An Honest Bark at the World of Traditional Catholicism

31 August 2011


For years, Bp. Pivarunas and his Mater Dei Seminary have escaped deserved criticism from the entire traditional Catholic community. There are many reasons for this streak of luck, which last weekend the bishop himself ended by his own hand. First, his personality and people skills have marked him as a breed apart from the ill-famed bishops Dolan and Sanborn, who have made a habit of mocking Bp. Pivarunas and his priests. Second, his reluctance to enter the fray raging in the sedevacantist dystopia has always provided welcome cover. Third, the heavy burden of the Schuckhardt legacy let him seem a well-intentioned man of God while affording an incentive to keep a low profile. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, his distance from Catholic culture is so genuine, so guileless, so innocent that to have confronted him openly would be tantamount to telling a mortally sick child that Santa Claus doesn't exist.

The traditional community outside his devoted followers has always been more than a little ashamed of Bp. Pivarunas and the CMRI. Unlike many traditionalist groups, CMRI never had a direct or indirect link to authentic, pre-Vatican II Catholic practice. More than that, Bp. Pivarunas and his priests didn't have the "right stuff" to be able to read the old books so as to revive it. Instead, they settled for a rough and painfully counterfeit approximation. That is to say, CMRI has produced essentially a crude pantomime of the true faith. That accounts for the "cringe factor" so many report when they watch CMRI priests celebrate Mass, listen to their sermons, read the publications of its leading "lights," or hear stories about Mater Dei. In a word, CMRI's traditional Catholicism is improvised or, worse, simply imagined. Since everyone gave Bp. Pivarunas credit for meaning well in spite of his many handicaps, they pushed into the background the disturbing tales in circulation about the inferiority of the Mater Dei educational program. They only rolled their eyes when they heard the horror stories, such as the one of a priest explaining in theology class that our Lord would be theologically present in a small particle of Host, but not liturgically present.

Last week, Bp. Pivarunas inexplicably acted against his longtime policy of avoiding trouble. Taking offense where none was given, he sent an angry, insincere "open letter" to Fr. Markus Ramolla. The entire matter is detailed in a fair minded rebuttal and scholarly defense of Fr. Ramolla on the respected website Christ or Chaos. Additionally, a layman has sent Bp. Pivarunas his own "open letter." Nothing else, then, need be said here about the incident. What now must be discussed openly are the serious academic deficiencies of Mater Dei Seminary and its faculty. Traditional Catholicism cannot afford to tolerate gross error, for error has no rights.

Make no mistake: Bp. Pivarunas and the clergy attached to him are not evil. Mater Dei Seminary is not an institution known for cruelty or psychological abuse. Bp. Pivarunas and his priests are ridiculously out of their depth. The seminary is no institution of genuinely Catholic formation. Some, particularly the CMRI's mostly unsophisticated lay supporters, will take offense at this claim. Therefore, in the weeks and months ahead, Diogenes will shine his lamp in broad daylight upon the intellectual deficiencies of the Mater Dei faculty. He isn't looking for scoundrels. His purpose is not to shame Bp. Pivarunas or the unpolished men who serve him. (Neither the bishop nor his priests are aware they should be ashamed of themselves or of Mater Dei. But, in fairness, how could they, with all their limitations?) Instead, the objective is to spark a reform of the CMRI and Mater Dei Seminary -- another house cleaning. Only after a thorough reconstitution of program and pedagogy can both institutions join traditional Catholicism in its struggle against the Conciliar Church.


  1. (Update 08/30/11): "CMRI's Bos$, Mark Pivarunas, 'Stance' On The Ongoing Dolan & Cekada Scandal at SGG in Ohio" - Dr. Thomas Droleskey publicly reported today that the leader of CMRI, Mark Pivarunas, nearly two years ago (Nov 2009) revealed to him in multiple conversations that he (Pivarunas) KNEW that what was being reported (abuse of children) by alarmed/concerned people (which included the testimony of a Markus Ramolla) at Saint Gertrude the Great in Ohio was true.

    Dr. Droleskey noted that Pivarunas in the Fall of 2009 wanted it known that he (CMRI) would offer "sacraments" to those who already had, or would leave SGG who were: (exact quote of Pivarunas) "tired of the lies and rationalizations told repeatedly to justify the status quo" (at Dolan & Cekada's SGG).

    Yet in perfect "heroic sedevacantist" form, Thuc "bishop" Mark Pivarunas made it clear to those reporting the abuse, that he could not take any public stand on the matter (corruption of youth) because his priests wanted to “avoid controversy.” (Source: "Just Another Day in the Rubber Room of Traditionalism", by Thomas A. Droleskey 08/30/11)

    (More updates soon)

    Note: These "traditional" Sede$ have no interest in papal mandates/true restoration: look at their wicked fruits.


  2. Actually, although crudely and somewhat incorrectly stated, the seminary professor's comment about the presence of Christ in a small particle of the host is correct. Although, as sacred theology would teach us, Christ is really present in even a small crumb of the Sacred Host, liturgically speaking, the priest would not genuflect to It as he would to an entire host. For example, if a priest returned to the altar with a half-full ciborium, or even a ciborium with only one Host, he would genuflect immediately after depositing the ciborium on the corporal. If, however, he returned with an empty ciborium, which contains only crumbs/tiny particles of the Sacred Host, he would not genuflect, even though Christ is truly present in those tiny particles. I believe that is the point that that professor was trying to make.

    Error is error, people. Yes, there are problems in the Church, especially among her clergy. Yes, the CMRI is notoriously out of touch with reality, and their priests are poorly formed. But if you want to be taken seriously, perhaps you people should quit nit-picking about little details, lest your own ignorance bespeak your lack of credibility.

  3. Your point about the required liturgical action on the part of the celebrant is true (and very well known), and no one would dispute it. The problem entirely rests with the phrase itself, "liturgically present."

    Nonsense is nonsense, people, and seminary professors must use conventional Catholic terminology. If the "professor" did indeed intend by his word choice to teach the point you make, he should have done so without resorting to crude and somewhat incorrect language. The fact that he did underscores the point the blog makes: the Mater Dei faculty is not equipped for the task, and such remarks as the "professor's" are responsible for the seminarians' disillusionment. They had a firm expectation that their teachers would be more than word-coining amateurs who cannot find the right expression.

    Lastly, it should be noted that "nit-picking details" are of immense worth in evaluating the substance of teachers and educational institutions. In fact, the aggregation of such small details will assure credibility. This blog will demonstrate through a mountain of such vignettes the reasons for the sorely needed reform of MDS.

  4. Rather despicable to wait years to publicly relate what a priest said privately and intended to be private. There is also the immoral act of revealing a natural secret here The moral thing to do is to find out what the priest believes right NOW and ask him if his words can be made publicly known. Why? Because people have completely altered their views since 2009. Presenting someone's view from 2 years ago is just causing trouble, not being a peacemaker, as Our Lord said we should be.

    Everyone knows that in institutions of learning the teacher is supposed to use his own words, explanations and analogies for what is being learned from the books. Our Lord made use of analogy in parable to help understanding. Did MDC make it actual test material with the distinction between liturgical and theological presence? From what I read it was merely something verbal to help explain a concept. Let's stop being unreasonably critical and making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Our Lord is present in every portion of the Host, WHEN those particles are together as the entity of "food". Crumbs are not considered food, that is why the Church demands canonically & liturgically that when Hosts are divided into a smaller piece for sick people, they must only be of such a size and no smaller. The Church doesn't define scientifically what is the limit, She just demands a safe size and no smaller than that. The crumbs falling on a paten are not Our Lord. However, these are considered the MOST precious of relics having once been a part of Our Lord and the liturgy demands great, but reasonable care with them. Some of these crumbs do fall on the floor either directly or bouncing off of the paten, unknown to us, and we are not stepping on Christ.

    Think back to an early year at random, say 130 A.D.? I am sure the clergy at MDC have had more training. Perhaps not exactly and fully canonical as in 1590 A.D. but if you look at history even apart from 130 A.D. there were many times in trial and persecution when priests where ordained without fully canonical training, such as St. John Vianney (the patron Saint of parish preists!). Our times are much more of an emergency than 1813 in France! Now do we want to stir up the common man, like communists abusers of "democracy", to effect book perfect canonical stipulations from the time of Trent by strong-arming the rector, "another Christ", by intimidation and detraction?

  5. The point of the the post's observation never was about the treatment of Eucharistic fragments or liturgical attitude ex ratione accommodationis. The "professor's" crude and somewhat inaccurate choice of words caused scandal and enflamed contempt. A seminary classroom is no place for amateurs.

    There is no intimidation here, and owing to the rector's lapse of judgment, it is licit, and even obligatory, to expose the gross deficiencies at MDS to persuade him to inaugurate a much needed reform. If he must also resign as rector, it will be the result of his own informed conscience or a decision of CMRI priests who desire a seminary that aspires to Catholic standards.

  6. So it seems that Bishop Dolan received consecration from an "un-tridentine" and "un-canonical" Bishop? I'm sure, given time, Fr. Cekeda will come up with an explanation on how the laws did not apply to those who were trained at the CMRI Seminary. And who exactly trained Bishop Pivarunas? Would it have been n Bishop Shuckardt by any chance? Any chance that any of the "professors" there have a degree in theology? Bishop Shuckardt went from layperson to priest and bishop in a very un-tridentine way. The complete hypocrisy of these people never ceases to amaze me.

  7. How does Diogenes let the comment stand that, "The crumbs falling on a paten are not Our Lord. However, these are considered the MOST precious of relics having once been a part of Our Lord"?

    Is Our Lord divided in the Eucharist so that one particle is His arm and another particle is His leg? Is St. Thomas Aquinas using imprecise language when he writes,"Tantum esse sub fragmento quantum toto tegitur"?

  8. Diogenes' silence on the correspondent's misstatement rests on two reasons. (1) The commenter plainly condemned himself/herself by his/her own erroneous words: Why, then, make manifest the obvious?. (2) The substance of Diogenes' original post had nothing to do with Eucharistic particles. Diogenes wished to expose the erroneous language of a Mater Dei "professor," not the sinful ignorance of one of his unfortunate champions. The disciplined Diogenes, disdainful of others' good esteem, confines himself narrowly to what he has said, and to no more. The errors of interlocutors in response to Diogenes' remarks constitute the playing field of quick witted, genuine Catholics who discern the errors of the CMRI. The Angelic Doctor needs no support from Diogenes, the shameless Dog, and someone as unschooled as our commenter cannot escape the scrutiny of brighter lights like yourself, who will illumine for the world the truth first uncovered ever so faintly by the flickering rays from Diogenes' humble lantern. It is far more in keeping with Diogenes' character to allow other Catholic voices to bring to the world's attention the theological and intellectual vulnerabilities of CMRI defenders. Diogenes, mind you, is not the sole witness of CMRI insipidity.

  9. Diogenes is a funny little gossiping woman. Diogenes exposes herself and shows her true colors as being allied with the truly heretical and sham sspx, i.e., "Let's have a pope, but just not follow him and lie to everybody and pretend we're 'traditionalist'!" It is very ironic, and Diogenes can't even see the irony, that she supports a fraudulent organization like that, while being such a hypocrite. Sorry, did I spell that right? You moron! People like you are as unCatholic as they come.How do you explain your support of the sodomite pope and the apologist sspx.Your head must be spinning with the amount of flip-flopping that you have to do every day! Your pathetic and fraudulet diatribes earn you and your hangers on a place somewhere in the 7th circle of Dante's inferno along with mohammed, et al. Signed John Vines L.A. California

  10. hahahaha. Diogenes, you are truly satanic. You are definitely not Catholic! I laugh at you and your pretended attempt to "make the CMRI all better". The day will never come when anybody needs the help of gutless, anonymous frauds like you. Help your poor SSPX brothers! That's where you should be cleaning house! Fellay is the one who already has a plot of land bought with his 30 pieces of silver! Are you really so dense? It amazes me! I should do a weeks long blog on the fraud of you!

  11. Diogenes tells the truth.

  12. Diogenes should take a bath

  13. FIRST keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to bring others to peace.

    The peaceable man does more good than one that is very learned.

    The passionate man turneth even good to evil, and readily believeth evil.

    The good peaceable man turneth all things unto good.

    He that is in perfect peace suspecteth no man.

    But he that is discontented and disturbed is agitated by various suspicions; he neither hath rest himself, nor suffereth others to rest.

    Many a time he saith what he ought not to say, and leaveth undone that which it were best for him to do.

    He considers what others ought to do, and neglecteth that which he is bound to do himself.

    Have, therefore, a zeal in the first place over thyself, and then mayst thou also justly exercise zeal towards thy neighbor.

    2. Thou knowest well how to excuse and gloss over thine own deeds, but thou wilt not accept the excuses of others.

    It were more just for thee to accuse thyself, and to excuse thy brother.

    If thou wishest to be borne with, bear also with others.

    See how far thou yet art from true charity and humility; which knoweth not how to feel anger or indignation against anyone but one's self.

    It is no great thing to associate with the good and the gentle: for this is naturally pleasing to all, and everyone preferreth peace and loveth best those that have like sentiments.

    But to be able to live peacefully with the hard and the perverse, or with the undisciplined and those who contradict us, is a great grace, and a highly commendable and manly thing.

    3. Some there are who keep themselves in peace, and have peace also with others; and there are some who neither have peace themselves, not leave others in peace; they are troublesome to others, and still more troublesome to themselves.

    And there are those who keep themselves in peace, and study to restore peace to others.

    Nevertheless, all our peace in this miserable life must be placed rather in humble endurance than in not experiencing oppositions.

    He who best knows how to endure will possess the greater peace.

    Such a one is conqueror of himself and lord of the world, the friend of Christ and an heir of Heaven.

  14. Re: the suggestion that Diogenes the Dog bathe, he replies, "the sun too visits cesspools without being defiled."

  15. What doth it profit thee to dispute deeply about the Trinity, if thou be wanting in humility, and so be displeasing to the Trinity?

    In truth, sublime words make not a Saint and a just man; but it is a virtuous life that maketh one dear to God.

    I would rather feel compunction, than know how to define it.

    If thou didst know the whole Bible outwardly, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what would it all profit thee without charity and the grace of

    Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity, but to love God and serve Him alone.

    This is the highest wisdom, by despising the world, to make progress towards the kingdom of Heaven.

    4. It is vanity, therefore, to seek perishing riches, and to trust in them.

    Vanity also it is, to court honors, and to lift up one's self on high.

    Vanity is it to follow the desires of the flesh, and to desire that for which hereafter there must be a heavy penalty.

    Vanity is it to wish a long life, and take but little pains about a good life.

    Vanity is it to attend only to the present life, and not to look forward to the things that are to come.

    It is vanity to love what is passing away with all speed, and not to be hastening thither where endless joy abideth.

    5. Oftentimes call to mind the proverb: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing."

    Study, therefore, to wean thy heart from love of visible things, and to betake thee to the things unseen; for they that follow the pleasures of their senses sully their conscience and lose the grace of God.

  16. Whoever writes this blog is an ignoramus with a globe sized ego and no ability for charitable honest debate. This site is offensive, whether anyone is for CMRI, against CMRI or has never even heard of CMRI. In days like these, when there are hardly any Catholic institutions to speak of, all the brainless fuss by Diogenes has actually caused me to take a serious look into supporting CMRI. Since they are attracting morons like these to attack them, they must be doing something very right. I wonder if this is one of the many fronts put out by the ADL? It sure sounds like it! Despicable and shameless!

  17. Craig "Diogenes" Toth is the world's biggest jackass, in my humble opinion. S.M.

  18. There is no salvation outside of the True Catholic Church. Go to for your only hope of salvation. You must abjure your heresies and repent of your sins.