The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


    November 15, 2009

Justifying Glory Into Shame

by Thomas A. Droleskey

All that glitters is not gold. All that appears to give honor and glory to God may not necessarily do so.

We were certainly impressed with the glories of the Sacred Liturgy at Saint Gertrude the Great Church when we first assisted at Holy Mass there on the Feast of Saint Athanasius, May 2, 2006. We continued to be impressed and edified by those glories over the passage of time. Alas, the glories of the Sacred Liturgy at Saint Gertrude the Great Church have covered a shameful contempt for the heartfelt concerns that various parishioners have attempted to bring to the pastoral attention of His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada.

It is this shameful contempt for the bleating of the sheep of the flock of Saint Gertrude the Great Church that have precipitated the current crisis there, crystallized by the lies told about Father Markus Ramolla by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada, starting with the lie that Father Ramolla himself quit his position as an assistant pastor at Saint Gertrude's and his forthcoming assignment as the principal of Saint Gertrude the Great School even though Father Ramolla's work visa was revoked the day before Bishop Dolan fired him from his positions.

Father Ramolla, like so many priests and presbyters attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, was attempting to correct a prideful abuse of clerical authority that demonstrated little if any compassion for the suffering of the sheep. Bishop Dolan has also gone so far as to tell a direct untruth to crying first graders at Saint Gertrude the Great School, upset that their teacher, Father Ramolla, was no longer with them. His Excellency told the children on Monday, November 9, 2009, that Father Ramolla "missed Germany" and had to return there. What will these children say when they see Father Ramolla walking around West Chester, Ohio, and when they hear of other parishioners going to his Masses? This shameful lack of concern for the integrity of the faith in the souls of these innocent first graders is deplorable.

Father Ramolla, like so many of those conciliar priests and presbyters, has been blamed for problems he attempted to correct by going through the proper channels, branded as a "back-biter" when he had stood up as a man to Bishop Dolan to tell him forthrightly of the problems and how they were to be remedied. 

It was seven and one-half years ago now that His Excellency Bishop Donald J. Sanborn wrote an article entitled, Glory into Shame, that discussed the shameful lack of outrage on the part of conciliar "bishops" over the immersion of many of their clergy--and some of their own number--in perverse sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. It is very sad to see Bishop Sanborn minimize the lack of outrage that Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have exhibited for well over two decades now concerning the real problems that their sheep have attempted to bring to their attention to be corrected. That Bishop Sanborn himself has no supernatural sense of outrage over how Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have treated their sheep is quite telling.

Bishop Sanborn wrote a letter, dated November 11, 2009, to a now former parishioner of Saint Gertrude the Great Church. The parishioner responded with an laser-like response that requires only a few additional comments from this writer. Here is the exchange as found on the Saint Gertrude the Great Information site:

Letter from Bishop Sanborn to a parishioner of St. Gertrude

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear --------,

I am sorry to hear of your decision to leave St. Gertrude’s.  In response, I would like to offer some thoughts for your consideration.

Do you think that the general goal of overcoming the Modernists and of preserving the traditional faith is being served by your decision? Looking at this from afar, I perceive the reaction to whatever problems may exist or are perceived to exist in the school to be a war upon St. Gertrude the Great Church, and upon the persons of Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada. It appears to me that the goal of this war is to destroy St. Gertrude’s as a parish, and to destroy the episcopacy of Bishop Dolan and the priesthood of Father Cekada, as well as their very persons.

If all of these things happen, will you then rejoice? If there is no school and no church when all is said and done, will everyone be happy? When the pigeons are nesting in St. Gertrude’s Church, or if it should be sold off to the protestants, will you declare the mission to have been accomplished? Will  God thereby be served? Will the interests of the Catholic faith be thereby promoted?

And if Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada go into retirement, or if you find one of them as a greeter in Wal-Mart in order to support himself, will you be then satisfied and content? Will all the goals then have been achieved?

And if the ruination of St. Gertrude’s should bring about the ruination of the seminary, which it would do, will you then rejoice all the more? Will Fr. Ramolla raise millions and build a church, a school, and a seminary, and operate them all? To everyone’s satisfaction? And when his followers turn on him because they are dissatisfied, and spread rumors about him, and destroy him, shall you again all be glad because yet another priest has been destroyed?

My point is that there are ways to solve problems, and the way which you and others have chosen is the wrong path. It leads, ultimately, to exactly what I have described.

If traditionalists, and particularly sedevacantists, do not stop cutting each other up when they get upset, they are going to end up with nothing. You will see little handfuls of faithful gathering around a priest here and there in rented halls and Holiday Inns. And that priest will have to work a secular job during the week, in order to support himself and protect himself from the day on which the faithful destroy him and turn him out.

You speak about vocations. Do you think that it encourages a vocation in a young man to see their priests’ names dragged through the mud? To have nearly thirty-five years of laboring for souls destroyed by the poison pen and poison tongue of people who are disgruntled about a teacher in a school?  Will such activity foster vocations? Will it encourage vocations to see Bishop Dolan stocking the shelves at Kroger, reduced to shame and poverty because he did not solve a school problem the way some thought he should?

You have Father Ramolla because the seminary exists and has trained him, and despite his criticism of me, I believe that all would agree that Father was trained rather well. He is trained well because I and Father Cekada, primarily, devoted ourselves relentlessly to the operation of this institution, and have worked very hard to do our best to preserve a high standard.

The devil is accomplishing his work in the SSPX by luring them into an association with the Modernists. When that happens, only the sedevacantists, few as they are, will be left to fight the Modernists. Only the entities like St. Gertrude’s and Most Holy Trinity Seminary, which have taken years to build up, will be the voice of Catholicism in the world. But if the faithful burn the house down and destroy their priests and bishops, will there be anything left for the devil to do?

Sincerely yours in Christ, Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn

The parishioner's response to Bishop Sanborn's letter

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your Excellency,

Thank you very much for your response. I do not know how privy you are to the situation at St. Gertrude, specifically as regards the school, but things are extremely serious. Your response to me seems to indicate that you are not familiar with just how terrible and intolerable things really are. Believe me, so many people are not leaving over a minor dispute. We all have faults and we can all tolerate the fact that not everything is always handled the way we would like to see it handled, but there comes a point at which things become so grave and so serious as to demand an equally grave and serious response.

My decision to leave St. Gertrude is not based upon advancing the sedevacantist cause but upon (1) not being able, in good conscience, to be associated with clergy whose behavior is morally reprehensible, (2) not being able, in good conscience, to entrust my soul and the souls of (potentially) my wife and children to clergy who calumniate other priests, lie from the pulpit, and defend, excuse, and employ as principal of a supposedly Catholic school a man who physically abuses children and scandalizes them so that their bodies and souls are in danger. How could I ever trust clergy who do such things? How could I possibly turn a blind eye to it and act as though nothing were wrong? I cannot.

Many people have left their homes to move to Cincinnati to attend St. Gertrude, with the idea in mind that they would be able to send their children to a good Catholic school, where they would get a traditional Catholic education, where their souls would be nourished, and where they would be safe. Such is manifestly not the case, and many souls have been scandalized because of how the school is run and what happens there. This has gone on for years, and the complaints are not based upon one or two incidents, blown out of proportion by a few whiny parents, but there is here in reality a long pattern of inexcusable and truly scandalous behavior.

If it should happen that the sedevacantist cause suffer as a result of the imploding of St. Gertrude, we should look for the true cause not in the actions of the individuals who rightly saw that they cannot support such an institution, but in the clergy and laity who are actually at the root of the problems. The fact that people are leaving St. Gertrude is only a symptom of the disease - it is the disease itself that must be eradicated, and to be eradicated, it must first of all be acknowledged to exist (the symptoms will go away automatically as soon as the disease is gone). Yet, what happens instead is that, again and again, the focus is shifted away from the real problem to the people who are upset about the problem. We are not simply speaking here about some minor disagreement about how a school is to be run, as though we were simply "disgruntled about a teacher in the school." This is a huge problem and very serious in nature.

You speak of raising millions to build and run a seminary and a church, but if there are no Catholics left tomorrow, then not only will those institutions not be able to continue operating, but we would not even have new seminarians/vocations to begin with. People have been so generous in giving so much only on the supposition that they are giving to a worthy cause, to a school in which the principal does not beat the living daylights out of the children, a school in which wrongs are corrected, not covered up, and a church in which the pulpit is not misused to lie about another priest. That is the reason why so much money has been raised, and the faithful at SGG who are standing up now in protest merely want to ensure that what so many good people have supported for so long is truly a worthy cause to support. That is why we are in uproar.

The faithful at St. Gertrude are greatly distressed about all this. We are the last ones who want to see the parish die! The faithful, collectively, have (financially) made all of this possible, so why would we want to see its destruction? If, however, it becomes apparent that scoundrels have taken over who have no care for souls, then it is high time that such a situation be changed, and the only way we can change it is by refusing to support it. WE are not the ones tearing things down; we are only refusing to support those who are actually tearing things down.

But if truly the sedevacantist cause is on the line because of this, one must wonder even more so: Why are Fr. Cekada and Bp. Dolan allowing this to happen? Why are they willing to endanger the entire cause? Why do they risk losing everything - for one man? Any reasonable person realizes that there must be an even more serious underlying cause here, because this kind of behavior that allows such grave wrongs to go unpunished for years, all the while both clergy and laity - incl. children - are being scandalized, can only be explained by positing a proportionate cause.

Nobody wants to see traditional Catholic priests have to make their own living. Yet, was Bp. Dolan worried about taking away Fr. Ramolla's livelihood? Was he worried about seeing Fr. Ramolla stocking shelves at Kroger? Once again, the fingers are being pointed at the wrong people. The questions you posed to me, Your Excellency, are questions that should be posed to Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada: "When all the faithful at SGG have left, and no one will want to support SGG or the seminary, will you then be happy? Having to sell the property to Protestants, is that what you want? Will Fr. Ramolla raise enough funds to build churches, schools, and a seminary? Why are you so intent upon destroying the parish and the school?" These are questions for those who are truly to blame, not for the faithful who are merely trying to defend themselves and what their donations have helped bring about. 

God will bless the sedevacantist cause only if there is holiness, not if there is cover-up of scandal and children are at risk. God will always bless righteousness and punish evil. He is the One directing the future restoration of the Church, and it won't be brought about by maintaining the illusion of a good Catholic school and a good Catholic parish when the truth is so terribly different, which people only find out after they have already gone through the trouble of moving here and having their children attend the school.

So, if, in the end, the birds are nesting at St. Gertrude's, the bishop is stocking shelves at Kroger, the property is about to be bought up by Protestants, and 35 years of work are on the verge of being undone, it won't be due to people with a poison pen and a poison tongue, it will be due to the actions and inactions of the leadership at St. Gertrude, who have preferred to allow the entire parish and school to go under because they refused to do a relatively simple thing: do what needs to be done to clean up the school. The faithful will merely have done what any reasonable person under the circumstances would do: withdraw their support. Whatever bad follows from this will have to be filed under "principle of double effect." Why should anyone give money to a group of clergy who lie, scandalize people, and allow the abuse of children? Why should we support this? Why should we turn a blind eye to it and act as though nothing were wrong? Why would I want someone to be my spiritual director who calumniates a good priest from the pulpit? Why? For "the cause"? For sedevacantism? To defeat modernism? For a big seminary and nice Church property? Shall the Church be restored at the expense of children's souls? Shall we win back souls for Christ through mortal sin?

Certainly, some faults and wrongs can and should be tolerated for the greater good, and we do this all the time. But what's going on here is extremely sinister and very disturbing (especially realizing that Fr. Cekada and Bp. Dolan appear willing to allow everything to go down the tubes rather than fire Mark Lotarski), and the faithful would be doing a great disservice to God and His Church by remaining silent about it. The CMRI's history with Bp. Schuckhart was very sinister, and yet the CMRI is flourishing today, not because of cover-ups, but because these works of darkness were exposed and things were made right. St. Paul tells us: "[H]ave no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Ephesians 5:11). This I wish to do.

 I remain respectfully yours in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Saint Gertrude the Great Information)

 

There are only a few points to be made to amplify this excellent, thoughtful response from the parishioner who responded to Bishop Sanborn's letter. I will cover these by repeating certain passages in His Excellency's letter of November 11, 2009:

Bishop Sanborn:  "Do you think that the general goal of overcoming the Modernists and of preserving the traditional faith is being served by your decision? Looking at this from afar, I perceive the reaction to whatever problems may exist or are perceived to exist in the school to be a war upon St. Gertrude the Great Church, and upon the persons of Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada. It appears to me that the goal of this war is to destroy St. Gertrude’s as a parish, and to destroy the episcopacy of Bishop Dolan and the priesthood of Father Cekada, as well as their very persons."

 

This exact argument was made by many conciliar "bishops" in 2002 when the extent of their misuse of episcopal authority to protect and promote priests and presbyters engaged in unspeakable sins against nature was made public in the secular media after years of reporting in such disparate newspapers as The Wanderer and National Catholic Reporter.

Indeed, I was told by some "conservative" conciliarists, both clergy and laity, not to report on these problems in the 1990s as to do so would be to make war upon the faith and upon the persons of "Pope" John Paul II and his "bishops." We were told that we could not "destroy" the "pope" and his "bishops," that to bring these matters to public light would be to do the work of anti-Catholics in the secular media. We had to "work from within" to resolve problems that were being ignored by the highest officials in the conciliar Vatican even after incontrovertible evidence about what was happened with perverted clergy were placed into their hands. The scandals that erupted into full public view in 2002, demoralizing many Catholics and causing others to lose the faith entirely, need not to have erupted at all if the complaints made by the laity had been taken seriously and if justice had been done promptly.

Are Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada exempt from the consequences of their own stubborn, prideful refusal to show compassion on their suffering sheep by remaining steadfastly loyal to a family that has caused many parishioners and their children to be scandalized and to suffer greatly? Does being a sedevacantist exempt one from the dictates of virtue in order to protect an episcopal and presbyteral dignity that has been besmirched by a callous, reckless disregard for the suffering that has been indemnified time and time again by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada?

Our cause, as the former parishioner noted, is not sedevacantism. It is Catholicism. We seek to defend Catholic truth, which has been, not so incidentally, under attack by the likes of a priest ordained in Germany on June 29, 1951, a man who is known today as "Benedict XVI," and that alone without respect to persons. For Bishop Sanborn to be correct, therefore, we would have to ignore these plain words of Saint Thomas Aquinas that apply very directly to the sad, tragic situation at Saint Gertrude the Great Church:

"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)

 

Readers can see as well that Bishop Sanborn sought to minimize the level of the problems at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, which have involved beatings of children at Saint Gertrude the Great School, something that is identical to what the conciliarists attempted to do in the 1980s and 1990s and even after their scandalous cover-ups were exposed in 2002 and thereafter. Bishop Sanborn himself lacks outrage over a longstanding attitude exhibited by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada that has sought to make parishioners feel guilty for bringing forth their problems to their shepherds. Once again, most sadly, this is identical to how the thug "bishops" in the counterfeit church of conciliarism sought to turn the tables on those who complained, making them the focus of their wrath, not the wrongdoers who prompted the laity to complain in the first place.

Being a sedevacantist does not give one license to treat human beings, no less members of the flock of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the way that parishioners of Saint Gertrude the Great Church have been treated. This is not a "minor" problem. This scandal consists of a long, sustained pattern of insensitive, self-righteous behavior on the part of Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada that was summarized to me in a conversation with a parishioner of Saint Gertrude the Great Church as placing dignity before virtue.

A mother who has seen her two sons lose the faith because of the bullying that was visited upon them by the Lotarski children, whose indecent behavior was minimized time and time again by Father Cekada, gave me permission to publish the following note that she sent me upon the condition that I not use her name:

I had a meeting with Father Cekada after the first incident at school between the now publicly sinful high school students. At the time they were originally "caught" everything was hushed up and swept under the rug in direct violation of the published school rules indicating that such behavior was grounds for expulsion. The lack of duty and attention given to this major infraction of moral ethics and church code scandalized my boys to no end as they were taken to task for far minor infractions.

[One of the Lotarski boys] was providing my boys with cigarettes and when I discovered this I went directly to Father Cekada who told me that the boys told him they had "found" the cigarettes. I was very firm with Father in the meeting about my insistence that my boys have no further contact with the Lotarski boys at all. The next Sunday after Mass, [one of the Lotarski boys] verbally assaulted me in the vestibule and began to come after me threatening physical harm. This event occurred in front of the standard post-Mass, pre-catechism class crowd outside Mark's office. I simply turned and walked away....

I was told by Father Cekada in yet another meeting to "give [the boy] a pass" as I was probably blowing the incident out of proportion and he really didn't mean it. I kept the affair between myself and my boys. I also discovered that the Lotarskis had been showing my boys very interesting internet sites while they were supposed to be cleaning on Saturday at church. [Two church workers] both caught the boys in Mark's office on the computer. When I spoke to Father about this incident, again I was told that what was reported was not the case.

 

If Bishop Sanborn, who is two years my senior in age, thinks that the indemnification of the behavior described above, which he knows full well would have resulted in a suspension or expulsion in an parochial grammar or high school in the 1950s, is a "minor" matter, then His Excellency has no foundation at all to condemn the conciliarists who attempted to minimize their own misdeeds for over twenty to thirty years running, browbeating and steamrollering any lay person who got in their way.

Bishop Sanborn also proves the point that I made in Sanctimony Won't Work This Time by making it appear as though the existence of Saint Gertrude the Great Church and Most Holy Trinity Seminary are vital for the survival of the faith, failing to mention that the the faith is being kept alive by the other bishops and priests throughout the Catholic underground in this time of apostasy and betrayal, including in seminaries in Argentina and Italy. The seminary in Argentina is administered under the care of Bishop Andres Morello, who was consecrated in 2006 by His Excellency Bishop Robert Neville. Indeed, Bishop Daniel Dolan spoke very highly to us of the training that Bishop Morello gives to his priests, one of whom he, Bishop Dolan, had met in Europe last month. The Catholic Church is, as I will note just below, a little wider than the Mass sites approved by Bishops Dolan and Sanborn.

 

Bishop Sanborn:  "The devil is accomplishing his work in the SSPX by luring them into an association with the Modernists. When that happens, only the sedevacantists, few as they are, will be left to fight the Modernists. Only the entities like St. Gertrude’s and Most Holy Trinity Seminary, which have taken years to build up, will be the voice of Catholicism in the world. But if the faithful burn the house down and destroy their priests and bishops, will there be anything left for the devil to do?"

 

God is stronger than the Modernists, Your Excellency. He does not need institutions based on lies and the minimization of scandal to defeat the Modernists. He needs bishops and priests who are not respecters of persons and who will denounce their own for their unwillingness to to protect their sheep from ravenous wolves as firmly as they denounce those in the counterfeit church of conciliarism who have done the exact same thing. So what if there are only a handful of priests in the underground? Perhaps this is better than to see the souls of bishops and priests and laity put into mortal jeopardy as they are tempted to commit sins against Charity and Justice as a result of problems that these bishops and priests have allowed to fester for so long and with such disdainful arrogance. It is better just to be able to go Mass in the underground than worry about saving institutions that are not committed to the defense of the truth at all times, no matter who gets inconvenienced in the process, especially if in the preservation of these institutions the laity must be browbeaten and lies and misrepresentations must be brought forth to protect reputations and bank accounts.

As I noted six days ago in Sanctimony Won't Work This Time, the Catholic Church is not confined to those Mass sites and institutions that carry the approval of Bishop Daniel Dolan and Bishop Donald Sanborn. It is nevertheless a sad fact, however, that the mentality of exclusivism that they have fostered is responsible for convincing some members of the laity who have known Bishop Dolan for a very long time and are understandably loyal to him that those who leave Saint Gertrude the Great Church have "apostatized," that they have left the Catholic faith. One member of Saint Gertrude the Great Church referred to a convert who withdrew from the parish some time ago now as an "apostate." Does leaving Saint Gertrude the Great Church make one an apostate? How can one fight the Modernists when one is fostering a spirit of exclusivism that denigrates the work of others in the underground at this time to preserve the Catholic faith? Those who leave Saint Gertrude the Great Church are "apostates"? Preposterous.

Bishop Sanborn wrote to me eight days ago now for doing the "work of the devil" in posting Father Ramolla's open letter to Bishop Dolan his farewell letter to his flock. The wording of his e-mail was almost identical to that contained in an long-lost e-mail from Father Carlos Urrutigoity, the founder of the corrupt Society of Saint John, who was very upset at the fact that I had dared to ask him probing questions in the Fall of 2000 about the operations of his community. It was only a year later that Dr. Jeffrey Bond, who was to found the College of Saint Justin Martyr under the direction of Father Urrutigoity, sent me a note to apologize for having told many people that I was indeed guilty of "doing the work of the devil," dedicating himself tirelessly to exposing the corruption within the Society of Saint John thereafter. It is NOT to do the work of the devil to bring the long uncorrected behavior of malefactors to light, and Father Markus Ramolla should be applauded for his courage in this regard.

Bishop Sanborn took great pride in his November 11, 2009, letter to the former parishioner from Saint Gertrude the Great Church in the formation that Farther Ramolla received at Most Holy Trinity Seminary:

Bishop Sanborn: "You have Father Ramolla because the seminary exists and has trained him, and despite his criticism of me, I believe that all would agree that Father was trained rather well. He is trained well because I and Father Cekada, primarily, devoted ourselves relentlessly to the operation of this institution, and have worked very hard to do our best to preserve a high standard."

 

This does not square with what Bishop Sanborn wrote to me eight days ago: and what Bishop Dolan wrote in a note that he sent out around the world on the same day, Friday, November 6, 2009:

Believe me, Father Ramolla is no Saint John of the Cross. I have known him very well since 2001. You have known him very superficially for a short period of time. I am not very surprised by the spirit which he has manifested at St. Gertrude's. (Bishop Sanborn, November 6, 2009.)

 

This does not square with what Bishop Dolan wrote in a note that he sent out around the world on the same day, Friday, November 6, 2009:

 

On September 23, Father Cekada wrote to you concerning the appointment of Father Markus Ramolla as Principal of our school. Father Cekada noted that having a priest serve full-time in this capacity had been one of our long-term goals. Your response to this was most encouraging.

Since that time, however, a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Father Ramolla, going back even two years, even before his ordination, has come to light. Members of the laity, several priests and one bishop have advised me of the severe and destructive criticism that Father Ramolla has spread throughout the world against Saint Gertrude the Great Church, Saint Gertrude the Great School, Most Holy Trinity Seminary, and two bishops. (Bishop Dolan, November 6, 2009, full text and a response from Mr. Bernard G.J. Hall, found in Sanctimony Won't Work This Time.)

 

How could Father Ramolla have been well trained if he had a pattern of "inappropriate behavior" dating back "two years, even before his ordination," that has just now come to light, just in the "nick of time" to prevent him from serving as principal of Saint Gertrude the Great School? As I noted six days ago, it strains credulity to praise Father Ramolla repeatedly and then to assert that things have "come to light" that were not known before now.

Truth has been a great victim in this terrible, needless tragedy unfolding before our very eyes at Saint Gertrude the Great Church and at Saint Clare's Church in Columbus, Ohio, whose two bank accounts, which contained $135,000 between them, were closed out by Father Cekada a few days ago, thus taking away the donations given to support that church by its very hard working parishioners. Formerly close friends have been set against each other by the lies told by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada, by their arrogant refusal to hold the Lotarskis responsible for their repeated immoral behavior that would have caused them to have been expelled from any Catholic school in the 1950s and might even be cause today for such an expulsion in formerly Catholic schools now under the control of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. This is not a minor matter. Not at all.

It is Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada who have turned the glory of Saint Gertrude the Great Church into the shame of the present moment, and for Bishop Sanborn to seek to justify this shame or to minimize it demonstrates that he, most sadly, is as tone-deaf as they to the suffering of the sheep who have been browbeaten so very long by the shepherds they trusted with their very souls unto eternity.

That the Lotarskis themselves are suffering at this time is something that no one takes any joy in whatsoever. Quite the contrary. They have souls made in the image and likeness of the Most Blessed Trinity. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood to redeem them. No one with an ounce of true Christian charity takes any pleasure at all in the suffering of his fellow members in the Mystical Body of Christ that is the Catholic Church.

The fact that the Lotarskis are suffering great humiliations at the present time, however, is solely the fault of Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada for refusing to care about the suffering of the parishioners and their children who have suffered at the hands of the Lotarskis, prompting Father Markus Ramolla to speak up in behalf of these parishioners and children. This scandal, much like the ones in the conciliar structures, need never have gotten to this point if only Bishop Dolan had listened to the suffering of his sheep rather than digging in his heels to prove that no one, priest or layman, is going to tell him how to run his parish. No one would have been humiliated. The common good of Saint Gertrude the Great Church would have been restored. Years upon years of frustrations with clerical inaction in the face of serious abuses would have been defused.

Although it is necessary to correct misstatements and to defend those who have been the victims of clerical abuse of authority, we must do so without vindictiveness, recognizing that God is permitting these terrible events to occur as a Chastisement so that we might make more and more reparation for our own sins, which are, of course, very responsible for worsening the state of the Church Militant on earth and the world-at-large. We must seek justice and expose truth without malice, forgiving wrongdoers as we are forgiven in the sacred tribunal of penance.

There may not be, to quote the late New York Mets' broadcaster Bob Murphy, a "happy recap" to the current tragedy at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. It would help, however, if Bishop Dolan took seriously this letter that Father Ramolla sent to him yesterday, November 13, 2009:

My dear Bishop Dolan:

In charity and justice I am obliged to remind you that since the onset of this dire affair, the solution has always been in your hands. At any time over the last six to twelve months, you could have stopped the increasingly bitter strife by simply doing the right thing. On occasions too numerous to count, many parishioners, both current and former, warned you about the consequences of refusing to act swiftly and decisively. You will recall that just weeks before you fired me, I begged you in a private conversation to correct the grave wrongs at the school in order to forestall the certain ruination of St. Gertrude's. To your everlasting discredit, you willfully ignored the touch of the better angels of your nature. Likewise you hardened your heart and turned a deaf ear to the chorus of anxious voices pleading for justice and the restoration of harmony.

You must understand, Your Excellency, that even now in these hideous days of shattered peace and wavering faith, you and you alone still have it within your means to put an end to this shameful episode in our church's history. By an act of sacrifice, heretofore alien to your nature, it is still in your power to grasp St. Gertrude the Great Church by her trembling hand and rescue her from the dizzying precipice of destruction.

On Sunday, along with hundreds of traditional Catholics across Ohio and scores of parishioners, I will offer a humble prayer for your conversion and the subsequent deliverance of St. Gertrude the Great Church.

In the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,

The Rev. Markus Ramolla

 

Let us pray a Rosary now so that His Excellency Bishop Dolan will have the humility to recognize the harm that has been done and contemplate voluntarily removing all the causes of grievances of the faithful. And let us pray to Our Lady that she will help us never to be embittered, remembering always that there is nothing that anyone can to do us or say about us that is the equal of what one of our least venial sins caused her Divine Son to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death.

As always, of course, we need to make reparation for our own sins. Many are attacking this messenger over their perception of all too real and a lot of imagined or projected faults and failings that I possess. I readily admit that this messenger is flawed, that I have much for which to make reparation before I die. Although each of us lives in figurative glass houses because of our sins, this does not mean that we are to be intimidated into silence when attempting to speak out about serious abuses that have continued unabated for over two decades.

No, we must accept the humiliation that others might seek to visit upon us for attempting, despite our own sins and failings and imperfections, to defend a courageous priest when he is being attacked unjustly for standing up to those who have more concern for their reputations than for the souls of the sheep who have looked to them for pastoral care. The humiliation we suffer, if it is offered up with joy and gratitude to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, might very well be the means by which we can plant a few seeds for the softening of hearts and for the reconciliation of those estranged at this tragic time as we turn our focus to the task at hand: defending the integrity Catholic faith with the care of the Good Shepherd  Himself.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

 

Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey