In a previous article, Lay Pulpit laid out some of the tactics or strategies that “brain-dead traddies” often use (and the “cards” that they play) to try to silence their opposition – especially those who are “exposing” one of their favorite scoundrels. One such “brain-dead traddie” has been distinguishing himself lately by using most of the tactics (or “”cards”) mentioned in that article. We thank him for doing so, because it’s always nice to have someone display concrete examples of what we are trying to illustrate; it is very gratifying to get such cooperation.
The “brain-dead traddie” in question is a man, passing himself off as “Anonymous,” who has been sending in “comments” on another “blog” website, in which he criticizes the author of the blog for what he (the author) has been writing in a series of articles which methodically (and convincingly) dismantles Anthony Cekada’s horrendously flawed defense of (the validity of) Daniel Dolan’s one-handed ordination (and which, in doing so, destroys what’s left of the myth of Cekada’s “scholarship”). This “Anonymous” – not to be confused with another ”Anonymous” who defended the blog’s author -- used several of the tactics we mentioned, including the “tangent” tactic, plus the “shoot the messenger,” “calumny and detraction,” and “Alter Christus immunity” cards also mentioned.
He started off with a variation of the “tangent” tactic – let’s call it the “completely clueless” tactic – by saying that “…the Holy Office has decided that question [the validity of one-handed priestly ordination] that way many times.” He was responding to an article in which the blog’s author had just explained that the Holy Office had NOT made any “decision” on validity. It seems as though “Anonymous” had never even read the article -- or, at least, had not really comprehended what he had read – as the blog’s author commented in reply (and as this correspondent reiterated in a subsequent comment).
But “Anonymous,” like the proverbial greased pig, ignored the reply and undauntedly slithered off to another corner, contending that one should believe a “renowned canonist’s” opinion (rather than an “anonymous blog”) on one-handed ordination. In this, “Anonymous” was combining the “tangent” tactic with the “shoot the messenger” card: he was misrepresenting what the “canonist” said, while discrediting the blog’s author’s words because he (the author) was anonymous. Anonymity, it seems, equates to no credibility (if that is true, then “Anonymous,” by that criterion, is not to be believed as well!). The actual documentation (that the blog’s author was relating) clearly and definitively shows that no decision was ever made by the Holy Office (as both Cekada and “Anonymous” well know, but willfully choose to ignore); but “Anonymous” discounts the documentation simply because the relating was done “anonymously.”
After that bit of “foot-in-mouth disease,” where he embarrassed not only himself but those whom he thought he was trying to defend, and after being thoroughly “put in his place” by the blog’s author, “Anonymous” then played his “calumny and detraction” card, stating (verbatim) the following: “OK, Reader, let's suppose everything you say is correct. Don't you see the incalculable harm you are doing to the traditional movement. If the other side (no pun intended) hired someone to destroy the Traditional Church they could not have found anyone more lethal than you. You should be proclaiming what it good and wholsome in tradition and if you find abuses then you should make them know to the parties who are at fault. These failing should be kept in house not proclaimed for the world to see. Unless you are doing it to show your superior knowledge and intellect. That is what comes through in your postings. While your intention may be praisworthy your method is scandalous.”
Aside from his bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling (and the phantom “pun” to which he was referring), “Anonymous” in effect conceded the author’s point when he said “…suppose everything you say is correct” – after which, he berated the blog’s author for doing “incalculable harm” to the “traditional movement.” For “Anonymous,” you see, it is “incalculable harm” to expose mistranslations [of passages of critical canonical importance] and fraudulent misrepresentations of papal teaching (aka lies). He seems to forget that it was Cekada who was doing real “incalculable harm” by twisting the truth to promote his own false agenda. For “Anonymous,” it is better to cover up a dung heap with gold leaf than to extricate the excrement.
[A couple of editor’s notes: first, it was humorous to see “Anonymous’s” one statement to the blog’s author: “…you seem to have as little interest in listening to correction as the clergy you condemn” (whom, by that statement, HE has just condemned!). Another humorous sidelight is that after “Anonymous’s” comments had been thoroughly refuted, he decided to identifying by name who (he thought) the blog’s author was. This is one of those tried-and-true tactics that the brain-dead often use: they think that “naming names” is a way to “embarrass” or “expose” someone. They don’t realize that this only gives the “exposed” some free publicity, and makes them look shrill and spiteful. It’s a kind of subset of the “shoot the messenger” tactic: when they cannot legitimately refute their adversary, they have to “lash out” and discredit him in some way; and this is their sorry (and ineffectual) way of doing so.]
This stance (of covering up willful lies for the sake of “appearances” or of “what’s good for business”) is so prevalent in traddieland – at least among the “brain dead” – that it is almost one of its hallmarks. And it seems to be an almost universal axiom of the brain-dead that criticism of clergy – IN ANY FORM – is verboten. Like Ian Fleming’s fictional Agent 007 (who had “a license to kill”), clergy seem to have a license to lie, cheat, steal (or even worse) -- with complete impunity. One can do or say whatever he pleases, so long as he wears a Roman collar – and God help the poor reprobate who dares criticize that “Roman collar” (at least, that’s what “Anonymous” thinks). Well, wake up, “Anonymous”! How can you defend such a moral leper as Cekada? Just for what he said about Schiavo alone, he is to be regarded not only as a “know-nothing,” but as an EVIL MAN. Yet idiots like you defend such as him (as do so many clerics – either actively, or by their cowardly acquiescence).
But this is what the brain-dead do so well: they like to cover up the dirty laundry of whichever scoundrel they happen to be supporting, while (at the same time) exposing the alleged misdeeds of others. “Anonymous” accused the blog’s author of calumniating Dolan and Cekada, when the author was merely trying to point out the obvious and myriad doubts about Dolan’s one-handed ordination, a defect that could be easily remedied by conditional ordination (and consecration) – but Dolan’s monumental pride and arrogance will not let him submit to that.
The author’s arguments are convincingly airtight, but “Anonymous” chooses to ignore them, because he knows that he cannot disprove them (the old “ignore it, and maybe it’ll go away” strategy)), responding instead by switching the discussion to tangential issues: veering off and micro-examining irrelevant, trivial details (such as plucking the word “messenger” out of the phrase “shoot the messenger,” and then expounding on its “definition”), and then -- this tactic failing -- by resorting to attacking the author’s credentials. In doing so, he has embarrassed not just himself in about every way possible, but also those hucksters on whose behalf he proffers his apologetics. If one were to catalog the commonest violations of logical and rational behavior, he’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more complete list than that displayed by “Anonymous’s” comments; they read like a textbook case of how to violate just about every precept of logical discourse.
What is it that makes people act irrationally like that? One answer is that they get wrapped up in personality cults. Personality cults breed blind acceptance and obedience (the “Jonestown crowd” committing mass suicide by downing poison “Kool-aid” was a telling example of that). So it is easy to see how the latter-day “Kool-adiers” accept Dolan’s and Cekada’s swill, ignoring the latter’s monstrous stance on Schiavo, and singing the praises of his inept attempts at “scholarship” – and “give their hearts out” to keep Dolan and him in the cushy life-style to which they have become accustomed (and come to expect). That is also why they can follow the siren song of people like Droleskey, swallowing the obvious (and easily disproven) fabrications of his cowardly attack on an innocent man (or, at least, remaining acquiescently silent in the face of them), yet play the “calumny and detraction” card when anything is said against “one of theirs.”
This sort of thing, unfortunately, has been going on since the beginning of time. This is what our Lord’s Passion and Death were all about: people ignoring (and despising) the truth, and accepting the lies and duplicity of those who crucified Him. They followed the cult-masters of their day – Caiaphas and his Sanhedrin clique – and rejected Truth to the point of Deicide. People always seem to be duped by false shepherds; and once they are duped, they cannot admit that they made a mistake by doing so. Why? Pride – arrogant pride -- that most prevalent and paramount of human failings. People are usually too proud to admit that they did wrong; and that is also why Daniel Dolan will not submit to a simple, painless ceremony that would ensure the validity of a young man’s ordination (not to mention his own).
And, speaking of that ordination (as someone just recently pointed out), why is Dolan ordaining him anyway? The rector of the seminary is a bishop himself – with no doubts about the validity of his ordination (and consecration). Why is a whole entourage of clerics and fellow seminarians making the expensive trek to Ohio to perform a ceremony that could be done without leaving the rectory in Florida?!! Good question – especially when the SGG faithful (who will probably fund it), are currently saddled with the cost of replacing a leaky church roof (that wasn’t done right the first time, thanks to Cekada’s bone-headed attempt at “playing architect”). This doesn’t make much economic sense (or any other kind of sense, for that matter). But “sense” has no place in traddieland – at least at SGG, where the “show” must go on, no matter what. But not to worry: SGG’s culties will spring for it, so that the charlatans can put on an extravaganza that, ironically, might not even be valid.
When will Catholicism be cleansed of such frauds and charlatans? And when will the brain-dead stop supporting and defending such indefensible fakes and start embracing what is legitimate and true? Well, fortunately, more and more people are waking up; and there are fewer and fewer “Anonymouses” still clinging to such indefensible hucksters. Those who heretofore blindly accepted Cekada’s false “scholarship” and Dolan’s over-the-top ostentation (or who acquiesced out of “respect for the cloth”) are starting to think for themselves, and seeing them for what they are. They are starting to see through their mendacious façade, and seeking the truth – because they realize that it is GOOD FOR THE FAITH to do so. Truth cannot and should not be suppressed for “appearance’s” sake. It didn’t work in our Lord’s time, and it won’t now.
What is needed is for Catholic CLERICS to speak up and speak out. They are the shepherds (i.e., the ones to whom most of the lay look up for guidance); they need to stop shirking their responsibilities and start DOING THEIR JOB. It should not have to be for laymen to do what they should be doing; but in a vacuum, WE MUST – and ARE. A few words from the right clerics would banish dolts like “Anonymous” to a well-deserved oblivion (or, more preferably, make them see the light). There is no room in Catholicism for worldly, self-seeking cult-masters (or for zombie-esque apologists who perpetuate them); and more and more of the faithful are waking up to this reality. Some clergy are starting to realize this, too, and are doing something about it – but not enough of them. For the yet silent and the acquiescent, they MUST realize that their silence and their pretending that “all is well” are only HURTING the Faith – and disillusioning those faithful who see through that inaction as the hypocrisy that it is. Let us hope that the day will come when more clergy will wake up and act – before their own disillusionment sets in.