunteering” from here on – just for a few crummy pancakes (or scrambled eggs) once a year. 6  Perhaps, now, they’ll realize (at long last) that Dannie’s intentions – just like those “dispensations” he divvies out -- are as phony as the proverbial “three-dollar bill.”

We all know that we must eventually die – but not the way Mrs. Bischak did: performing one of the many dangerous “make-work” tasks that the mitered maggot routinely invents for his slaves to do -- just to appease his insatiable lust for superfluous frills and frippery.  Her death was so needless, so pointless – so AVOIDABLE.  Gerties, it’s time to stop risking life and limb (and your wallet) for this wretch.  Listen to what your gut’s surely been telling you for some time now: that Dannie really doesn't care about you [[ and that he's out to exploit you, not to save your soul.  Don’t become another one of Dannie’s “statistics”: “used, abused, and discarded” – or perhaps, as in Miss Bischak’s case, dead.  Don’t enable Dannie’s “risky business” by putting yourself at risk.  Remove that risk -- by putting Dannie and his “show” out of business.  Withhold your money (and your labor), and…

Starve the beast!

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1 Yes, that’s right: Dannie, with his usual vacuous sanctimony, actually proffered those two alternatives: “a miracle to recover” or “the grace of a happy death”!  But tell us, Dannie: what kind of “miracle recovery” did she have to look forward to?  If her mangled body somehow “recovered” – with her (most probably) confined to a wheel-chair (and/or facing chronic pain for the rest of her life) -- what kind of “miracle” would you call that”?  Would you then piously suggest another “alternative”: that she “offer it up”?

2 We recall seeing Bernie Brueggeman (then in his upper seventies), standing atop a 25 or 30-foot ladder, needlessly risking his life stringing garlanding around and along the windows on either side of the church.  (At some point, the ladders were replaced by rented “scissors lifts” used to get people up to that height, making the job less dangerous.)  Whether that is still the case, we do not know.  But the fact that Dannie had people take such needless risks at all is deplorable.  And, whether or not “lifts” still replace ladders in those instances, there are still many other instances where they do not – and where ladders are still used.  Again, putting people at such risk is deplorable – but, again, Dannie doesn’t care.  If they fall down and break their necks, no problem!  Dannie can simply wish them the enviable choice of “a miracle to recover” or “the grace of a happy death.” 

3 This, of course, is to make SGG look “good in the brochure” – that is, on its website.  (Dannie is always looking for an “impressive” picture to put on SGG’s website, to make it look more “Catholic” for all of his “cyber suckers.”)

4 Carnivorous Dan LOVES his meat.  That’s why he likes to skip off to México lindo  during Lent – to take advantage of their relaxed fast and abstinence rules (that is, their complete lack thereof).  We weren’t sure why Dannie would “dispense” abstinence just for a parishioner’s funeral – except that The Farm is noted for its excellent hot buffet, including fried chicken, and standing round of carved roast beef and baked ham (but no fish).  Our guess was that Dannie didn’t want to miss out on such a meat-lovers’ feeding frenzy, so he opted for the “dispensation.”

But of all the venues for a luncheon, why The Farm?  For a Friday funeral for a long-time “traditional Catholic,” why pick a place where fish is conspicuously absent from the menu?  So, again, why The Farm?  Let’s make an educated guess:  Simple.  Dannie didn’t pick it (nor did he pay for it).  It was probably chosen (and paid for) by Katie’s relatives, who were (just as probably) Novus Ordo.  (Katie never married, and hence had no children; plus, there were no other “Bischaks” on SGG’s parish register except a long-deceased “Nicholas.”  Therefore, any “relatives” of hers were probably Novus Ordo nieces and nephews, who couldn’t care less about “Friday abstinence.”)  And that, coupled with the fact that Katie and all her relatives were “west-siders” (residents of Cincinnati’s west side) – plus the fact that The Farm is a long-standing west side fixture – made it the logical choice for the luncheon venue.

Of course, if Dannie had paid, he would’ve picked a place where fish was offered -- thus eliminating the need for fabricating any “dispensation.”  But he didn’t, did he?  Besides, when has Dannie ever paid for a parishioner’s funeral luncheon?  Never.  It’s always the other way around: the deceased’s relatives pay – and pay dearly -- both for the “Mass” and for the bash afterwards.  [So, rest assured, Dannie didn’t pay for the affair.  After all, if he only gave his loyal Gerties a crummy pancakes and scrambled eggs breakfast as “reward” for year-long toil, why on earth would he spring for a $15-a-plate funeral luncheon for a crowd of Novus Ordo strangers?]  But how to get around the “Friday” thing?

Simple.  Just “gin up” a phony “dispensation” to “fix it.”  So Dannie – instead of doing the “Catholic” thing – did the expedient, “human respect” thing (aka, “the coward’s way out”), and acquiesced to the venue selection, even though it meant prostituting his [non-existent] “principles” (and then invoking his phony “dispensation” to “justify” it all).  Another reason for him to acquiesce was that, for Dannie and his entourage, they got to “free-load” off these Novus Ordo relatives who, we repeat, most certainly paid for the luncheon. Ironic, isn’t it: Dannie can routinely refuse the sacraments (including last rights and Requiems) to Novus Ordites -- but is not above accepting free food from them (and trashing traditional abstinence rules so that he and other “traditional Catholics” can partake in the freebies)!  [So much for the Mitered Maggot’s “principles”!]

5 That’s the misogynist in him.  Dannie has a long and storied history of misogyny, especially for women who are sacristans: he has had at least three of them (and perhaps more) quit on him and leave SGG so far -- one with a nervous breakdown.  (See The Cult Masters: Misogynists – and More.)


6 Yes, that’s what they got this time for their year-long toil: a breakfast.  In the past, Dannie would hold an “appreciation dinner” for them (provided they sat through the obligatory pontifical extravaganza beforehand, that is).  This year, however, the “party” was downgraded to a breakfast: “Epiphany falls on First Saturday, after the All Night Adoration. The special time of 8 AM will see the Epiphany Adoration end with a Solemn High Mass before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed. Afterwards, there’s breakfast for everybody in Helfta Hall.”  Note, however, that the Gerties still had to sit through a “Solemn High Mass” (at which, we hope, a collection was not taken up) before getting their “free” breakfast.