John C. Pontrello
The Indefectible Toaster
John C. Pontrello
February 23, 2019
Dear Trad Cat Bill,
I started to read through your last two lengthy emails and I could not finish them. It is clear to me that whatever amount of time you have been a Sedevacantist, it has not been long enough yet. How do I know this? Because you are not satisfied with the abuse you have already received from the system and you want more. And more you will surely receive.
Let's say you bought a toaster from a company you really like and let’s say that it came with a certificate that guaranteed the toaster would never break or malfunction for as long as you owned it. Let's say one year later the toaster stopped working. At that point, what would you think of the certificate? Would you keep trying to use the broken toaster because the certificate guaranteed that it would never break? When your friends come over and ask why your broken toaster is still on your counter-top, would you insist that it is not broken because it can't be broken and that you have a certificate to prove it? Would you proudly show them the certificate and say "see"? Would you blame yourself for not properly understanding the guarantee? Would you blame yourself for not using the toaster correctly? Would you blame your home’s electrical system for the toaster’s failure? Would you scrutinize the wording of the guarantee so as to find a reason for the toaster’s failure? For example, if the guarantee said "cannot be broken in owner's lifetime" would you say, “Ah ha! My toaster is not new; I must have been sold a used toaster by accident”? Would you second guess yourself that perhaps you did not understand the guarantee correctly? Would you use a thesaurus or dictionary to find more favorable terms than those used in the written guarantee? What if you brought the broken toaster to a repair man who repaired the toaster and restored it to its original working condition, what would you think of the certificate then? Would that mean that the certificate was really true after all since the toaster is working again? Would you eventually forget that at one time your toaster had been broken and that you had to pay someone to repair it?
Bill, at this point your problems are not the toaster and the certificate that came with it; it’s the company that made and sold them and it's also YOU for not recognizing this the moment you realized the toaster broke. And this toaster analogy is what traditional Roman Catholicism is all about. The traditional Catholic movement is a bunch of confused and unhappy customers who keep their broken toasters on the counter and their certificates of guarantee framed on the wall behind them. Some of them spend their lives scrutinizing the toaster. Others spend their lives scrutinizing the certificate. Some spend their lives scrutinizing both the toaster and the certificate. Most of them spend their lives scrutinizing and criticizing everyone else’s toasters. All of them spend their lives waiting on the future repair man.
I bought the same toaster Bill. Then one day my good sense kicked in. I took the piece of crap toaster and the bogus guarantee that came with it and threw them both in the dumpster where they belong. I don’t buy products from companies like that anymore; especially the one’s marketing eternal salvation.