In recent years, there has been much debate (and contention) about what constitutes real Catholicism (especially in Traddieland!). So, what is “Catholic”? Is “being Catholic” saying all the right prayers and observing all the right rites and rubrics? Is it “observing all the fast and abstinence rules” or “not missing Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation”? Is that what gets one to heaven? Of course not. If that were so, then the Pharisee in Christ’s parable (about the Pharisee and the publican) would be “justified.” The irony today is that many traddies – especially those at the SGG and MHT cult centers -- are exactly like that Pharisee in the parable – and like the “tinkling cymbal” and “sounding brass” in St. Paul’s epistle.
In fact, they are functionally Protestant in many ways; and, conversely, many Protestants are functionally Catholic. Many professed Protestants, for instance – in spite of their “fides sola” precept stating that all that’s necessary for “salvation” is “accepting Jesus” and that good works are not necessary), live and act as if they are. They know, either consciously or unconsciously, that we are responsible for our actions, and that there are moral (and legal) consequences if we do wrong.1 So, although their religion claims that “good works don’t count,” their behavior signifies otherwise.
Traddies, on the other hand, claim (as they should) that good works are necessary for salvation – but the problem is, their actions don't match their words. Like the Pharisee in that parable, they condemn people for things like “improper language” or “violating dress codes,” or for not coming to Dannie’s “shows” often enough. Yet they “look the other way” in the face of BLATANT IMMORALITY -- or even pretend that it never happened. For example, the scandalous events of 2009: they saw and knew what happened – the brutal behavior of the SGG school “principal,” the blatant immorality of his sons, and the way that Dannie ignored the pleas of the victims – yet they said (and did) nothing.
They’ve seen also Dannie’s and Tony’s extravagant lifestyle: their “sabbaticals” to the Bishop’s Lodge, their winter “apostolates” to sunny Mexico, their penchant for fine dining and for unneeded “toys” (such as Tony’s new organ), and their wasteful spending to fix up prematurely leaking roofs and prematurely failing HVAC systems. They’ve seen their embarrassingly failed efforts such as “Ordo 2016” and SGG’s “calendar,” and how Checkie was TOTALLY WRONG about Schiavo (as he is on virtually everything else he’s written). They’ve seen more than enough to convince them, yet they disregard it: they still support these imposters implicitly.
The great lesson of history, it is said, is that we never learn its lesson -- that it is always doomed to repeat itself. And that’s exactly what Dannie and Tony’s culties are doing: they plainly see what’s happening, but they never “learn” from it -- and they ignore what they want to ignore, and believe what they want to believe – no matter what happens. If Dannie and Tony, for instance, were videoed committing an immoral act, their culties wouldn’t believe it – or, if they were forced to admit it, they’d "explain it away" it as “irrelevant.”
For Dannie and Tony, being “Catholic” has always been about how many Hail Mary’s one says or about how many Rosary processions one attends, not about how one treats his fellow man. Our Lord bade us to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” and to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But what have Dannie and Tony done? How have they “done unto” Terri Schiavo, or all those SGG school kids victimized back in 2009? And their culties -- how have they “done unto others”? Let’s look at one typical example: an SGG parishioner once berated a man as “un-Catholic” for uttering a word (commonly used to indicate bovine waste) to describe something that Dannie had said about the man’s father (see A Pristine Case of Hypocrisy); but she totally ignored the fact that Dannie’s words were bald-faced lies – and that the man was totally justified in saying what he did about Dannie.
Another example: a woman (from Sanborn’s Brooksville cult) who regularly condemns other women for being “scantily clad” (i.e., wearing “shorts,” etc.) was seen recently at a local establishment, wearing “short shorts” (and a halter top). But such behavior is typical amongst culties: they say one thing but do another. However, who can blame them? After all, they’re only emulating what their cult-masters do! The SGG and MHT cult centers are Tradistan’s benchmarks for double-standard hypocrisy.
Many Protestants, on the other hand, often lead exemplary lives. In one of our articles, for example, we reported about a group of Baptist missionaries’ children who suffered beheading at the hands of their ISIS captors rather than renounce Christ (click here for article). We referred to them as “martyrs.” Later, however, one of Sanborn’s MHT letter-of-the-law lunatics (his depraved “prefect,” we believe) reportedly stated that, technically, they were NOT “martyrs” (because one must be Catholic to be termed a “martyr”). Well, we think we know what God thinks of such “technicalities” (and, for that matter, what he thinks of Anthony Cekada’s remarks about Terri Schiavo).2 One thing for sure: those kids (and Terri) will see heaven long before Dannie, Tony, or any of the other cult-master scum does (that is, if the latter ever do).3
Historically, Protestantism has been condemned by the Church (and rightly so) for its “heterodox doctrines” (aka heresy). But guess who else is doing the same: the cult-masters! Without any authority (or jurisdiction) whatsoever, they promulgate their pet “doctrines” – such as their “una cum” nonsense – passing off these personal opinions as “articles of faith,” and denying the sacraments to anyone who doesn’t “comply.” And, when they do make such rules, they administer them selectively -- with no apparent rhyme or reason as to who must obey them, except for the one criterion that always applies: MONEY.4
The bottom line here is that, like his “show,” Dannie’s (and his fellow cult-masters’) “Catholicism” is – to repeat -- purely cosmetic, not real. Functionally, he and they are Protestant (actually, something less than that). The cult-masters preach “Catholicism” (and sometimes not), but don’t live by its precepts. In reality, they have become a blend of neo-Puritanism and religious totalitarianism, all designed to keep their followers in timorous servitude, and themselves in luxury. They are nothing more than swindlers taking advantage of peoples’ innate sense of good will, fair play, and generosity – and exploiting them in every way imaginable.
The problem is that traddies – by and large -- are tailor-made for such exploitation, because they have been carefully brought up to OBEY – and, all too often, to BLINDLY obey. And blind obedience – obedience without discernment – is dangerous. It is the kind of thing that fosters (and perpetuates) CULT behavior – the kind that typifies SGG and MHT. What traddieland needs is a good dose of common sense (which, in Traddieland, is in short supply), along with some intellectual honesty. Traddies need to stop pretending about what they know is wrong. They need to realize that Catholicism is more than “cosmetics” -- fancy ceremonies, letter-perfect rubrics, and affected, pretentious “holy-speak” – and that real Catholicism is about living by Catholic principles, i.e., about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s as simple as that.
Real Catholicism is about real virtues. It’s about real humility, not the false Uriah Heep “humility” of Dannie’s “apology sermon”5 (that was nothing more than camouflaged pride), in which he “apologized” to his parishioners, then proceeded to put the blame on someone else (without, by the way, offering any proof of such). It is about real wisdom, not about Cekada’s smarmy, specious sophistry (whether written, or in his videos). It is about real goodness, not about the Dannie’s empty, syrupy sanctimony (or the fault-finding, back-biting neo-Puritanism of his followers). But most of all, it’s about CHARITY – the charity that Dannie and Tony never had for those victimized school kids (and their parents) back in 2009 -- or for Terri. Traddieland needs to heed St. Paul’s words: “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” Until that happens, Traddieland will never be truly Catholic.
1 Common sense dictates that such an irrational precept is wrong, that we must all live by (and operate according to) moral precepts, and that there are moral (and legal) consequences if we don’t. Protestants, as we, live by Catholic principles – which is the only true, rational moral compass for humanity. As Belloc so rightly pointed out, it is Catholic principles which have “set the tone” for moral conduct through the ages. And, even though we live in a pluralistic society, people live by the Catholic principle that we are responsible for our actions. Our whole legal system, for example, is set up that way. Otherwise, the alternative is anarchy and chaos. (Luther, for one, found that out. He noted with chagrin that his followers took his “fides sola” creed literally, and hence were degenerating into debauched, dissipated behavior.)
But today, unfortunately, the opposite is happening: immoral – not moral – behavior is “setting the tone” for society. Little by little, old moral precepts are being abandoned, and being supplanted by a “new morality,” where things like abortion and homosexuality not only are no longer sins, but are protected “rights” under the law; and open immorality of every sort is now “the standard.” In fact, standing up for one’s Catholic principles -- speaking out against homosexuality, for instance -- is soon becoming a “hate crime” subject to criminal prosecution. Meanwhile, things such as “wasting energy” and “not being ‘green’” are becoming today’s new “sins.”
Of course, some might claim that Dannie & Co. also echoes the same sentiments regarding some of what we’ve just said. But the difference is that Dannie et al do not practice what they preach (as they’ve demonstrated so, so many times in the past – and continue to do). Dannie (sometimes, that is) “waxes poetic” about Catholic precepts, but he never adheres to them (as he did in 2009, as Tony did on Schiavo, etc., etc. etc.). So, to those claimants, we say, “We hear you – but we don’t believe you.”
2 While Phony Tony, (SGG’s “traditional priest” and “authority on everything”) was justifying Terri Schiavo being starved and dehydrated to death, a Novus Ordo priest (Fr. Frank Pavone) was there at her bedside, doing everything he could to comfort her in her final death agony. As our Lord asked in His parable about the Good Samaritan, who was Terri’s “neighbor” in this case? We think you know the answer to that one.
3 It’s ironic that Dannie, commenting in his July 31, 2016 ’Corner about a priest (in Normandy) recently slain by Moslems, remarked, “The sight of a priest, his throat slit by Moslems, should open some Christian eyes…” Well, Dannie, how about those Baptists kids (whom we just mentioned) who were slain? We know that you regularly read our articles (as we do your ‘Corner), so you know what we said about those kids – so why did you not ever mention them? Do they not “count” because they were Protestant? Shouldn’t that “open some Christian eyes” as well?
The other “ironic” thing is that the French priest did not “die for his Faith.” [On the contrary, he compromised his Faith by pandering to these Islamic scum.] But he bore mentioning by Dannie, while those Baptist kids, who did die for theirs, apparently merited (and got) NO mention, because they were NOT “Catholic.” But this, again, is what so typifies the cult-masters: double-standard behavior. Also, one final irony is that Dannie himself is not Catholic, and thus has no reason (or justification) to “throw stones” at anyone else. (Oh yes, he’s perhaps “Catholic” in the same sense as that Pharisee in Christ’s parable was “valid” – but he’s not Catholic in practice – nor, in our opinion, is he in any other sense of the word.)
4 A prime example of this was the celebrated “triple-play” Requiem Mass (actually, three Requiem Masses celebrated simultaneously by three different priests) for the deceased Novus Ordo spouse of a big SGG donor, while the Novus Ordo mother of a not-so-well-to-do SGG parishioner was denied a Requiem Mass (and last rites). The discerning criterion was -- as you already know -- MONEY. But this is the rule at the cult centers. The “elite” (the rich who are big donors) get whatever they want (and DO whatever they want), while the poor get nothing -- but must “obey.”
5 For those (in non-English speaking countries) who may not be familiar with Uriah Heep, he (Heep) was a fictional character (in Charles Dickens’ novel, David Copperfield) who was noted for his phony, cloying “humbleness.” Dannie’s “humbleness” – although of a different style, is just as counterfeit and disgusting. By the way, for a written transcript of Dannie’s “apology sermon,” click here. (An audio recording of it was, at one time, also available in SGG’s sermon “archives,’ but has since been removed. Gee, we wonder why!)