The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


January 13, 2010

An Anonymous Letter

 

by Timothy A. Duff

 

I had not up to this point read anything on Fr. Cekada’s boorish blog “Quidlibet”.  But when a friend showed me an anonymous letter he had posted (Jan. 10) I knew the time had come to say something.

I remember distinctly (on different occasions) Bp. Dolan expressing to me his abhorrence of anonymous letters. He told me they were far beneath him and that he would not respond to them. (If I’m not mistaken, he even mentioned this publicly.) Yet anonymity is now one of the tools being used by his propagandist. Perhaps he should remind Fr. Cekada just what he thinks of anonymous letters.

I’ll be blunt: Anonymity is a tool of cowards. It automatically excludes both the author and what is written from any part in the public forum. This holds true for anyone, no matter who it is or by what medium it is disseminated.

I never have, and never will, write anonymously in public. If I am not willing to take responsibility for my words, I don’t write them.

For Fr. Cekada to post the letter anonymously is not only hypocrisy, but an astonishing new low for this once-respected author. The downward spiral continues.

I assume the author of the letter did not ask for anonymity. In that case, let him make himself known in public as the author, lest the ignoble title of coward apply as well.

Say what you will, but the postings on ChristOrChaos.com and sgginfo.com include the name of the author. That is because those who write for these sites are not afraid to stand up for their words in public. (I refuse to read or recognize seriously such sites as cathinfo.com, which use the same nauseating modus operandi of pseudonyms and anonymity. And by the way, to sign a posting “The Editors”, when accompanied by contact info, as is done on sgginfo.com, does not constitute anonymity.)

But it is not only the anonymity which sickens me, but the puerile statements made in the letter itself, and the dastardly brainwashing with which Fr. Cekada introduces it.

Fr. Cekada posts an anonymous letter

On Sunday, Jan. 10 (curiously at 9:34 AM – during the Bp.’s sermon?) Fr. Cekada posted an anonymous letter. It began with Fr.’s note:

“NOTE: The year-long Internet campaign of lies and calumnies against our church and school has deceived and confused many people. One of our parishioners with children in St. Gertrude the Great School gave us permission to publish this e-mail to his parents, who had become worried about all the horrible accusations that our enemies have spread.”

Fr. Cekada, it is your use of this brainwashing mantra of “lies and calumnies against our church and school” that has “deceived and confused” many people, including the writer of the article you post. FOR NOWHERE HAS PUBLIC TESTIMONY BEEN GIVEN BY YOU OR BP. DOLAN OR MARK LOTARSKI THAT GIVES EVIDENCE SUPPORTING YOUR ASSERTION THAT THE PUBLIC TESTIMONIES RELATING PUBLIC CRIMES, AND CONSENT BY TOLERANCE THERETO, ARE INDEED LIES AND CALUMNIES! No evidence is given. Just “follow me or die”.

I know of no one who is against “your” church and school. Everyone I know who has left is against what Mark Lotarski has done in publicly abusing children, what John Lotarski has done in verbally assaulting both fellow students and adults, and the sinful consent by tolerance of it all by you and Bp. Dolan.

To say that opposition to the evils perpetrated makes us “against ‘your’ church and school” is the same malicious technique used by politicians who said that those who opposed the Iraq war were unpatriotic, were “against America”. It is a petty smear campaign meant to deflect attention from the real issues.

To refuse to defend the deeds in question in the public forum, but rather to resort to the hurling of epithets, is an admission that the deeds in question cannot be defended. The same technique was used against Christ by His accusers.

“If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; if well, why strikest thou Me?” (Jn. 18:23)

What “proof” do you give that all the testimonies given are “lies and calumnies”? Ah, here is your proof:

“Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” (Jn. 8:48)

Yes, this is precisely your response, and that of Bp. Dolan, for while you fling empty epithets he sees the devil in those who oppose evil, rather than in the evil itself.

The letter itself

Here are some excerpts from the letter (taken verbatim from Fr. Cekada’s “Quidlibet” blog), along with my comments and questions for the anonymous writer.

“From: X
Sent: Saturday, January 09, 2010 9:24 PM
To: Dad
Subject: Your Grandchildren’s School

“Mom & Dad,

“I am so sorry that you have been exposed to the troubles that we’ve been having at our church. This whole situation started almost exactly one year ago (on Christmas eve, of all days), when one of these men first started his crusade of writings against our church and school.”

Fr. Cekada’s mantra bears its fruit. But I repeat: There is no crusade against “your” church and school, but rather against the crimes committed against parishioners, especially children.

“I am not sure of their motives, but they make no secret that they want to destroy our parish.”

Quote the instances where anyone has publicly written that the goal is to destroy “your” parish.

“Their writings mix truths, half-truths, lies, and exaggerations in order to generate suspicion and dislike against our clergy, principal, and even our principal’s wife and children.”

Quote the half-truths, lies, etc. and prove they are what you say they are. For example, let’s take one of the primary documented incidents. Is it a “half-truth” that John Lotarski physically threatened Rev. Mr. Hall and verbally abused him, using the F-word twice, one time in front of first graders? Is it a “lie” that John was neither expelled, nor even significantly punished, nor handed over to the police as would happen in any school I’ve taught at, but that rather Mr. Hall was the one punished by being fired? Give evidence that your accusations are true, or publicly retract them.

 “Attacking children in a public internet discussion could NEVER be considered Catholic by any standard.”

Name the attacks on children posted on the internet! You could not be more wrong. It is those who consent to and tolerate the documented abuses of children at SGG school and parish who are harming children.

No -- children have not been attacked in a public internet discussion, but in a supposedly traditional Catholic school, tolerated by supposedly traditional Catholic clergy! I use “supposedly” here because there is more to being Catholic than Faith.  There are morals as well.

 “ [My wife] and I have had a tough year…”

We’ve all had a tough year, buddy. But what about the children who have been victimized? Maybe you should focus a bit more on how tough it is for them.

 “This is our sixth year in the school. Certainly we would have left by now if even half of these calumnies were true.”

Au contraire, given your completely biased and subjective statements, it is very clear why you have not left by now.

“I have attached three items. The first two are a couple of pictures from the kids’ school Christmas party. Do these happy kids look anything like what is described on these trouble-makers websites?”

I must admit, I just could not believe this when I read it. Nevertheless, I must say what must be said.

Dear Anonymous Writer, could you please explain what a couple of pictures of kids at a party have to do with the documented abuses at SGG school? Let me get this straight: If a few kids are happy at a party, that changes objective fact?

Suddenly Mark Lotarski did not expel the Miller children during a school day without even calling the parents to pick them up!, leaving them in the social hall unaware that they had been expelled…the parish secretary noticed them sobbing, nearly hysterical, and herself called Mr. Miller. This is a textbook example of psychological child abuse, and yet a picture of a few kids at a party means it never happened…

Suddenly John Lotarski never physically threatened and verbally abused Rev. Mr. Hall, or other students, or a parishioner one fine Sunday after High Mass, or Janet Gaye on her own property. Happy partiers wipe that out.

Did Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada, when notified of these criminal acts, show their righteous indignation by ousting the informant, or firing the teacher, or attempting to force a fellow priest out of the country? No! It couldn’t have happened, because happy kids at a Christmas party means it never occurred!

The idea that a couple of pictures of happy kids at a party has anything to do with the issues involved, let alone wipes objective history from the realm of reality, is just catatonic.

“Everyone is welcome at our church, provided they are dressed modestly and don’t cause any trouble…”

…by trying to protect the innocence of youth! Oh no! That is one thing which cannot be tolerated! Try to protect children and you will be ousted, fired, and demonized from the pulpit!

Yes, everyone is welcome at “our” church as long as they look the other way while children are abused and adults attacked.

“In closing, I would like to say that I would hope that you would trust my judgment on these issues…”

Trust your judgment? What judgment?

“…over those of a handful of troublemakers, bent on destroying your grandchildren’s little school.”

Mr. Anonymous Writer, do you not realize that this statement is a sinful subjective statement of the intentions of those against whom you write? Perhaps Bp. Dolan should stop wallowing in self-pity and start teaching some Catholic morals from the pulpit.

“Your son,

X.”

Hmmm…maybe I was wrong…maybe this letter is not anonymous after all…maybe “X.” is the true signature…

Conclusions

The author of this letter posted anonymously by Fr. Cekada needs to come out and take responsibility for the letter in public. Perhaps Fr. did this against your will. But if you do not step forward and take responsibility for it, then it is a cowardly piece and needs to go into the recycle bin.

LET NO ONE BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY WHO WRITES OR POSTS ANONYMOUSLY. Period.

Lastly, Fr. Cekada, I’d suggest you write a serious, scholarly treatise defending the actions of Mark & John Lotarski and yourself (and Bp. Dolan) which alone have caused this public scandal. I’m sure such a work would be replete with quotes from the umpteen canonists and moral theologians whose work you have studied, all defending the abuses, crimes, and consent to iniquity as “justifiable”.

 

In any case, stop floating in the sewers of the blogosphere. It is completely unworthy of a priest of your background and former reputation


Mr. Timothy A. Duff