ALL ABOUT THE LAY PULPIT

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Silence is NOT Golden


The calamity of Vatican II precipitated a reaction by disgruntled Catholics – both clergy and laity – to return to “traditional Catholicism.”  But for those who think that this has resulted in a return to real Catholicism, think again.  The change that has occurred – at least in traddieland -- has been largely cosmetic, not substantive. “Traditional Catholicism” has, to a large extent, mutated into a sterile, superficial caricature of Catholicism, not much different than what existed in pre-Vatican II days – only worse.

As many of the older generation will recall, the Church by the 1950’s had become, in many respects, an institution concerned more with the letter of the law than with its spirit.  However, it did stand for – and observe – that “letter.”  It stood for – and upheld -- Catholic precepts: the sanctity of life, for instance.  But traddieland, by contrast, doesn’t – in many cases -- even achieve that.  Anthony Cekada, for instance, defended a philandering husband’s “right” to “pull the plug” on a spouse who was neither in danger of death nor in “a vegetative state.”  In the “old days,” such a position would have been universally condemned, both by Church hierarchy and by one’s fellow priests.  But how many of traddieland’s clergy have condemned Cekada’s morally wrong (and utterly reprehensible) position?  Precious few.  (Ironically enough, the bulk of condemnation has come from the Novus Ordo clergy. whom the traditional establishment looks down on as “Samaritans.”)

Another example of traddieland’s apparent lapse of moral conscience concerns something that we’ve so often noted before: Daniel Dolan’s dismissing the watching of porn and animal torture videos (by the SGG school principal’s sons) as “boys will be boys.”  This and other scandalous behavior by the SGG clergy caused half the parish to leave in protest – behavior which became known throughout much of traddieland -- yet was there any groundswell of indignation from outraged clergy?  No.  And when Dolan excused the SGG’s school principal’s son’s fornication with (and impregnating) a fellow student, how much of a hue and cry of denunciation was there?  Again, none.  (And as for Dolan and Cekada themselves, the only thing that came from their lips on the matter was to blame the girl; the boy’s guilt was never mentioned.  In fact, he was actually feted in a subsequent SGG Bulletin article, for his organ-playing ability.)

Astonishingly enough, just about every aspect of the dynamic duo’s misbehavior – thoroughly substantiated and well recognized throughout traddieland – has been largely ignored by traditional clergy.  They are well aware that this pair has shown – not just on Schiavo, but in many other instances -- utter disdain and contempt for Catholic morality and principles; yet how many have protested?  Not many – at least, not publicly.  The SGG pair continue to slander and slam with impunity, yet no one seems to care: there has been nary a peep of protest from traddieland’s clerical establishment.  They seem to have taken a laissez faire attitude with regard to these two, perhaps because they don’t want to slander or slam “their own kind” – or perhaps because they think that these two have (finally) “cleaned up their act.”

But they HAVEN’T.  The dastardly duo is at it again:  In a recent official missive dated November 12, 2013 -- and addressed to his constituents in Europe -- Daniel Dolan has accused a fellow priest of being invalidly ordained.  Coming from someone with “One-hand Dan’s” track record, such an accusation is downright laughable; and the feeble arguments he used to back up this accusation (and others) were easily and thoroughly picked apart in a recent Pistrina Liturgica article.  But, aside from that, dastardly Dan’s latest bit of mischief confirms this: that nothing has changed, that he’s up to his old tricks again, providing yet another instance of his wanton disregard of Catholic principles and charity, in making a preemptive, unprovoked attack (with unsubstantiated charges) on a fellow priest – against a young man who has neither done him any harm nor has ever uttered a unkind word against him.

Of course, this is not the first time that Dirty Dan has done such a thing – nor will it be the last.  How he victimized so many of his parishioners at SGG -- and then accused them of victimizing him – is common knowledge throughout traddieland. All of traddieland – and especially its clergy – are well aware of what Dolan and Cekada are, and of what they’ve done; and, indeed, there are many who have PRIVATELY condemned their behavior.  But, except for perhaps the one or two who protested against Cekada’s Schiavo travesty, no one has publicly spoken out against them (or even privately admonished them), in the mistaken notion that that would be “scandalous.”  They fail to realize that what is actually scandalous is Dolan and Cekada’s behavior.  He and his blundering sidekick are ruining – and HAVE ruined – scores of peoples’ lives, both materially and spiritually.  They have split up families, caused divorces, and caused dozens to lose their faith -- especially the young.  But what is perhaps even more scandalous is the DO-NOTHING attitude of the clergy who possess irrefutable proof of that and more, but who do absolutely nothing about it.

Ironically, this do-nothing attitude that allows these guilty men to continue to misbehave with impunity also works to the detriment of the innocent: when Droleskey wrote his scandalous lies about Bp. Paul Petko, for instance, the latter was mercilessly blacklisted by clergy and laity alike.  But when the lies were exposed and proved to be patently false, who came to Petko’s defense?  Who exonerated him?  Who came forward?  And, more importantly, who castigated Droleskey for his vicious slander?  No one.  In fact, a priest who was ordained by Bp. Petko was ostracized for that very reason: he was considered “damaged goods” for having been ordained by a man under such a “cloud of suspicion” – “guilt by association.”  To this day, traddieland’s clergy treat Bp. Petko more or less as an outcast, yet continue to accord the SGG vipers a respectability that they don’t deserve or possess.

This kind of silence is despicable – and possibly mortally sinful.  To be silent in the face of known malfeasance is not just acquiescence; it is aiding and abetting; it is being an accessory to that evil.  By the same token, to treat someone like a pariah, even after the accusations against him have been proved to be false, is equally despicable – and both are cowardly.  Why this silence that protects the guilty and imperils the innocent?  Why this double standard?  Why? -- because much of traddieland really ISN’T Catholic, that’s why.  Like the SGG “show,” it is all too often a caricature of Catholicism, where the letter of the law is preached, but where neither that letter nor its spirit is practiced.  It is a realm where cowardly men are quick to accept hearsay, to ignore truth, and to hide behind their Roman collars and remain willfully non-committal rather than have the courage and decency to stand up for and to do what is truly right.

Instead of taking a stand for real justice and for real Catholic principles, many simply emulate what Dolan and Cekada do: give ‘em some fancy of “R&R” (Rites and Rubrics), flowery sermons, and superficial, goody-two-shoes “morality.”  But when it comes to real morality -- standing up for the right of Terri Schiavo to live, for instance – many traditional clergy bury their heads in the sand, and refuse to take a stand.  And when it comes to a choice between morality and expediency, many have often chosen the latter, as another example illustrates: when a wealthy parishioner in another well-known traditional group (and who was one of its major contributors) asked whether it was morally permissible for his child to receive a donated organ (harvested from a living person who, of course, was then pulled off life-support), this was “okay” – because it was “good for business.”  Money was more important than morality. 

This is not Catholic; it’s not even Christian. It’s all about looking good, not being good.  It’s about expediency.  It’s about self-interest.  It’s about money.  The traditional clergy who are not active participants in such chicanery – but who let it happen – must realize that it will have disastrous consequences.  Leopards like Dolan and Cekada are not going to change their stripes, as Dannie’s latest pathetic attempt to discredit a fellow priest has once again proved.  To allow these predators to continue to sell their snake oil will be truly “bad for business” – both God’s and man’s.  It’s time for traditional clergy to “wake up and smell the coffee” – to put the illegal firm of Dolan, Dummkopf & Co. out of business.  They must realize that, left unchecked, the dastardly duo’s behavior will only bring everyone down – including them.  They must realize too that their continued silence is NOT golden, but tragic – that it is nothing more than dysfunctional acquiescence.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Like Macro, Like Micro


One of the songs popularized back in the 1970’s by The Carpenters (the brother-sister singing act of Richard and Karen Carpenter) was entitled Bless the Beasts and the Children.  The Carpenters had a mellow, “heart-warming” singing style, which was very well suited for this particular song, because it dealt with the “innocence” and “helplessness” of children and animals.  The song’s opening lyrics were the following: Bless the beasts and the children / For in this world they have no voice / They have no choice.”  The song’s message was that animals and children are both powerless and unprotected, and have no advocate -- no “voice” -- to stand up for them and shield them from harm's way.

Although the song pleaded for both “beasts and children,” in reality, it was the “national poster song” for animals’ rights, while the rights of children were being totally ignored.  It was true then, and it is true now: while there is public outrage whenever someone mistreats an animal, the killing of unborn babies is not only routinely tolerated but upheld by law – and even reimbursed at taxpayer expense.  And while someone can be sent to prison for starving an animal, Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death by legal decree.  When done to an animal, it is “inhumane”; but when done to a human, it is – according to Anthony Cekada -- “exercising one’s husbandly prerogative” and “lessening the burden on society.”

The fact is, wanton mistreatment of any creature is wrong – whether it be human or animal.  But in today’s animals’ rights “climate,” mistreatment has come to mean that animals cannot be “exploited” in any way – whether it be the slaughtering of them as food for human consumption, or using animal by-products (such as milk and cheese) for nourishment – or even using them as “beasts of burden.”  Our Godless generation seems to be of the opinion that humanity should “self-destruct” so that the world can be “given back to the beasts.”  And even some “Catholics” share this opinion – at least in principle.  They conveniently seem to forget (or ignore) the fact that Our Lord Himself -- the God-Man, the Word made Flesh – partook of both animal flesh and byproducts (not to mention that He “exploited” a donkey one Palm Sunday by riding on it) – any of which, according to that line of logic, makes Him a sinner -- which, of course, He cannot be.

As far as “advocacy” for children is concerned, we all know how that has panned out:  Roe vs. Wade has opened up the floodgates for the slaughter of untold millions of human beings that continues to this day.  The only thing that has been “done for children” is that a series of laws was passed that has hampered  parents’ ability to discipline them.  Spanking a child can now be prosecuted as a crime, punishable by imprisonment; and parents can be prosecuted -- with no proof whatsoever -- based on unsubstantiated testimony from children asked “leading” questions by over-zealous prosecutors.  All that these laws accomplished was to give children a license to be licentious.

Parents who try to discipline their children in public are routinely harassed by passersby – and often reported to the authorities.  It is getting to the point where parents have little to no say-so in how to raise their children.  Parents who “home-school” their children, for example, have had to organize into “home-school defense leagues” to protect them from state school boards who want to dictate to them what the children will learn – and who scrutinize everything every move they make.  In fact, in some states, it is illegal to home-school one’s own children!  It has come to the point where “children’s services” can come into people’s homes and take their children away from them – for almost any reason.

And has all of this “children’s advocacy” curbed child abuse?  Not really.  Real abuse is on the rise, becoming ever more heinous and widespread.  Almost every day, one hears in the news about a child who has been brutalized, sexually molested, or victimized in some particularly sadistic way.  And the proliferation of laws passed to “protect” children from being “exploited” by their parents (and holding parents “accountable”) has only resulted in parents becoming less accountable, and -- more and more -- abandoning their parental responsibilities, because the laws are actually punishing them for carrying out those responsibilities.  The result is that children are losing their innocence, and parents are being robbed of their ability and their right to raise their children as they see fit.

Meanwhile, while humans are committing self-genocide through abortion and birth control, animals are overrunning the planet: areas that were once devoid of wildlife are now being deliberately “re-stocked” by animal rights advocates (i.e., the animals are being raised by them, then released).  Urban areas now see not just deer, but their predators as well – including coyotes, and even bears and cougars.  National parks in the American West have been “repopulated” with wolves, that are now decimating ranchers’ livestock.  And in many areas in the southern U.S., giant pythons are multiplying exponentially and threatening animals and humans alike -- especially in the Florida Everglades (the pythons supposedly “accidentally got out” – but other areas of the country have been deliberately “re-populated” with poisonous snakes, as part of “re-introduction” programs).  It is getting to the point where people do not feel safe going outdoors – even in their own neighborhoods.

And while we are being told that we are “taking over” animals’ habitats, the opposite is in fact happening: Not just Florida’s Everglades, but any area designated by the U.S government as “wetlands,” is being set aside for “animal use,” and being declared “off-limits” to humans.  It is now a criminal act to drain such wetlands  even on one’s own property (and, yes, people have been sent to prison for draining their own land) – because these wetlands “belong” to such things as ducks and other critters who use them as a “habitat.”  In fact, anything can be declared a “habitat” – for any creature – and be declared “off-limits” for humans.  In California, a housing development was shut down because the land was proclaimed to be the habitat of the kangaroo rat – an animal heretofore considered to be a pest.  We have come “one-eighty” from the Biblical view that animals were put on this earth for our use, to the environmentalists’ attitude that we humans are here for their use and convenience.

And what has all this “concern” for animals accomplished?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  As noted before, animal abuse is actually on the rise -- as is child abuse -- leading to new depths in bestial cruelty and de-humanizing debauchery (both of which are being legitimized, systematized, and – through the internet and other media venues – being made accessible to everyone).  Under the umbrella of “freedom of speech,” one can access “on-line” anything from pornography to animal-torture videos (as the SGG principal’s sons did  -- and which Dannie Dolan laughed off as “boys will be boys”).  The day will come – through patient (and relentless) “gradualism” – when things like “child porn” and other forms of on-line bestiality will not only be permitted but be the norm.

What is happening today is truly frightening – in every sense of the word -- and we’re not just talking about “the beasts and the children.”  What is happening on all fronts is frightening.  Many things that used to be wrong are now right -- and vice versa: one’s “right” to an abortion is protected by law, yet attempting to prevent Terri Schiavo from being put to death is a criminal act; homosexuality, which used to be considered a crime, is now a guaranteed “right” under the law; and teaching utterly fictional Evolution is “exercising one’s freedom of speech,” while teaching Creationism is “violating freedom of religion.”  Pretty soon, homosexual “marriage” will not only be universally legal (as abortion and the teaching of Evolution already are); but anything short of caving in to the entire “gay” agenda will be treated as a “hate crime” (just as defending oneself against a hooded, drug-crazed black thug was prosecuted as “attempted murder”).

Today’s world is one of self-contradictions and double standards – an increasingly Orwellian world, where truth and fiction are merging, where words are losing their meaning, where demagogues wax poetically about “rights” yet consistently deny those rights -- where they say one thing but do another: a world that Dannie Dolan and Tony Cekada fit right into.  Dannie can wax poetically about “protecting our innocents” on Guardian Angel Sunday, yet tolerate (actually, condone) a school principal's institutionalized brutality on those innocents (while he and Tony callously ignore the pleas of their outraged parents).  He can excuse one of the principal’s sons fornicating with (and impregnating) a fellow student, yet have another student beaten with a wooden paddle simply for missing a homework assignment.  And, as noted before, he can dismiss the watching of porn and animal-torture videos as “boys will be boys.”  He can do (and has done) all this and more – all the while maintaining a cool fa├žade of faux piety. 

This is what Dolan and Cekada do – and have done -- for years.  In their own little “micro” world, they have faithfully mimicked the “macro”: they preach one thing but practice another.  They give their parishioners “the show” – a caricature of Catholicism – but ignore (and violate) its precepts.  As long as they put on a glitzy extravaganza every week, they can lie, cheat, victimize, and intimidate; and the cultlings lap it all up -- like mother’s milk.  But what they are serving up is not “mother’s milk,” but something more like chalk water – all appearance and no substance.  They are charlatans, not shepherds, who can only thrive in SGG’s dumbed down, numbed down environment.  We only hope that one day these folks will wake up, and come to the realization that there is more to Catholicism than elaborate rites and rubrics, that being Catholic means keeping God’s commandments – and that the “dynamic duo” are nothing more than a couple of mammon-loving hucksters who are out to lift their wallets, not their souls.