Saturday, April 20, 2013

Terri Schiavo Revisited – Again!

Have you ever seen one of those plastic drinking bottles -- sometimes carried by hand, sometimes strapped to a bike frame -- that have a hinged “spout” on them that can be pivoted up into position to allow the walker (or biker) to then “squirt” some water into his mouth?  Well, at a local park one morning, a couple was walking their dog; and they had a “doggie” drinking bottle: instead of a pivoting spout, it had a pivoting, bowl-shaped tray, into which water from the plastic bottle could be dispensed by “squeezing” water out of the bottle and into the tray.  The dog could then happily lap up his water from that tray “bowl.”

Watching them do this, the thought struck me: that dog has it better than Terri Schiavo did!  This dog, a mere curbstone mutt, could drink freely, as much as he wanted, as often as he wanted.  So could Vivaldi, Puccini, and “Caravaggio” (Daniel Dolan’s and Anthony Cekada’s pet cats).  But Terri Schiavo?  She had two armed guards watching “24-7” to make sure that she didn’t get ONE DROP of water (not to mention food).  A little boy who tried to wet her lips was forcibly stopped by the guards, as were others who tried to do the same.  Any attempt to give her water was punishable as a criminal felony. 

After Terri’s final, forced incarceration, it took thirteen days for her to die.  According to Fr. Frank Pavone (national director of Priests for Life, and who spent much of the last two weeks of Terri’s life at her bedside), Terri had a look of disbelief on her face.. Her skin and her lips were shriveled -- cracked and bleeding from lack of moisture.  As her eyes receded into their sockets from dehydration, blood poured out of them.  The agony that she felt toward last was unspeakable.  To quote Fr. Pavone again, “Terri’s death was not at all peaceful and beautiful.  It was quite horrifying.  She was dehydrating to death, and looked it.  Her face had an expression of dread and sorrow.  In my sixteen years as a priest, I never saw anything like this before.”  The official coroner’s report on her cause of death, by the way, was starvation and dehydration.
Condemned prisoners who are executed fare better: they die painlessly and quickly -- usually by lethal injection.  Terri’s death, in contrast, was slow and agonizing.  And what was her crime?  Did she commit a murder? a felony? a misdemeanor?  No. Then was she in danger of dying from some terminal illness?  No.  She had no terminal illness.  She was not on – nor did she need – a life-support system.  Then why was she put to death?  What kind of “crime” merited that?  Her “crime” was that it was costing her husband too much money to take care of her: her husband, who had a new girlfriend, and who wanted her “out of the way.”  He had won some “insurance settlement” money from Terri’s “injuries,” and he wanted to “conserve” as much of that money as possible – so he canceled any further rehabilitation on her part (and rehabilitation to which she was not only entitled, but to which she was actually positively responding).

According to Terri’s husband, she was in a “vegetative state,” and not able to “respond.”  But the following bit of excerpted fact says otherwise: “In 1990, at the age of 26, Terri Schindler Schiavo suffered a neurological injury.  For several years, Terri received rehabilitative therapy and care, was able to move her arms and legs, and even responded to others with simple words like “no,” “yes,” and “stop that.”  But in 1993, less than a year after her husband, Michael Schiavo, received funds from a medical malpractice settlement that were to be applied to her medical treatment, he removed his wife from therapy and initiated a long series of steps towards euthanizing her.  Terri was not terminally ill, nor was she ‘brain dead,’ nor in a ‘vegetative state.’  She was disabled.  After a number of years, Michael Schiavo was successful in obtaining a court order granting him the ‘right’ to withdraw all nutrition and hydration from Terri.  After 13 days, on March 31, 2005, at the age of 41, Terri died of dehydration.”

Let me give you another excerpted bit of fact: When the paramedics first came in to answer the initial 9-1-1 call, they found her face down on the carpet.  Her husband made no attempt to turn her over so that she could “breathe easier.”  Additionally, at the hospital where they ran tests on her that day, they discovered several broken bones in her body – including several fractured ribs.  So it seems that her condition was not the result of a “bad reaction to something ingested” but was the result of physical violence.  This is all documented medical fact.  Another documented medical fact is that Terri Schiavo was able to swallow – and did swallow (including the Sacred Species of the Holy Eucharist).

So, what did Anthony Cekada have to say about all of this?  What did he have to say about Terri Schiavo’s death?  Firstly, Cekada maintained that Terri Schiavo was being kept alive by “extraordinary means” (a feeding tube) and that Michael Schiavo, as her husband, had the legal and moral right to stop sustaining her life – this husband, who had a new girlfriend “on retainer” at the time.  In a medical opinion, a noted neurologist pointed out, among other things, that feeding tunes are by no means “extraordinary.”  But in his response to that neurologist, Cekada interpreted what the doctor said on feeding tubes as “delving into moral issues”; and he even questioned the doctor’s medical judgment as well.

Cekada started off by saying that [the doctor’s] “reviewing CT images, watching a video and reviewing “summary/excerpts regarding testimony given in deposition transcripts” -- is no substitute for examining a live patient.”  Actually, it’s the other way around: examining a live patient – “personal observation” – is grossly inadequate as regards getting real, definitive information on a patient.  Only by conducting various tests, and then thoroughly examining the tests’ results later on – with the help of videos, microscopes, etc., can one really ascertain valid, definitive medical information on a patient’s condition.

To back up his claim that being fed through a feeding was an “extraordinary” means of sustenance, Cekada stated:  Having a hole poked in you, a tube shoved in and then having to eat and drink that way would be burdensome for any normal man.”  So, even though as a doctor you may well consider poking holes into people and inserting permanent feeding tubes “by no logical measure extraordinary or unduly burdensome by any reasonable standard, moral, medical or economic" (as you say in your article), Catholics must nevertheless draw their understanding of extraordinary means from the Church’s moral teachings -- rather than from the practices and pronouncements of the medical-industrial complex.”

First off, it is common knowledge that feeding tubes have not only been an ordinary means of feeding people for decades, but thousands upon thousands of people have been sustained by them.  And “painful”? – anyone with any experience using feeding tubes can tell you that that is sheer nonsense.  Not only is a feeding tube absolutely painless, but it is a much cheaper alternative than being fed with conventional food by mouth.  This is so universally acknowledged, by both medical and moral experts, that the discussion of it does not even come up in any circles – except in Anthony Cekada’s square mind and circular logic.

Cekada went on to accuse the neurologist of unjustifiably delving into moral theology, ending with his arrogant, condescending, “Don’t try to invent a mortal sin where there is none.”  In a subsequent correspondence (entitled School Dazed), Cekada further embarrassed himself by referring to the neurologist as “a pompous doctor who presumed to pronounce on matters of moral theology.”   Actually, the doctor confined himself strictly to the medical aspects of Schiavo, while it was Cekada who “presumed to pronounce” (and oh so wrongfully!) on matters of moral theology (as well as its medical aspects – which he botched badly).
One only needs to read the doctor’s account and Cekada’s reply concerning Schiavo to see the courtesy and professionalism of the former and the bombastic arrogance and ignorance (especially on medical matters) of the latter.  As events turned out, Cekada’s consummate (and widely recognized) ignorance showed up too in his correspondence with a woman -- an SGG parishioner at the time -- who wrote to him about Schiavo at the time.  If one will take the time to read their correspondence, it will showcase not only his trademark arrogance, but his contempt for women as well.

Cekada’s “credentials,” by the way, are NO advanced degree in theology, and (of course) NO TRAINING AT ALL in medicine.  The doctor, on the other hand, graduated summa cum laude both from college and medical school (in fact, he was first in his class).  He is an internationally known neurologist, and is currently head of neuro-sciences (neuro-surgery and neurology) at Akron General Hospital in Akron, Ohio -- making him uniquely and eminently qualified to comment on Schiavo’s medical aspects (to which – I repeat -- he confined himself).  And, by the way, his under-graduate minor was in theology, so he’s not exactly “unqualified” in that area, either (though, I repeat again, he never touched on it in his article).  It is hard to imagine a more profoundly disproportionate mismatch than the buffoon Cekada vs. this doctor – “a bean-shooter going up against. a Howitzer.”

In all of Anthony Cekada’s writings, his hallmark arrogance certainly comes through; but the way he embarrassed himself in the Schiavo affair stands alone as a monument to his profound ignorance – and his utter lack of compassion.  To think that he and Dolan could just sit there and enjoy a sumptuous dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, while matter-of-factly ignoring Terri Schiavo being deprived not only of food but of water, makes one shudder with fear (and rage).  While they were feasting on gourmet food and wine, she was denied even a moistened cotton swab to wet her parched, cracking, bleeding lips – just like our Lord on Calvary.

So why did Cekada take such a foolhardy (and cowardly) stance regarding Schiavo?  Why did he take the side of a man who, while still married, abandoned his wife for a new bed partner – and who then took every legal step imaginable to end the former’s life?  How could Cekada condone this husband taking insurance settlement money earmarked for his wife’s recuperation and using it instead to procure her death (and to fund a “new life” with his new girlfriend)?  Terri Schiavo was NOT in a “vegetative state.”  She was coherent.  She was recuperating (and she had a loving family who were ready and willing to bear the cost and effort of caring for her, so that she would not be what Cekada termed “a burden on society”).  She had plenty of “cognitive function” – more than many people who are dutifully kept alive in care facilities today.  With the right therapy, she could have recuperated.  Yet she was put to death, in a slow and most agonizing way.  And Anthony Cekada justified this.  Anthony Cekada said that this philandering husband had the RIGHT to do what he did.

How could Anthony Cekada condone this?  It’s easy: if he and Daniel Dolan can interpret watching porn on the school computer as “boys will be boys,” or explain away all the sordid things that went on at SGG’s school, he can certainly regard Terri Schiavo’s murder as “justifiable.”  If he can excuse the principal’s son for impregnating a fellow student (and then lay the blame squarely on the girl), he can certainly condone Michael Schiavo’s acquiring a whore while plotting his wife’s demise.  And if he can use the donations of cash-strapped parishioners for enjoying $400/night stays at the Bishop’s Lodge and enjoy gourmet meals at fine restaurants, he has no problem rationalizing Michael Schiavo’s “financial priorities.”  (And, speaking of “priorities,” while his cats -- Vivaldi, Puccini, and Caravaggio -- were enjoying their stays at the Kitty Spa, Terri Schiavo was “enjoying” her final death agony.)  “One hand” Dolan and Tony “the Blunderer” could coddle their cats at a “kitty spa,” but having any compassion for Terri Schiavo was (in Cekada’s words) “cheap emotionalism.”

How could Cekada’s mind manifest (or tolerate) such a warped dichotomy of “priorities”?  How could he conceive – how could he contemplate -- such a monstrous “double standard”?  Because he’s a misogynist – a woman hater -- that’s why.  And so is his perverted criminal partner, Daniel Dolan.  Their behavior also belies their psychopathic, detached disdain for human suffering – again, especially regarding women.  Most of Dolan’s and Cekada’s parishioners know this, yet they still (irrationally) “swear allegiance” to these moral lepers, and depend on them for “the sacraments” – even though “the sacraments” are available to them aplenty from other traditional priests in the area.  So why do they stick with these two?  Because the other priests do not put on the “show” for them as Dolan and Cekada do – that’s why.

At SGG, for instance, one can get a “triple-play” funeral Mass, i.e., three priests “simul-celebrating” three Masses at once – for a Novus Ordo Catholic (who never frequented SGG, nor even believed in traditional Catholicism – but whose spouse was a big “contributor” at SGG) -- complete with polyphonic theatrics (and perhaps a syrupy sermon by Dolan, laced with references to the weather -- or to flora and fauna) – just the thing to impress slack-jawed, Pavlovian drudges who salivate at that sort of thing.  By contrast, a mother of twelve who just died recently (and, like Terri, at the age of 41) had a simpler but more appropriate “one-priest” Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Norwood, Ohio, without the polyphonic pontifical ostentation -- and with one of the most edifying eulogies ever given (but totally devoid of effeminate, sentimental slop).  The children of this mother of twelve, by the way, were once referred to as “retards” by SGG’s school principal (whose comment, of course, is not accurate but “auto-biographical”).

Dolan and Cekada have been getting by with their pontificating pap for years, but it is catching up with them.  Cekada’s monstrous pronouncements on Schiavo are his Achilles’ heel: if there is any one thing that disqualifies Cekada from being given any serious consideration whatsoever, it is Schiavo. For that alone, he is to be shunned and written off as a witless, know-nothing blowhard.  (But, of course, he has since embarrassed himself again by his anal attempt at authorship -- WHH).  And Dolan?  His insolent charade of passing himself off as traddieland’s “successor” to pre-Vatican II Catholicism is as laughable as it is embarrassing (and for arrogance, it certainly matches anything that Cekada has done to date!).

During “Schiavo,” when Cekada “presumed to pronounce” by referring to the before-mentioned neurologist as a “pompous doctor,” little did he realize that he was being “auto-biographical” too.  And what Cekada referred to as “cheap emotionalism” (over Terri Schiavo’s death) is actually basic human compassion – which neither he nor Dolan has.  These two are that classic example of St. Paul’s “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” – except that they’re evil and depraved “tinkling cymbals.”  They have no conscience, no compassion -- no charity.  All they have is an insatiable thirst for la dolce vita.  – and they’ll do anything to get it.

And in their pursuit of this world’s kingdom, the damage they have done is immeasurable: by their deception, their lies, and their duplicity, they have split up whole families, turning sibling against sibling, parent against offspring, and spouse against spouse.  They have (and probably not unwittingly) destroyed the faith of countless people -- especially children.  These cult-masters are usually able to manipulate their adult parishioners, who were brought up in the “blind obedience” school of thought.  But their children – they’re another story.  Today’s kids don’t fall for the same baloney that their parents did; they see through it – and they are leaving “traddie Catholicism” in droves (some have even become agnostic, or even functionally atheistic).  But the dynamic duo don’t care -- as long as the bucks keep rolling in.

Eventually, the disillusionment that these children are experiencing will finally “percolate up” to their parents.  It’s only a matter of time.  But, of course, there will remain that brain-dead “hard core” who will follow Dolan and Cekada no matter what: those whose love of ostentation overshadows their love of God.  And for them, I say that they and the dynamic duo deserve each other.  But for the rest of us, we have “dusted off our sandals” and have “escaped,” no longer duped by the siren call of these pleasure-seeking hucksters.  We’ll go our way, and they can go theirs – perhaps to the Bishop Lodge’s, where the “merry misogynist” can conduct “celebrity readings” of The Work of Human Hands, while his compadres at the ShaNa Spa look on in rapturous admiration (in typical “Santa Fe” fashion).

One may, perhaps, wonder why Lay Pulpit is talking about Terri Schiavo now – some seven-plus years after her untimely death.  Simple: one must never forget what happened to her – and Cekada’s part in it.  Secondly, it is quite appropriate to talk about it now, because it really ties in with what is happening now: a very perceptible woman (whom Cekada, not surprisingly, also disdains) mentioned that Schiavo was really a “dress-rehearsal” for Obama’s “Affordable Health Care Act” (or -- as it should be called -- the “Affordable Health Scare Act”).  One of the “Act’s” provisions calls for – believe it or not – cutting off healthcare benefits for people past a certain age: in effect, “pulling the plug” on them.  Schiavo was probably a “trial balloon” to see how the public would react to such a thing -- “death by omission” – and they got away with it.  And now, because our country’s “dumbed-down” populace voted in a sociopathic socialist, we look forward to the nightmare of Obamacare – and Cekada can take solace in the fact that he did his part to “help make it happen.”

Sunday, April 14, 2013

“Despicable” Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Back in late 2011 and early 2012, after a certain “Ph.D” (“piled high & deep”) attacked Bp. Paul Petko on his website (let’s call it “Capitalizing on Chaos,” or “CoC” for short) -- when the “cyber buzz” was going “hot and heavy” on “” – a post appeared in one of that website’s “threads” in a sub-forum entitled Crisis in the Church.  This post was written by a man who claimed to have been a fellow seminarian of Paul Petko’s (at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Allentown, Pennsylvania) back in the early 1980’s.

Now there are several things “strange” (and “telling”) about this post: first, it must be remembered that “cathinfo” is a HUGE website, with over a dozen “forums,” sub-divided into dozens of “sub-forums” (such as Crisis in the Church), and then into yet even more (sometimes thousands of) “threads” (the Crisis in the Church sub-forum, for instance, has over three thousand).  Now it might be fairly easy for one of the website’s “regulars” (one who regularly posts on it), to find (and follow) a particular thread.  But for an “outsider” or newcomer, finding the right thread is like “finding a needle in a haystack.”  Yet this man knew to “home in” on a particular part of a particular thread of a sub-forum (Crisis in the Church) of a particular forum, even though he had been “out of the loop” for almost thirty years.  And he knew just where to go to “pick up” on the discussion going on about Bp. Petko – something that one would expect only an “insider” to know.

But, let’s assume that this man somehow had “a rare ‘gift’ for finding needles in haystacks.”  In his post -- the full text of which is found in the following link -- he claimed that he was “gay,” and then went on to claim that Bp. Petko was also “gay.”  He provided a long “laundry list” of details, and he was able to recall things that Petko (allegedly) said or did -- even things involving other men, when he (the “gay” man) was not present. The “details” that he gave were also very extensive, and full of lurid, provocative imagery – very much like those once given to describe a certain “fanny-squeezing” incident some time back.

But for all the extensive detail given, one detail was NOT: the man’s identity.  As for his reasons for anonymity, he said only, I am not able to identify myself at this time. I am, however, concerned that individuals may be harmed in some way by Bishop Petko’s actions. That is why I am posting this.”  The first obvious question is: why is he not able to “identify [himself] at this time”?  He can make such devastating allegations, but then not be able to give his name “at this time” – really?  What harm would it do him to identify himself “at this time”?  And, if “this time” is not convenient, then how about “some other time”? In a later post (on a related website), this same man claimed, “I will not respond further to the discounting of my testimony. I will, however, be glad to answer questions that I can.[my emphasis].  Okay, then, again, how about answering this: who are you?

And, of course, when this man stated, “I am, however, concerned that individuals may be harmed in some way by Bishop Petko’s actions” – that brings up a second and even more important point:  What about the harm he did to Bp. Petko?!!  Why was he not “concerned” about that?!  And to make a whole catalog of heinous accusations against someone – all of them unsubstantiated -- and expect them to be believed?  And then conveniently hide behind a cloak of anonymity?  What kind of man could have the hubris, the motive, and the malevolence to pull off such a thing? (And what this “gay” man posted was malevolent – so much so that “cathinfo’s” moderator pulled it from his website the very day after it appeared).  But guess what?  It appeared on a “new” website just a day or two later – a blog with professionally done graphics.  This blog was (purportedly) done by this “gay” man – someone who “came out of the woodwork” some thirty odd years later – and who happens to be a real “whiz” at setting up websites.  How fortuitous!  How timely! 

This new blog, after it was started, quickly filled up with article after article (check it out!), all of which (of course) accused Bp. Petko of all sorts of heinous deeds, but all of which (of course) had absolutely no proof to back them up – only unsubstantiated allegations, accompanied by repeated exhortations such as the following: “It is regrettable that some folks choose not to believe what I posted due to the fact I have posted anonymously.”  “What I have posted is true and I post in front of you and in front of God who is my witness.”  “Truth and integrity are essential to who I am.”  “What I have posted is more important than who I am. I have nothing to be gained by posting this material. I do not care to “take sides” with one person or another.”  “There is no reason I would post this information if it were not true.”  “I hope you will at least consider the possibility that what I have posted is true.”   “Truth and integrity are essential to who I am.” [!!]  Very impassioned words – but what else?

He expects the reader to believe these things, simply because he said them – and, of course, anonymously, so that there’s no way to authenticate (or deny) what he says.  And what does he say?  If one reads carefully through the whole blog, he finds it filled with all sorts of impassioned exhortations to “believe what I say” – but, again, with not one shred of substantiated data.  There are, in addition to the numerous accusations and insinuations about Bp. Petko, “miles and miles” of other “data”: a detailed faculty list of the seminary that Petko attended, historical data on this or that, references to “experts” on this or that -- even biblical quotes sprinkled here and there (as if all of this matters); but (again) how much “data” is there that is relevant?  ZERO.

And all of this (supposedly) comes from a man, heretofore unknown and unheralded, appearing “from out of nowhere” one day to make a post on a website – who then decides to go on a protracted, full-blown, one-man rampage to vehemently discredit Bp. Petko – yet claims that he has “…nothing to be gained” and does not “…care to ‘take sides’ with one person or another”?  On the one hand, he unmercifully cuts a man to pieces in print, but claims that he is not “taking sides” and has “nothing to gain” by doing so.  Now, if what he is doing to Petko is “not taking sides” then -- what is it?!  And -- this man who professes to be still “gay” – why, thirty years later, is he bashing another supposedly “gay” man if he has “nothing to gain” by it?  Why the public-spirited “concern” for others?  This just isn’t consistent with what “gays” do: they try to promote their life-style, not deprecate it (or drive others away from it).

It just doesn’t make any sense.  Homosexual men don’t “bash” other homosexual men; they usually “stick together” (double meaning intended!).  They are usually misogynists, i.e., “women-haters,” notmen-haters.“  Moreover, they don’t go in for traditional Catholicism (as this man’s rhetoric seems to indicate), because they know that traditional Catholicism is violently opposed to them (or should be!).  Furthermore, why would someone, “gay” or otherwise, go through all the time and trouble of setting up a whole blog dedicated solely to smearing someone – even to the extent of referencing “facebook” and “twitter” to increase exposure?  Again, it just doesn’t make sense.  Who would be so dedicated (and so vindictive) as to go through all that trouble – against a fellow homosexual?

Well, do you suppose that perhaps this “gay” man was really someone else -- someone who really did have something to gain by creating this new “Petko-bashing” blog: the aforementioned “Ph.D,” for instance?  Would not a “corroborating” blog increase his (the Ph.D’s) credibility – and therefore CoC’s readership?  Methinks that “Ph.D” certainly thought so – and figured that he needed this “corroboration” -- because his original 50-plus page diatribe actually hurt his readership.  Ergo, he needed this corroborative “shot in the arm.”  Another reason for creating a separate Petko-bashing blog would be to keep CoC “clean,” since CoC was used ordinarily for ponderous pontificating designed to impress ecclesiastical illiterates (and to serve as an insomnia cure for the rest of us).  He didn’t want any “dirt” on CoC, as it had to remain “pristinely sanctimonious”; therefore, any “garbage” needed to be put on another site – on an “anonymous” blog that could also take any “slings and arrows” directed at it, thus saving CoC for “nice stuff.” 

And that’s exactly what most people have figured has happened: they have “put two and two together” and have figured out that the author of the “Petko-bashing” blog and “CoC” are one and the same: everything on both blogs – writing style, thought patterns, general modus operandimatches.  In his “cleverness,” “Ph.D” has outsmarted himself again, for – in addition to his other trademark attributes – he tends to overdo things – as he always does.  Just as in his original diatribe, he “just doesn’t know when to quit”; he “gilds the lily” ad nauseam: he “piles it on” until it’s embarrassingly obvious who’s behind it.

And that being the case, once the inevitable truth comes out, such a strategy inevitably backfires and comes back to haunt one – like a boomerang on steroids.  And it also exposes one for what he is.  “Ph.D,” how could you be so malevolent as to go to all that extent – the 50-plus page marathon, the “false” witnesses” against Bp. Petko (“fanny-squeezing,” “grooming” -- whatever), the “anonymous” post on cathinfo, the instantaneous, “just in time” Petko-bashing blog – and then coolly continue to write your sanctimonious pap on CoC. “Ph.D,” how does your mind work?  More importantly, where is your conscience?

Conscience – that’s the key word; that explains why “Ph.D” behaves the way he does: that is, he doesn’t have a conscience.  That’s why he can do to Bp. Petko (and to the Ritters) what he did, and still merrily go on pontificating on CoC as if “nothing had happened.”  It explains how he could make up all kinds of things – “fanny squeezing,” “grooming,” the “gay” post on cathinfo, the Petko-bashing blog.  But it also explains why he can’t quit: a brain without a conscience is like a runaway train without brakes:  It can’t stop.  It goes out of control.  And, ultimately, it crashes.  And the reason that he has no conscience is, I think, that he lacks that other “C”: charity.  One must have charity to have a conscience.

“Ph.D,” I must ask:  How could you do this to an innocent man – a man who only wanted to serve God and his fellow man -- and who never meant you or anyone else any harm?  What kind of a man are you, that you could -- after thoroughly wrecking a man’s reputation on a public internet forum -- then pose as someone else on yet another public website to “anonymously” pile on even more heinous (and fictitious) charges?  Have you no fear of God or His Justice?  Do you not care what happens to your immortal soul?  Do you not have any spark of conscience left in you?  Tell me, “Ph.D,” what kind of blood runs in your veins?  Will you stoop to even lower acts of treachery?  What new cutthroat schemes are you plotting now?  What new “mind games” are you planning?  What’s left in your bag of nasty tricks?

Well, his latest “trick” is this:  “Ph.D” has now become Father “Ph.D”!  Yes, the world’s “worst-kept secret” is out: he has gotten himself ordained a priest, by (who else?) the senile “Bishop S” from Wisconsin!  But how can the “married with children” “Ph.D” become a priest?  Well, welcome to traddie-land’s wonderful world of Epikeia, under whose wide and wondrous umbrella just about anything goes -- from the ridiculous (getting a “Friday abstinence” dispensation at SGG for going to Mass because “DD” wanted to fill up his church that day) to the even more ridiculous (getting a married-with-children ordination from Bp. S).  (The now fragile Bp. S, having suffered several strokes, seems to want to ordain anybody and everybody these days.)  Is it only a matter of time when a senile (or misguided) “bishop” mistakenly ordains a woman -- thereby beat Francis I (aka Franken-pope) to the punch?

Perhaps “Ph.D” thought that getting ordained might gain him that coveted “Alter Christus” status: instantaneous immunity from any criticism -- the clause that so many traddies invoke to protect their favorite misbehaving cleric from censure (it’s a shame that so many of them didn’t invoke this “clause” when Petko was being crucified!).  Under the wide-open blank check that empowers one under traddieland’s idea of “epikeia,” “Ph.D” has flaunted the Church’s disciplinary rules and got himself made “priest.”  Well, sorry to disappoint you Fr. “Ph.D,” but you can’t hide your deeds behind a Roman collar.  What you have done to an innocent man’s reputation cannot be cleansed away by ordination.

“Ph.D,” what did you hope to gain by doing what you did?  Do you realize how much damage you have done, not only to him, but to your own immortal soul??  Yes -- your soul:  do you care about your soul?  If you really do, then consider what you have done:  by your actions, you have poisoned the minds of thousands of people against this man; you have opened up that proverbial “pillow” and let all the feathers scatter to the four winds.  How are you going to retrieve them?  How are you going to make amends to this man, and -- more importantly -- to God?  And what have you really gained?  What did you really get for your thirty pieces of silver?

What really prompted “Ph.D” to do what he did?  Ego, that’s what.  The Ritters (and Bp. Petko) bruised his monumental ego by standing up to him and not letting him run their lives (and their chapel).  For that, they earned his eternal ire.  He had to take his own personal revenge against them, so he concocted his scheme against Petko, for the sole material purpose of helping a Neanderthal ex-dung-shoveler-turned-amateur-cleric to get his miter (who then afterwards turned on him anyway) and for the hope of increasing his readership on CoC.  But it didn’t.  It backfired.

Now some may ask, what has Lay Pulpit to gain by writing about all of this, i.e., by fighting another man’s (Bp. Petko’s) battles?  Nothing – nothing except the gratification of having stood up for justice – for having defended an innocent man against the duplicity of a tyrant.  We certainly don’t materially profit by it.  Unlike “Ph.D,” who peddles his wares for money donations, Lay Pulpit gets (and asks) nothing for its efforts.  We who write for it earn our daily bread by independent means, and don’t need to resort to pontificating for our pay.  We speak not for profit, but simply because we can’t stand the stench of injustice in our nostrils; and you, “Ph.D,” stink to high heaven.  For your own spiritual well-being, you had better get some real humility (instead of that “woe-is-me,” “wounded lily” FALSE humility that you pander on your sanctimonious rag-sheet).  “Ph.D,” your wretched past is catching up with you.  If you have any semblance of conscience left in you at all, you had better “come clean” now – or else.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lie No. 3: “Grooming” of a Seminarian

As Lay Pulpit pointed out in its original refutation of Droleskey’s Retracting Support for Paul Petko, the charge that is perhaps the easiest one of all to put to rest is this one: that of Bp. Petko “grooming” one of the seminarians.  This charge was not so much a presentation of evidence by Droleskey, but more a bit of “damage control” done by him to suppress evidence (or at least to defuse it) – evidence that would incriminate one of Ramolla’s seminarians.  This seminarian had written what can only be described as a “love letter” to Bp. Petko – one written obviously by someone with homosexual tendencies; and Droleskey had to somehow “explain it away” by shifting the blame for those tendencies to someone else: Bp. Petko.  He did this by claiming that Bp. Petko had “groomed” this seminarian into acquiring those tendencies, which, in turn, prompted him to write the letter.

If Droleskey relied on his “fanny-squeezing” charge as one of the mainstays of his attack on Bp. Petko, the other cornerstone in his “arsenal of proof” was this “grooming” charge.  Droleskey devoted several pages to it, including citing various “experts” on homosexuality and “grooming” (such as Randy Engel, and her book, The Rite of Sodomy).  He started by saying that Bp. Petko, who taught this seminarian (along with other seminarians), “groomed” him during the time that this seminarian was under his tutelage.  The first problem with that is this: the seminarian only had verbal contact with Bp. Petko a total of about fourteen hours** – hardly enough time to get “groomed” – and most of that time was in a classroom setting, not in the “private” setting that one would most assuredly need to attempt “grooming.”**  The next problem is that Bp. Petko also taught two other seminarians – which begs the question:  Why did he not choose to groom them as well?

But the biggest problem with Dr. D’s theory is that this same seminarian who had supposedly been prompted (by Petko) to write this “love letter” had also written another “amorous instrument” -- a “love poem” -- to a one-time fellow seminarian -- several months before either of them met Bp. Petko (or even knew that he existed!).  Droleskey apparently never knew about the poem when he made the allegation, or he would not have exposed himself in such a manner.  Both the “love letter” and “love poem,” one may recall, were covered in another Lay Pulpit article, Oh What a Tangled Web It Was – and Is, which contains them in addendums.  For those wish to examine the “love poem” but who cannot take the trouble to click on that link, here is that poem, entitled “A Vigil”:

Sleep, sleep, my friend, I will not disturb you from your slumber,
Sleep, sleep, is this the only refuge from your anguish?
Yet as I gaze upon your face it still tells me of sorrow,
Some dark cloud has settled over your brow and has deepened your
age beyond your natural years,
As I gaze upon your face I feel in my heart pity and love.

Does the past still haunt you?
Does God still call you?
Do present trials daunt you?
Will new ills befall you?

Sleep, sleep while I this vigil keep,
And pray that your mind rests and your heart heals,
Can you forget the past?
And set your mind to rest at last?
Or has your heart been wounded too deep?
Do nightmares and fears disturb your sleep?
You must let go and learn to forgive,
This is the only way to heal, to move on and live,

How long can you wait on the edge of fear and the unkown?
Come now, dispel these doubts; face your fears,
Speak to him, work it out; he is not your foe,
Trust us, your friends; we want to help you solve your woes,
We desire your welfare; we love you truly,
And hold you to our hearts most tenderly.

Shake off these shackles, embrace your destiny,
God has called you to His altar; this I do believe,
If you forsake this path and go astray, I shall grieve,
For I love you and desire your true happiness,
But often I have heard you sigh: "What a mess!"
I see a great turmoil within your breast,
Threatening to destroy you, shrouding you even in rest.

"O God," I pray, "Creator, Redeemer, and Lover of this soul,
Take away this darkness, make him know Thy holy will,
He has consecrated himself to Thee and Thy holy Mother,
Help him, I beg Thee; he is as dear to me as a brother,"
Sleep, sleep, my brother; may peace again reign in your heart,
But for my part, prayer shall be my art.     

The seminarian sent this poem to Bp. Petko on October 15, 2011 (about the same time that he also sent his letter); but (by the seminarian’s own admission) the poem was written back in January 2011 – long before this seminarian ever met (or knew of) Bp. Petko.  By the way, the person for whom this poem was written was that “former seminarian” -- the allegedly “fanny-squeezed” one -- who was this seminarian’s roommate at CMRI’s Mater Dei Seminary at the time.  Note also that this poem is excerpted from an e-mail, which means that its existence can be legally established – which also means that neither Dr. D (nor any of his “apologists”) can deny it.

This must be a hard pill for Dr. D (and them) to swallow.  They could “stonewall” the rest of the other evidence: they could overlook the irrelevance and false logic of Droleskey’s charge about Bp. Petko’s “association” with Ryan Scott; or they might pretend not to see the multiple absurdities in the “fanny-squeezing” charge – but they can’t ignore physical facts.  This they cannot “pretend away.”  Of course, they could pretend that the foregoing poem is not a love poem; but then they’d also have to admit that the letter wasn’t either – which blows away Droleskey’s whole house of cards. 

Droleskey’s careless “chronology” oversight is prima facie evidence that he lied about the “grooming” charge – and that’s probably another reason (perhaps the reason) why he pulled his article from his website: when Lay Pulpit originally pointed out his glaring error, he realized that he had caught himself in a lie, so he had to “hide” it – by removing it from his website.  But that’s what liars do: when they get “caught,” they run and hide.  And another thing about liars: when they lie, they always lie, because they don’t know when to quit – especially when they’re hell-bent on vengeance.  As thieves invariably steal “until they get caught,” so do liars keep on lying until they get found out.  And liars, like thieves, get over-confident and careless, thinking that they’ll never get caught – but they do. They get carried away to the point where they stray beyond the bounds of logic and reason.  And in their reckless frenzy to destroy their victims, they invariably destroy themselves.   That’s what happened when Droleskey raved on about the “fanny-squeezing”: he “gilded the lily” too much – to, literally, an unbelievable degree.  When that charge is examined logically, it is seen to be utterly preposterous (and that it couldn’t ever have taken place). 

But, in spite of what’s just been said, skeptical “Droleskeyites” might ignore that, and still argue that the exposing of the false “grooming” charge is really the “only hard evidence” (hard physical fact) that there is. But what must be realized is that, in the face of ZERO EVIDENCE to the contrary, how much more “hard evidence” is really needed?  Besides, the logical evidence alone can stand on its own two feet (while Droleskey’s can’t).  It really doesn’t need absolute physical evidence to reinforce it (but it’s nice to know it’s there!).  Droleskey realizes this: he knows that our evidence, whether “physical” or “logical,” will stand up to scrutiny, and that his won’t – especially when the “emotionalism dust” settles.  And he knows that when people have hard physical evidence presented to them, it’s a real “clincher”: it more than reinforces everything else.

One more thing: Droleskey realizes that in the plot against Bp. Petko – once its goal was reached – the alliance would dissolve; and along with it, the allegiances that bound its “allies” together.  And theirs being a conspiratorial alliance, former “allies” often – like rats -- turn on each other; with today’s “ally” becoming tomorrow’s enemy (and there is evidence that this is happening).  What should worry Droleskey, then (and I think it does), is that one of these “rats” might turn on him and decide to “turn state’s evidence” – especially when the folly of Dr. D’s “evidence” becomes embarrassingly obvious.  Dr. D no longer has a hold on any of them, and none of them owes him allegiance anymore -- and it takes only one “rat” to “rat on him.”  If I were he, I’d be getting nervous.

Droleskey tried his vengeful best to bury an innocent man under a seemingly endless barrage of verbiage – but it turned out to be a zeppelin filled with the hot air of emotionalism.  It took him for a short, exhilarating ride (and he managed to take a lot of other people along for that ride).  But now, that hot air has given way to the cold, clear light of logic (and cold, hard fact), which has brought his zeppelin back down to earth.  Droleskey knows this; that’s why his “zeppelin” is “no longer in the hangar” – he has pulled it from his website, because people eventually saw it for the avalanche of vitriolic vindictiveness that it was (and which should make them see his sanctimonious, trademark “mini-litany” at the end of his article for the consummate hypocrisy that it was).  It has done him more harm than good.  “The zeppelin has crash-landed.”

The problem, however, is that a lot of people went along on this “ride” -- they believed Droleskey’s lies; and an innocent man’s reputation was sullied – or rather stolen – in the process.  Even for those who didn’t out-and-out believe his lies, it still gave them lingering doubts.  Many still consider Bp. Petko (and those connected with him) to be “damaged goods” in one degree or another   We hope, however, that we have now succeeded in removing those doubts (or at least in creating some of our own – especially for the “no-thanks-my-mind-is-already-made-up” segment).  If we have done so, then we will have made some real progress. 

One wonders what kind of a mind it takes to deliberately lie about someone with the intent of destroying that someone.  What Droleskey did to Bp. Petko was a “hatchet job” by anybody’s yardstick.  But the fact that he did it is not surprising – scoundrels have been doing it throughout history.  The Pharisees did it to our Lord: they brought a plethora of false charges against Him, and then had Him crucified.  Nowadays, in our so-called “information age” (i.e., misinformation age), it’s done a little differently: one makes up his mind beforehand, then goes and looks for the right “data” to “back it up.”  And if one cannot find facts, he then manufactures them (as Droleskey did) – by taking baseless allegations, then coating them with several layers of emotionalism “varnish,” and then presenting them as “facts.”  But when that varnish is stripped away, the hearsay – the naked lie – remains.

I believe that in this and previous articles, we have successfully stripped off this “varnish.”  What is now left is for people to realize this, and then for them to come forward and admit it.  For some, this will take humility – the humility to admit that they have been tricked by Dr. D’s “snake oil” (and have consequently rash-judged an innocent man).  But for everyone, on “both sides,” it will take something more than humility – something to which humility and every other virtue is subordinate -- it will take charity: the charity on the one side to admit error and to repent, and the charity on the other side to be magnanimous and forgiving.

So far, that charity has been forthcoming from one of those “sides”:  Bp. Petko has not only forgiven one of those (Florent Grassigli) who had formerly wronged him, but he and the Ritter family have even welcomed Florent (now Father Florent Gassigli) to come and stay with them in the Ritters’ home.  As to whether any charity will emanate from the “other side,” it would be a bit of a “stretch” to expect the two who did the most to smear Bp. Petko -- Droleskey and Ramolla -- to come forward, penitent and contrite.  But perhaps those who sided with them, either actively or by their “Pontius Pilate” acquiescence, could find the charity to “come forward.”  They will certainly benefit from having done so; for, when St. Paul said, “…but the greatest of these is charity,” he wasn’t just trying to be “eloquent” -- he was showing us a blueprint for our salvation.  Said another way: “Charity is the bottom line.”


** In the interest of brevity, we did not include detailed documentation (about the claim of fourteen hours) in the main body of our article; but for those who “require” it, the following chronological details are provided for their perusal:

This seminarian (the one allegedly “groomed” by Bp. Petko) did not actually meet Bp. Petko until early September 2011, at a pre-school year retreat (just prior to classes beginning), although he started corresponding with him (while he was still attached to the CMRI’s Mater Dei Seminary) a month or two earlier.  At the time, the seminarian was at home in Hawaii on summer vacation.  So, prior to September, there was no personal contact between him and Bp. Petko (nor any correspondence of significance).

On September 9, 2011, the seminarian arrived in Cincinnati to enter the newly formed St. Athanasius Seminary.  Classes at the seminary began on September 19 (a Monday).  Bp. Petko was called on to be a teacher at the seminary, and he gave classes on Tuesdays; therefore, his first class would have been on Tuesday, September 20.  Bp. Petko commuted from Indianapolis on Tuesday mornings, gave a 3-1/2 hr. class that afternoon, spent the night at a local parishioner’s house (the Scheelers), then gave another 3-1/2 hr. class the next day before leaving.  Note that at no time did he “overnight” with any of the seminarians.  Also note that his schedule gave him precious little “private time” with any one seminarian -- much less, an opportunity to do any “grooming.”

The “love letter” that the seminarian wrote to Bp. Petko was sent to him on October 15, 2011.  So, between the time that the seminarian first had any personal contact with Bp. Petko and the time of the “love letter’ was a grand total of less than a calendar month; and during that month, Bp. Petko’s total time at the seminary comprised four two-day stretches of 3-1/2 hours each, or twenty-eight hours total.  Of that twenty-eight hours, half was devoted to the one seminarian, and half to the other (there were two seminarians being taught).  That means that Bp. Petko had essentially fourteen hours in which to “groom” the seminarian in question (note also that there was little to no e-mail or phone traffic between them during that time).

Now, for one to accomplish “grooming” in that time frame seems downright miraculous: perhaps it was mental telepathy, or maybe the seminarian was smoking some substance which “augmented the experience.”  Or perhaps Bp. Petko did get some  miraculous” help in grooming -- perhaps from….  the tooth fairy?  Rock Hudson’s ghost?  Elton John?  Dick Cheney’s daughter?  Actually, the only thing that strikes this writer as being truly “miraculous” is Droleskey’s miraculous imagination in concocting such a “grooming” fantasy.  And speaking of “miracles,” I’m sure that Dr. D himself is hoping for one: that we don’t write any more articles after this one (this is the last in a trilogy of Lay Pulpit articles reexamining three of Dr. D’s major charges against Bp. Petko).  But dream on, Doc: we’re not done with you yet – not by a long shot!