Daniel Dolan, SGG’s inimitable cult-master, always seems to “overdo it” on everything, whether it’s pigging out on “copious quantities of meat” during his Latin American Lents, or “lathering it on” with copious quantities of sanctimony in his weekly Bishop’s Corner (not to mention, his sugary sweet nothings about the weather, and -- of course, those newsy little tidbits about his feral cats’ latest bunny-dismembering). Another thing he likes to pepper his parishioners with is “guilt-tripping”; and in his Easter Sunday Bishop’s Corner, there were “copious quantities” of that too, as the following snippets will attest:
“Your Lent may indeed have been little.”
“Attendance was dismal. Many did not or could not come. Some simply stayed away week after week.”
“Of course the daily Mass attendance was disappointing as a rule,”
“But still I could not give up the nights, although most of you have. Sometimes somebody comes to a 5 PM Mass. The Lenten Friday evenings are almost abandoned. The Stations never once drew even a modest crowd.”
“Sad. The dead are gone, the devout grow older and can’t come, and no one takes their place anymore, although the memory of their example reproaches us.”
Wow! Apparently, the culties didn’t “offer up” enough this Lent. And it seems, from Dannie’s comments, that only the older ones are “doing their part” – especially when one reads his last comment that the “devout grow older and can’t come, and no one takes their place anymore.” Well, perhaps those younger folks remember the Lent Dannie spent in Mexico last year -- the “copious quantities of meat” Lent.* Perhaps they’re finally coming to realize that it’s a case of “do as I say, not as I do,” and they’re getting tired of the “double-standard” HYPOCRISY.
The youngest of the younger set certainly are: especially the teenagers and young adults who lived through the events of 2009, and who certainly remember (amongst other things) the “double standards”:
- A boy beaten with a wooden paddle for missing his homework assignment, while the principal’s sons got no punishment at all for watching porn and animal torture videos on the school computer;
- One of the principal’s sons impregnating a girl, and “getting off Scot free” with it; (Dannie not only ignored the whole incident, but actually had the boy feted in a later SGG newsletter article – for his organ-playing expertise.
Actually, there was much more (click here) that they witnessed; but the foregoing two examples are of particular note because that paddled boy and that pregnant girl were fellows of theirs -- they “identified” with them -- and there was a lot of “networking” going on about both. (After all, it is difficult for them not to notice one of their fellow students “large with child” – and for word of it to spread like wildfire throughout the teenage “grapevine” – which it did) Also, because they are kids (and hence not yet fully programmed to be “automatons”), they’re more apt to question these double standards than are their blindly obedient parents.
Therefore, when they saw the obvious “inconsistencies” -- that the principal’s sons got no punishment at all for their transgressions, while that other boy was beaten with a wooden paddle just for missing a homework assignment – well, again, the double-standard HYPOCRISY of it all must have been overwhelming for them, especially when they recall the sanctimonious pap that Dannie always panders on Guardian Angel Sunday about “our innocent children,” “purity,” and all his other meaningless lip service. Dannie might not think that they noticed, but they did. It surely registered with them; and word of it surely spread through their ranks. (And it did. Many of them left SGG. And many others – the boy who got paddled, for instance – became so disillusioned that they left the faith altogether.)
But we suspect that the “not-so-younger” are noticing too – perhaps even the brainwashed ones (after all, they’re not totally brainless!). Word of Dannie’s “lost Lent” had to have filtered down to them (after all, the account of those “copious quantities” was right there in his Bishop’s Corner, which, we assume, some of them actually do read); and they’re surely not totally ignorant of what went on in 2009. (Perhaps, too, “other news” about Dannie and Tony has been reaching their ears as well.) And the cumulative effect of all this (and more) is surely that “things are starting to sink in.” Another thing “for sure” is that the double-barreled barrage of “guilt-tripping” that they got from Dannie on Easter Sunday will probably only alienate them; and, if they had any doubts to begin with, it will tend to reinforce those doubts – and, just maybe, finally convince them that Dannie is someone incapable of being satisfied, no matter what they do for him.**
As for this latest outburst of guilt-tripping by Dannie, the bad news for him is that the culties have heard it all too many times before, and they’re not likely to fall for the pitch this time. And the fact that he issued so severe an admonition is a sign, too (as Pistrina noted), that Dannie’s getting desperate. Desperate men do desperate things. They don’t think before they act, and they take chances -- and make mistakes. And Dannie’s been making plenty of them lately. His untruthful “justification” for buying SGG’s new organ (“The old organ really is old, and slowly dying”) was a mistake, as was his Freudian slip (about the school principal) made during his “kiddie sermon” (which the principal is not likely to “accept kindly”). And his recent bit of “name-dropping” at the expense of the late Bernie Brueggemann – well, that should get this year’s Academy Award for shameless impropriety (see Pistrina article).
The “dismal” and “disappointing” attendance at Dannie’s cult functions is a tangible sign that SGG’s younger parishioners ARE “noticing things,” and that they’re tiring of Dannie and his “show” – and, consequently, are “voting with their feet.” And as the older parishioners die off (or become too infirm to attend), the “dismal attendance” problem will only get worse, forcing Dannie to take even more desperate measures -- which, in turn, will only alienate people more, (just as Dannie’s past efforts have), creating a “downward death spiral” cycle. (Actually, it’s more a case of its being a continuation of a cycle that’s been in place for some time – and which started back in 2009.)
And, as Dannie’s desperation increases and his control over the culties decreases, he’ll just become more erratic, more reckless, more frantic. It may get to the point where, come retirement time, Dannie may find himself in need of a facility a little more “full service” than the Bishop’s Lodge – perhaps one that caters, not so much to pleasure-seeking hedonists, but to the criminally insane.
* Click here for Dannie’s entire Bishop’s Corner account of his time in Mexico during Lent last year. Besides eating “…dinner at an excellent Argentinean restaurant, consuming copious quantities of meat,” Dannie’s “penance” was also to include the following: “We were going to have a nice tour of the bay in somebody’s boat, but the high waves waved us off. Still the weather was beautiful. Did you have more snow?” (Gee, it’s a shame about the “high waves” to spoil Dannie’s “penance”! And wasn’t that a “nice touch” how Dannie asked the culties how they were dealing with the snow back at the frozen cult center, while he was basking there in warm, sunny Mexico? Wow! (For tact, that would be about on a par with a theater critic’s asking, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”)
Dannie then continued, “That evening I gave a well-attended conference on how to live as Catholics in today’s world.” (Well, we hope that they didn’t notice how he was living “as a Catholic in today’s world” earlier that day, or the “conference” might have turned into a lynching.)
** Sacristans, in particular, are susceptible to catching flak from Dannie for “not doing enough.” One of them – a nun – would habitually have to work past midnight to get the altar and sanctuary ready for the next day’s “show”; and it seemed that, no matter what she did, it was never “enough” for Dannie, who often verbally abused her, no matter how good a job she did. After putting up with this for several years, she finally left SGG in disgust. Another sacristan – a lay friend of hers – also left in disgust, citing Dannie’s abusive treatment of that nun as her reason. Another sacristan -- also a nun -- was overworked by Dannie to the point where she was treated for nervous exhaustion. She too left. Both nuns have since left the religious life altogether.
We’re not sure who does the “sacristan” chores now – but we suspect that it is a “small army” of people – most of whom are women. They do all the behind-the-scenes “grunt work” that makes Dannie’s “show” possible; and he calls them his “holy helpers” (which sounds so much better than cult slaves, doesn’t it?!). And, for all that they do for “the show,” he gives them a bit of lip service, but little else. For all intents and purposes, he treats them as non-entities. (But what else would one expect from a misogynist?)