The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story

 

December 10, 2009

Absalom Times Two Or More

by Thomas A. Droleskey

 

Mr. Michael Cain, the hard-working and well-educated son of the Catholic Church who was called an "ignorant layman" in a letter that he received from Bishop Daniel Dolan in August, called for a "Cease Fire!" in the needless warfare that has been engendered by Bishop Daniel L. Dolan's refusal to remove the family whose abusive behavior has scandalized so many children and caused some to lose the Faith altogether as he has indemnified them and their chief enabler and apologist, Father Anthony Cekada, time and time and time again.

As one who entered this fray only to defend a priest who was being railroaded out of the country by abusive clerics intent on admitting no wrong for anything at any time for any reason, I have taken no pleasure at all in having to spend my good Catholic time on this matter, which is tiring and saddening beyond all telling. With Father Cekada continuing to attack Father Markus Ramolla for having done his Catholic duty by seeking to rectify injustices engendered by Father Cekada's own abject refusal to take seriously the complaints of parents and other parishioners, it is, sadly, necessary to write yet another piece on a matter that could begin to go away if Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada simply accept the fact that there is another traditional venue for Catholics in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area, and that they are no sooner going to make this new venue, the Confraternity of Saint Albert the Great, go away by all of their outrageous behavior and self-indulgent pity-parties than they have made Immaculate Conception Church in Norwood, Ohio, go away despite all of the warfare that they have engaged against its existence in the past twenty years.

Father Cekada has written another screed, this time on his Quidlibet site, comparing Father Ramolla to King David's son Absalom, who plotted against his father and sought to overthrow him. The comparison is not only absurd. It is only duplicitous as Father Cekada is the last person in the world to be seeking to compare anyone to Absalom as he has "gone against" two of his own spiritual fathers, the first having been the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the second being the then Father Clarence Kelly. Father Cekada also demonstrated in his new Quidlibet piece that he continues to be  morally blind and arrogant in referring so dismissively to "child abuses" that have been well-documented at Saint Gertrude the Great School.

Here are a few excerpts from Father Cekada's self-serving post on Quidlibet:

On Monday, we studied Psalm 62, which King David wrote to lament the conspiracy of his son Absalom, who sought to depose David and seize his kingdom.

To subvert David, Absalom sought out complaints against his father and encouraged them, telling complainers “thy words seem to me good and just.” Unfortunately — Absalom would add — the king appointed no one to hear your legitimate complaint. Now, if I were judge over all the land, everyone could come to me, and I would do justice. Thus, Scripture says, “he enticed the hearts of the men of Israel.”

This (I could not help thinking) was the method that Father Markus Ramolla followed in his one year with us.

Seek out all possible complaints, sympathize with them, encourage them, and then present yourself as the savior who could make everything right. Telephone, text, e-mail, visit, whisper, confer in the parking lot and multiply “spiritual direction.”

Let all past offenses committed in church, school and seminary — whether real, imagined, or just simple misunderstandings — be brought up in person and on the Internet, and then hurled perpetually at the targets. Make long, numbered lists of accusations. Circulate calumnies and vile insinuations.

Camouflage a campaign of hate in a cloak of virtue: Save the children! Prevent child abuse! Transparency! Expose evil!

Where there was once a half-forgotten injury, sow — not love or pardon — but hatred. Where there was confidence, sow doubt and suspicion. And where there was peace, sow war.

Thus a priest, ordained to be a peacemaker, becomes instead a hate whisperer.

In this case, as in the story of Absalom, there were spies and fellow hate-whisperers who were in on the conspiracy.

But among laymen who got tangled up in Father Ramolla’s web, there are no doubt many who (as scripture says of those deceived by Absalom) are “going with simplicity of heart, and knowing nothing of the design.”

May we priests who have served you for these decades one day be able to rejoice (with the words of David in Psalm 62), “because the mouth is stopped of them that speak wicked things.” (Quidlibet.)

 

This self-serving exercise in truth twisting is typical of Father Cekada, who likes to deflect attention from his own sanguine acceptance of things that are not at all "half-forgotten injuries," unless one considers the loss of the holy faith in the souls of children who suffered brutality at the hands of the children of the principal of Saint Gertrude the Great School to be a "half-forgotten injury." Father Ramolla did not spend his time "collecting" information. He was seen by teachers frustrated with Father Cekada's indifference and by hurting parishioners as one who could provide them a voice to circumvent Father Cekada's moral myopia that was indemnified by Bishop Daniel L. Dolan repeatedly.

Father Cekada, no Catholic who loves God as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church is going to be sanguine as the innocence of their children's immortal souls is assaulted repeatedly by such well-documented abuses as the ones listed below that Mrs. Stephanie Johns, who was savaged so furiously by your friend Joseph Charles McKenzie on his Laypopes website (the proof, Father Cekada, is there for all the world to see), attested to as occurring right up to the point of her firing by Bishop Dolan on Wednesday, December 2, 2009:

1. The Principal constantly refers to his less favored students as retards, spoiled brats, and other derogatory names, and in the case of girls, tarts and even sluts.  Sometimes he does this in public, humiliating the children.  The younger children with learning disabilities suffer especially from being constantly referred to as "retards"....

17. Profanities, obscenities, foul language, talk of a sexually explicit nature, obscene hand gestures have all been practiced regularly by the sons of the Principal in front of other students, not only in high school, but even in front of the grade schoolers.  One former student who had been in public school, stated that she had never met any boys as degraded and perverse as the sons of the Principal of St. Gertrude the Great School.

18.  When one family attempted to have their son stay at the Lotarski house in order to receive an education at SGG, the boy was so upset at the mistreatment given him by the Lotarski parents and the constant and open use of the F word by the Lotarski children in the home that the parents had to pull him from the school altogether.

19.  Smoking on school grounds by one of the Principal's sons is permitted and even encouraged by the Principal and Fr. Cekada.

20.  One of the Principal's sons has boasted about smoking weed to a parishioner, and having a stash of marijuana in his basement.  He has boasted to kindergarteners about being "high".

21.  The Principal's sons show their contempt for the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and for the Sacred Liturgy by constantly chewing  gum in the church, even in the sanctuary and while serving Mass.

22.  Students have watched inappropriate videos (including of animal torture) in the Principal's office on his computer.  One of the sons of the Principal e-mailed a link to a pornographic video to one of the parishioners.  This video is so bad that we cannot describe the contents here. 

23.  One of the Principal's sons has continually bullied other students in the school.  Physical beatings have been witnessed, and there has been a general underlying fear of the Lotarski boys among the younger students.  When the school had an African student, one of the sons of the Principal regularly addressed him and referred to him by the N- word.

24.  One of the Principal's sons has attempted several times to intimidate even adults in school and in church, using sudden menacing actions designed to make the adult think he or she was in physical danger. (A Litany of Reported Instances of Abuse of Discretion and Bad Judgment.)

These are not minor matters, Father Cekada, even though you have treated them as such, rebuffing parents who have brought them to your attention. Only one who is morally blind, who is, as Father Ramolla noted in the sermon he gave on October 23, 2009, to remonstrate with you publicly as your crimes against souls deserve, the antithesis of the Good Samaritan, can seek to minimize these crimes against souls and then castigate as merchants of hate those who tried to rectify them. Any priest who can seek to excuse such repeated descents into ugliness as casually as you have, Father Cekada, is a betrayer of Our Lord just as much as Bishop Judas Iscariot.

No Catholic priest who loves Our Lord and the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross can remain silent in the face of these outrages to the innocence and purity of children enrolled at a supposedly "traditional" Catholic school. It is the duty of such a priest, whose very soul has been conformed to the Priesthood and Victimhood of the One he makes present under the appearances of bread and wine in each offering of Holy Mass, to root out such abuses and to call to account very publicly, if necessary, those who refuse to take them seriously or who, worse yet, excuses them time and time again while seeking to castigate the sheep who understand these abuses to be injurious to the souls of their children.

Far from being "Absalom," Father Cekada, Father Markus Ramolla is the equivalent of Nathan the Prophet, who warned King David about the sins that he had committed in taking Uriah's wife for his own and then arranging for the murder of Uriah on the battlefield. You, Father Cekada, have been indifferent about the murder of souls that has taken place as a result of the profanities uttered by the boys with whom you spend a great deal of your time, the boys whose ugly, vicious, mean-spirited, profane, lewd and obscene behavior you have dismissed with a sanguine "boys will be boys" even though you must know that such behavior would never have been tolerated in any Catholic school in our own day (Father Cekada and I are two months apart in age) and that such unchecked behavior would be the grounds of suspension even in many conciliar schools today. Even Don Bosco, who worked with wayward boys, got them to amend their lives, being assisted for a short time in this regard by Saint Dominic Savio, who urged the boys of the oratory not to be mean to their souls. It is indeed to be mean to one's soul--and those of others--to utter profanities so readily within earshot of the young.

Why, Father Cekada, are you so very sanguine about the repeated use of the vile word that no child should hear in the hallways of a Catholic school?

Why, Father Cekada, are so very sanguine about the obscene gestures that no child should see on the premises of a Catholic school?

Why, Father Cekada, do you tolerate the bullying of students by the children of the principal of Saint Gertrude the Great School?

We have been eyewitnesses to the way the children of the principal treat adults. We have been menaced by them on more than one occasion. These boys refuse even to acknowledge the humanity of those they hold in contempt, turning away in disdain from those they believe to be unworthy of even a simple word of Christian greeting.

You have created this ugly atmosphere, Father Cekada. You. And that is why Father Ramolla called you out on Friday, October 23, 2009, to compare you to the priest who passed by the victim of robbers and went on his way. That is you, Father Cekada. That is you. You have have no compassion for the victims of the indecency, the filth, the brutality and even the lack of respect for Our Lord's Real Presence that have been exhibited by these boys. You have put souls in jeopardy needlessly, and you don't like it that your constant dereliction of pastoral duty has been exposed for the world to see.

It shouldn't have come to this point, Father. You could have swallowed your overweening pride. You could have admitted that the Lotarskis are unfit to run a school and that those boys who utter profanities and smoke cigarettes and who play the most vile form of the evil known as "rock and roll" on their car radios within earshot of innocent children, including my own daughter, have been a cancer on the parish. You could have admitted that Father Ramolla was entirely correct to seek their removal from the parish for the sake of the common good. But no, of course, it was the whistle-blower who had to go and then be castigated while the fomenters of scandal and the terrible, needless discord that has been brought in its wake are praised from the pulpit and featured on the altar serving the bishop himself.

Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada are incapable of accepting criticism. Bishop Dolan responds with endless cries of self-pity and blames others with being filled with the hatred that possesses his heart as he stands by and watches, at least passively, his friend Joseph Charles McKenzie cowardly launch a website filled with hate and character assassinations of people to discredit them as witnesses against the clericalism that has marred a parish built as a result of the hard work and money and sacrifices of hundreds of ordinary Catholics. Father Cekada responds to criticism now with the same sort of mockery and scorn and sophisms that he used to deal with the respectful letter that was written to him by Dr. James Gebel, Jr., to take issue with his, Father Cekada's, support for the brutal murder by starvation and dehydration of the late Mrs. Theresa Marie Schindler-Schiavo in 2005. This is the only way that Father Cekada knows how to deal with critics. He is a bully of the first order.

Bishop Dolan is not King David. He is not the pope. He is not a bishop with jurisdiction who has the right to command the loyalty of priests and members of the laity. He is a true bishop who has been given us by God to administer the sacraments in this time of apostasy and betrayal. That is all. He is not the ordinary of a diocese. He is not the head of a religious community. He is not beyond criticism. His diffidence in the face of moral crimes taking place under his very nose is not beyond reproach. Just as King David was reproached by Nathan the Prophet, so is it the case that Bishop Dolan can and must be reproached publicly when the good of souls demands such a reproach as a last resort following the use of the sort of private entreaties that many of us, myself included, used to utterly no avail.

Far from being "Absalom" to acquire power for himself, Father Markus Ramolla was attempting to be Nathan in order to correct moral wrongs, understanding that he had the perfect right as a Catholic priest to do so according to the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

"It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly."

"Article 2: Fraternal correction is a matter of obligation (precept) out of charity for the sinner. And if the order of fraternal correction has been observed (beginning with private admonitions until there is no other recourse for the sake of the faith than to publicly proclaim the prelate), to do so for the sake of the faith can be meritorious." (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

 

Oh, yes, Father Ramolla was appointed as principal of Saint Gertrude the Great School. It was clear, however, that he would not be permitted to put into place his common sense rules if he actually had assumed his office before he was dismissed the day after his work visa was revoked by Bishop Donald Sanborn.

Father Ramolla would not have been castigated by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada if he had left the country and kept his mouth shut about the as yet ongoing abuses at Saint Gertrude the Great School. He chose to stay not because he craved power but because the sheep have been scandalized for too long by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada's clericalism, by their imperious dismissal of complaints, by their taking personally every criticism that has been offered to them for the good of their own immortal souls, which, evidently, they believe to be so perfectly formed as to never need any correction from anyone, whether a priest or a member of the laity, at any time lest those unfortunate creatures offering criticism be subjected to a storm of self-piteous attacks, filled with misrepresentations and just outright lies.

Once again, however, Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada doth protest too much. They conspired against their own spiritual father, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Sure, they did so on matters they considered essential to the Holy Faith. Well, my friends, abuses against the innocence and purity of the souls at Saint Gertrude the Great School are no less offensive to God than the offenses against the Faith that "The Nine" said were being committed and/or excused by Archbishop Lefebvre. Why should any of us have any concern for abuses committed against the souls of children by the Novus Ordo thug "bishops" and priests/presbyters if we can be so sanguine about such abuses permitted or excused so easily by members of the traditional clergy? One does not need to be paralyzed by self-serving inaction to recognize that the constant use of vile words and the constant commission of thuggish actions against the innocent that have gone on for the past ten years now cannot be tolerated ad infinitum on the campus of any Catholic church or school.

Similarly, the then Father Dolan and Father Cekada decided to break with their second spiritual father, the then Father Clarence Kelly, over the issue of the validity of the Thuc-line. Both sides have engaged in a constant guerilla warfare since that time. Was the break necessary? Perhaps. That's not the point. The point is that it Father Cekada saw it as his duty to stand up for what he knew was correct. This is all that Father Ramolla was doing while at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, and this is all that he is doing at the present time. And was it simply an accident that Father William Jenkins wound up with no church in Sharonville, Ohio, after that split, that Fathers Dolan and Cekada had planned very carefully to control the property in the event of such a split?

Moreover, as I pointed out in Sanctimony Won't Work This Time, Bishop Dolan went against his third spiritual father, the bishop who consecrated him on November 30, 1993, Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, within six months of his episcopal consecration, seeking to raid Bishop Pivarunas's clergy and faithful in Mexico so as to build an empire for himself. Bishop Dolan attempted to take priests and seminarians away from the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen right here in the United States of America without seeking the permission of Bishop Pivarunas. The situation reached such a critical mass that Bishop Pivarunas, seeking to avoid a scandal at the time, told Bishop Dolan that he had had it with the latter's unconscionable behavior, effectively ending any formal relationship between the two bishops. Bishop Dolan himself told us in December of 2007 that he had engaged in "cattle rustling" and that Bishop Pivarunas had chastised him for doing so.

Some might say, "Oh, well, that was then. Bishop Dolan doesn't do that now." Not so.

My memory was jogged a few weeks ago when Mr. Tim Duff was speaking to me about having carried his fair share of water for Bishop Dolan, who is very good about getting members of the laity to do his dirty work for him.

I recalled that it was in February or March of 2008 that Bishop Dolan, who had just returned from administering the Sacrament of Confirmation at Father Kevin Vaillancourt's Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Spokane, Washington, telephoned me with a request. Bishop Dolan wanted me to go to Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P., to see if Bishop McKenna would try to convince a young man studying for the priesthood in residence under Father Vaillancourt to consider breaking with him to study at Most Holy Trinity Seminary, claiming that Father Vaillancourt was really "too busy" to train the young man properly. This seemed odd to me. However, I carried out the request, to which Bishop McKenna responded by saying that the young man was very happy studying under Father Vaillancourt and that he could not ask him to consider going to Florida to study under Bishop Sanborn unless he wanted to go there of his own accord.

Do you still want to invoke the Absalom example, Father Cekada? Bishop Dolan has engaged in all manner of amoral behavior to collect priests and seminarians, willing to capitalize on the work of others as he did so without giving those others any credit at all. Oh, yes, Father Cekada, you doth protest far too much.

What do you fear, Father Cekada. The competition from Father Ramolla? You are not going to be able to coerce large numbers of those who have left into returning by attacking Father Ramolla all of the time. They have had it with your ready tolerance of obscenities and vulgarities and with the suffering of the sheep who do indeed forgive injuries but who understand it to proper and just to seek a remedy to stop these abuses so that the souls of their children will not have to suffer them so needlessly in a supposedly traditional Catholic school. They do not trust you and your diffidence, which is the exact same attitude as displayed by the arrogant clericalist Edward "Cardinal" Egan in his deposition made in 1997 when he was the conciliar "bishop" of Bridgeport, Connecticut. They have had it with your telling them to give the repeated offenders "a pass," that they were "contrite" even though those offenders kept on committing their moral crimes. God does not expect the faithful to tolerate shepherds who turn a blind eye to their suffering at the hands of profane thugs, Father Cekada.

You and Bishop Dolan are the problem, Father Cekada, not Father Ramolla, and all of your ranting and raving about Father Ramolla "attacking" his spiritual father cannot obscure the fact that Father Ramolla was willing to speak truth to power and to castigate you publicly for your years of leaving the victims of robbers to lie wounded in the street without lifting a single, solitary finger to help them.

Well, there is one thing to say about Father Cekada's Quidlibet article. He is speaking for himself without the help of his good friend Joseph Charles McKenzie's now "locked up" "Laypopes" website that he has refused to condemn. He let "Laypopes" do a lot of speaking for himself. So did Bishop Dolan. Both Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have been absolutely silent about the vicious smear campaign against Mrs. Stephanie Johns that appeared on two different postings on McKenzie's "Laypopes" site. And is it just another "coincidence" that Father Cekada's latest Quidlibet entry refers to "Wingate Group Hate," which is a variation of the "Wingate Hate Church" castigation that appeared on Laypopes? It is a trick of sloganeers to accuse those who oppose them as being filled with "hate." It is a trick used by the Sophists against Socrates. It is a trick used by the Roman emperors against the first Catholics.

Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada could have brought peace to Saint Gertrude the Great Church and School if only they had removed the Lotarskis. They could bring peace to the current situation if only they accept the reality of the situation that they have visited upon themselves, especially as they have approved, at least passively, of the McKenzie Laypopes site and as Bishop Dolan has lied to school students and sought to smear Father Ramolla from the pulpit. Instead of making converts to the Faith, Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada make war upon their fellow traditional Catholics. It is of their nature to do so.

"Peace" for Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada is of the Soviet variety: agree with us totally or you are a warmonger. Well, at least Bishop Dolan's and Father Cekada's focus on Father Ramolla will let Father William Jenkins live in peace for a while. Who says that Father Ramolla is a not a peacemaker?

Father Ramolla will go about his work of sanctifying and saving souls despite the sophomoric, self-serving attacks of Father Cekada and Bishop Dolan. Joseph Charles McKenzie has headed for the tall grass even though his computer fingerprints are all over the Laypopes site. The truth all gets revealed on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and Dead, and Father Cekada is going to find out then God is not as sanguine about the constant use of vulgarities and obscenities by bullies in front of innocent grade school students as he has shown himself to be.

These events have occurred within the Providence of God for His own greater honor and glory and for the good of the souls of all involved. To seek to blame Father Markus Ramolla for attempting to redress the constant, unremitting use of obscenities (and the many other abuses) at Saint Gertrude the Great School is to demonstrate oneself to be an enemy of souls obsessed with his own power and prestige rather than with the gentle care of the sheep.

Our Lady will see us through this dark night. She will help us to carry our crosses with joy and gratitude, especially as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state in life permit.

Christmas is but fifteen days from now. Let us prepare to welcome the Baby Jesus with love by seeking to protect the innocence and purity of our children, not by looking the other way as such innocence is assaulted by bullies and brutes with clerical impunity.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey