The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story

 

January 1, 2010

Stalinists Always Claim to Want Peace

by Thomas A. Droleskey

Foreword by the Author

Father Anthony Cekada has written recently that none of the problems that he has sought for so long to minimize were worth going to "war" over, analogizing the warfare that has ensued in the last eight weeks as a result of his own diffidence in the face of serious complaints that were brought to him time and again by parents and other parishioners to a dispute within the Cistercians in the Seventeenth Century over the eating of meat. If there is nothing to go to "war" over, one is then forced to ask why Bishop Daniel L. Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada have suborned their friend Joseph Charles McKenzie's now disabled website and why the pulpit of Saint Gertrude the Great Church has been used as a forum of self-serving pity parties and the public castigation of Father Markus Ramolla, who sought only to protect the innocence and the purity of the young. One is also forced to ask why Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada are suborning efforts to deport their former friend and employee, the Reverend Mr. Bernard G.J. Hall, from the country where he has lived since 1982. Would Federal immigration authorities have been "tipped off" "anonymously" if Mr. Hall was still working at Saint Gertrude the Great School while he kept his mouth shut about the abuses that he had observed with his own eyes there?

Alas, the Reverend Mr. Bernard G.J. Hall, is being punished for establishing the SGG Info and St. Albert the Great websites. He explains his plight in a series of answers to questions that I posed to him on Monday, December 28, 2009, six days after he was fingerprinted and photographed by Federal authorities after visa problems that Father Cekada had been promising the Reverend Mr. Hall for years to fix became a pretext to start deportation proceedings against him. Mr. Hall's story is compelling. It contains a narrative that, so very sadly, is now familiar to those who have been following the tragedy created by Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada and their rank abuse of clerical authority. Stalinists always claim to want "peace" as they seek to silence and punish anyone who dares to criticize them.

The Reverend Mr. Hall's plight has also been assessed by Mr. Timothy A. Duff in his excellent article, The Betrayal of the Reverend Mr. Bernard Hall.

Although it had been my hope that further articles on the situation at Saint Gertrude the Great Church and School would not be necessary, I knew on the morning of Wednesday, December 23, 2009, when reading an e-mail from the Reverend Mr. Hall on my cellular phone that yet another article would have to be written. As readers will discover when reading Mr. Duff's article, the cruelty that has been visited upon Bernard G.J. Hall is truly unfathomable, coming just days before Christmas. Please join me in praying a Rosary for the Reverend Mr. Bernard G.J. Hall and his intentions at this time.

Thomas A. Droleskey

 

Father Anthony Cekada has been busy at work on his Quidlibet site in recent weeks attempting to denigrate the real and legitimate concerns of many former parishioners of Saint Gertrude the Great Church that he himself, indemnified time and again by Bishop Daniel L. Dolan, treated with contempt as he dismissed them as "minor," things that did not touch upon the doctrine of the Faith. Unfortunately for Father Cekada, however, the pastoral concerns of the faithful do touch upon the doctrine of the Faith when their pastors choose to ignore or dismiss threats to the eternal welfare of their children's souls.

Father Cekada has repeated the mantra, perhaps as if to convince himself more than anyone else, that there was nothing so serious at Saint Gertrude the Great School as to cause the "war" that ensued when Bishop Dolan dismissed Father Markus Ramolla on Thursday, November 5, 2009, and then made it appear as though he was "shocked" by the "scope and vehemence" of the latter's criticisms of the school when he, Bishop Dolan, had been duly apprised about these concerns over the years by teachers, parents and parishioners, including ourselves, long before Father Ramolla arrived and became a sympathetic sounding board for those who had been rebuffed for so long by Father Cekada and Bishop Dolan. Father Cekada has tried repeatedly to downplay the gravity of the abuses catalogued at A Litany of Reported Instances of Abuse of Discretion and Bad Judgment even though there are two former teachers and one former priest (and some former parishioners) who can attest to the veracity of one or more of the allegations.

Father Cekada's repeated efforts to downplay the gravity of these allegations provide contemporaneous testimony to how he dealt with complaints about them when they were brought to his attention as they occurred. He didn't care. He didn't think that they were any kind of "big deal." Father Cekada's moral myopia in this regard is striking. His inability to even entertain the notion that he is morally myopic is even more striking as he has used every Stalinist trick in the book to attempt to characterize those who have complained and who have left Saint Gertrude the Great Church as "haters" who simply can't forgive those against whom they harbor some kind of "grudge." Father Cekada has recently attempted to compare the complaints about Saint Gertrude the Great School to the dispute over the eating of meat that had rent the Cistercian order asunder in the Seventeenth Century as a means of "demonstrating" their insignificance.

Father Cekada's comparison is misplaced and self-serving. The abuse of children by the use of vulgar name-calling (which Father Cekada justifies on the basis that such denigration was common in Catholic schools in the 1950s, an observation about which I, who was in a Catholic grammar school at the exact same time as Father Cekada, beg to differ as I never heard such denigration, no less denigration replete with vulgarities, ever in Saint Aloysius School in Great Neck, New York) and the refusal to discipline or expel bullies who use profanities repeatedly within earshot of children and whose behavior has caused at least two children to lose the Faith (something that Father Cekada does not seemed concerned about in the slightest) is best compared with the diffidence exhibited by the conciliar "bishops" in the face of similar allegations that were brought to their attention by concerned parents. It is the clerical abuse of authority at Saint Gertrude the Great Church and School that has resulted in the current crisis, the exact same sort of clerical abuse of authority that resulted in the scandals that have rocked the Novus Ordo establishment in the United States and elsewhere, especially in Ireland.

Many "bishops" in the conciliar structures in the United States of America and Ireland remain entirely unbent in the face of all that has happened to them. They remain steadfast in their conviction that they were correct to turn aside those who had complained and then to subject them to the worst form of character assassination possible while the perverted priests/presbyters were protected and, in many cases, promoted. These 'bishops" remain unbent even thought they have paid out over $2 billion in settlement monies to the victims of their priests/presbyters, victims who were victimized repeatedly by their own lawyers and by those in the employ of insurance companies whose only concern was to limit financial liability rather than to correct the abuses and to tend to the spiritual needs of the victimized sheep. Father Cekada seems incapable of understanding that the circumstances that prompted what he believes is a needless "war" at Saint Gertrude the Great School are, though differing in some respects, very similar to those in the conciliar structures in that serious concerns of the faithful were dismissed and those who were engaging in repeated and unrepentant acts of abuse were protected and indemnified.

Despite all of their protestations to the contrary, Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have indeed shot at the messengers who had inveighed with them privately months before Father Ramolla brought things to a head with his sermon at the opening of the Forty Hours' devotion on Friday, October 23, 2009. Bishop Dolan has denounced Father Ramolla from the pulpit. Father Ramolla's work visa was revoked to get him out of the country as soon as possible. Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada's close friend Joseph Charles McKenzie started a website to character assassinate anyone who criticized them, including Father Ramolla, Mr. Timothy Duff, Mrs. Stephanie Johns, and, of course, the easiest target to lampoon, me, a lampooning that I still accept as a just chastisement for my sins. It was only after McKenzie's website was exposed on this site and on the CathInfo site that Father Cekada breathed new life into his long dormant Quidlibet blog to make his own ready warfare upon "Wingate group hate," a variation of McKenzie's "Wingate hate group."

Father Cekada has done more than write entries on his blog or to tell untruths about how an elderly former parishioner of Saint Gertrude the Great Church is going to the Confraternity of Saint Albert the Great because he has to depend upon others to take him to Holy Mass when the man is indeed driving himself to Holy Mass and supports Father Ramolla fully. No, Father Cekada has been busy exacting revenge on those who have been criticizing Saint Gertrude the Great Church and School. The latest to feel Father Cekada's sting is the Reverend Mr. Bernard G. J. Hall, the first to be purged from Saint Gertrude the Great School following an altercation with one of the sons of the principal as that young man uttered an unprintable profanity at Mr. Hall within the earshot of children.

Mr. Bernard G. J. Hall has been at the epicenter of the events that have been transpiring at Saint Gertrude the Great Church since the middle of October of this year, 2009. Mr. Hall has, since being fired as a teacher at Saint Gertrude the Great Church following his being verbally assaulted by John Lotarski, a son of Saint Gertrude the Great School Principal Mark Lotarski, been maintaining the SGG Info and St. Albert the Great websites, assisting Father Markus Ramolla tirelessly as a refuge has been provided to those who have left Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, and Saint Clare's Church in Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Hall's efforts in behalf of Father Ramolla and the Confraternity of Saint Albert the Great have not met with the approval of Bishop Daniel L. Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada, neither of whom is particularly enamored of any kind of criticism, whether just or unjust, at any time from anyone for any reason.

Indeed, Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have gone to great lengths to seek to discredit and/or character assassinate their critics in recent weeks, going so far as, at the very least, to give encouragement to their close friend, Joseph Charles McKenzie, who set up a now disabled website that engaged in the worst form of character assassination and misrepresentation of truth imaginable. Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada were not, as is apparent now, ignoring their old friend Mr. Hall, who was ordained to the subdiaconate by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on the Vigil of Pentecost, May 29, 1982. They had plans for him as well. Bishop Dolan's and Father Cekada's plans for Mr. Hall, a native of Yorkshire, England, included seeking his deportation from the United States of America just as they are seeking to have Father Ramolla removed from the country.

Mr. Hall has been kind enough to respond to some questions that I have posed to him about this latest outrage. I thank him for taking the time to respond to the following questions:

1) Please tell us a little bit about your background, Reverend Mr. Hall. That is, when and where were you born? How did you come to embrace the Immemorial Mass of Tradition? What led you to study for the priesthood within the Society of Saint Pius X?


First of all, Dr. Droleskey, let me thank you for all the good work you have been doing, especially in these last few weeks in support of Father Ramolla. I think that one of the most interesting phenomena of this situation has been the tremendous solidarity that has built up amongst those of us who have found ourselves forced in conscience to take this stand. There has been a very refreshing feeling of common purpose, almost crusade-like, in our group, and I would like to express my own gratitude for the work you have done on your website to help achieve that.


Now to answer your questions, I was born in 1955 over in Yorkshire, England, the son of a devout Catholic mother of Irish extraction, and a father who had converted to the faith many years before I was born. I can remember the old faith still being practiced at our local parish church before Vatican II, and then those uneasy feelings of disorientation that crept in with the changes. However, there was a special indult granted to England after Vatican II, thanks to its conservative Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Heenan. This indult allowed the "old Mass" to be celebrated any day except Sunday at the discretion of the local bishop, and I took full advantage of that, traveling all over Yorkshire with my poor mother in tow. When I went to college at St. Andrews in Scotland, I remember seeking out the occasional Latin Mass whenever possible. After graduating, I spent a year teaching in France, where I was introduced to the work of the Society of St. Pius X. The next summer, 1978, I flew to Michigan, where I met with then Father Sanborn and Father Cekada, and made the decision to enter the seminary at Econe, Switzerland, under Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

2) How and under what auspices did you enter the United States of America? What kind of visa did you have upon your arrival? Who was your official sponsor?


I made several trips to the United States starting in 1978 and was able to compare the conservative and stable faith of traditional Catholics over here with all the in-fighting, and often liberal (if not out-and-out modernist) tendencies of some traditionalists in Europe. After four years at Econe, I had certainly had time to evaluate the SSPX with all its illogicalities and dangerous theological positions. It was obvious that the Society was held together more by a string of loyalty to their founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, than by any firm adherence to the Catholic Faith. True, the seminarians were all "traditional" to one degree or another, but I had become very wary of a particular type who seemed to be desperately clinging to the hierarchy of the Novus Ordo Church, and John Paul II in particular. And so when Father Sanborn asked me to switch seminaries and come to the United States to help out with the schola and play the organ, it was a no-brainer as they say. With all the shades of "traditionalism" at Econe, the seminary at Ridgefield had become a beacon of stability for me and many other conservative seminarians, and I was more than happy to seek refuge there. Father Sanborn obtained a student visa for me, and I began my studies at Ridgefield, Connecticut in that fateful year of 1982-83.

3) When did you meet Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada and other members of "The Nine"?


I had already met Fathers Sanborn and Cekada back in 1978, as I said, on a visit to the seminary at Armada, Michigan. Father Cekada in particular had been instrumental in advising me in my vocation, and I was always very grateful to him for that. I met Father Dolan while I was at Econe, having been volunteered to pick him up at the local railway station and drive him to the seminary. We hit it off right away, and always had an excellent relationship from that time on. Fathers Collins and Berry were both seminarians with me at Econe, being ordained in the years just prior to my transfer to the United States. I met Fathers Kelly and Jenkins when I began my studies in the United States; the latter was my spiritual director, and so I developed a particularly close relationship with him. Finally, Fathers Zapp and Skierka were both deacons at Ridgefield when I arrived, and were ordained to the priesthood soon after my arrival.

4) When were you ordained to the subdiaconate?


My ordination to the subdiaconate was on the Vigil of Pentecost, 1982, just prior to my final transfer to the United States. Both my parents were able to come to Switzerland for the ceremony, for which I was later grateful, as it turned out to be the last ordination I was to receive.

5) What were the circumstances of your departure from the Society of Saint Pius X?


The history of the 1983 split has been well documented and needs no detailed description from me. It boiled down to several irreconcilable differences between the American priests and the Europeans led by the Archbishop. They ranged over a whole range of topics, including the acceptance by the Society of doubtfully ordained priests, and the sudden forced imposition of the John XXIII Mass on the entire clergy of the SSPX. The American priests of the Society sought redress for these serious matters from the Archbishop, who instead of hearing their grievances and seeking to ease the tension, simply dismissed our priests from the Society. They were accused of disobedience, disloyalty, even betrayal--simply because they did not agree with some of the paths being taken by the Archbishop and his more liberal brethren. My own positions in these controversies had been firmly on the side of my American superiors, long before I had even come to the United States. These positions were well known at the time, and the new rector of the seminary, Father Richard Williamson wasted no time in dismissing me from the seminary on his first day in office.

6) What did you do following your departure from the Society of Saint Pius X?


The first thing I had to do was answer a very basic question. As a subdeacon, and therefore committed to a vow of celibacy and daily prayer, was I going to remain in England, where the only Mass available was said by priests of the Society of St. Pius X, with all the theological barnacles that went with that? Or was I going to accept the invitation of my former superiors in the United States to return there and work with them? At the end of the summer of 1983, I made the decision to move back to the US, where I was invited to live at the priory of Oyster Bay Cove, NY, with several of the priests, and teach at the school on Long Island.

7) How long did you teach at Saint Pius V School at Wantagh, Long Island?


I spent five very happy years at Oyster Bay, dividing my time between teaching duties at St. Pius V School in Wantagh, and other duties at the priory. I organized several school trips, including two to Paris, and was responsible for the formation of the school French Club. Other than French, I also taught English literature, Geography, Religion, and Music. The school was generally a very happy place for students and teachers alike, and, although not without its problems, it was most definitely unaffected by any of the types of abuse suffered by the children at SGG.

8) When did your visa to stay in the United States legally expire?


That, I'm afraid, was a bit of a mystery at the time. However, I have learned from my recent experiences that in all probability, my student visa must have expired at the time I was expelled from the seminary in the spring of 1983, even though the expiration date of the visa was later than that. When Fr. Cekada invited me back to teach at his school in New York, I assumed that he would take care of my visa just as Fr. Sanborn had done when he had invited me to the seminary the previous year.


9) What assurances were given you and by whom concerning the extension of your visa after it had expired?


When I re-entered the United States in 1983, I immediately set to work with Fr. Cekada on the question of the visa. He repeatedly assured me that he would take care of my status question, and had me complete various government forms. So far as I know, Fr. Cekada was the only one working on my visa, and we had numerous conversations on the progress of the application. He had several different plans, one of which, I remember, was that I would be formally adopted by Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, a former teacher at the seminary, and by then a parishioner at Oyster Bay. Eventually, the conversations became less frequent on the visa question, although Fr. Cekada never gave me any indication that it was a problem. You have to remember, back then my position was like that of a young child in his parents' home -- I was paid a mere $15 a week pocket money, but of course, all my expenses were taken care of: my food, clothes, housing, transportation, health insurance, and so on. I was totally dependent for everything I needed on Fr. Cekada, who was in charge of the disbursements at Oyster Bay. I placed my complete trust in him, and it seemed as though the arrangement worked for the most part. Except, as I was to find out later, in the procurement of a green card.

10) How long did you stay with the Society of Saint Pius V following the split that occurred between Fathers Dolan and Cekada on the one side and Bishop Kelly and Father Jenkins on the other side back in 1989?


I actually left Oyster Bay before that split. I chose to leave in 1988, foreseeing many of the looming problems among the clergy that were later to cause the major split a year later. Having gone through the trauma of 1983, I had no wish to repeat the experience. Nevertheless, Fr. Kelly eventually asked me and some other parishioners not to come back to the church at Oyster Bay, and I found myself a home-aloner, again wondering if I should leave the United States and go back to England. I was unsure at that time of my visa status, but was again assured by Fr. Cekada that I should have no trouble getting a social security card and remaining in the country.

11) Did you have difficulty finding any other kind of work after your visa to stay in the United States of America expired?


This is where the mystery deepened as to my legal status. Even though Fr. Cekada had never told me my visa or green card had been officially approved, I was easily able to obtain a social security card. I applied for a job with the British Mission to the United Nations, and they needed me to adjust my status to a diplomatic visa. Accordingly they sent me up to Montreal for the day, where my visa was adjusted at the American Consulate there. I worked for the British Consulate for a full five years until 1994, with a valid visa right up at least until the time I left that office. With my valid social security card, I had no problems being hired as office manager in a law firm next to the New York Stock Exchange, and then later in being employed as a travel agent. At no point during these years were my credentials questioned, I was gainfully employed, I was paying taxes, I had a social security number, all seemed perfectly in order.

12) What did you do between the time of your leaving the employ of Saint Pius V School and your arrival in Ohio?


As I said, I worked in a variety of jobs starting with the British Consulate, then as manager in a law firm, and finally as a travel agent. Meanwhile, I was not attending Mass, having been forcibly excluded from the church property by Fr. Kelly. Eventually, however, the need for the sacraments got the better of me, and I reluctantly started attending Mass at the local SSPX church. I found this experience distasteful, needless to say. In order to enter the church, one had to walk beneath a picture of John Paul II, and this was a constant reminder of the conflict that still existed between my own position and theirs. I spent a good deal of our choir practices disseminating literature written by Bishop Sanborn on the subject. By the time I finally couldn't take it anymore and walked out in 2003, I think the entire choir was sedevacantist.

13) When did you arrive in Ohio? At what point were you hired by Saint Gertrude the Great School?


Returning to home-alone status no longer seemed like a viable option. The family with whom I lived was looking to relocate, and eventually came to the decision to move to Cincinnati in order to be near the new St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester. The decision to move with them was an easy one, and in fact because of unforeseen delays on their part, I ended up moving out here alone in May 2004 to manage their new house. As soon as I arrived here, Father Cekada invited me out to dinner. The dinner turned out to be a pretext to make a very forceful invitation to become a teacher at St. Gertrude the Great School. I was a full-time work-at-home travel agent at the time, and had no desire to split my career between two separate jobs. However, in spite of my many objections, Father Cekada continued to work on me until I finally agreed.

14) Were Bishop Daniel Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada fully aware of your expired visa problem? What, if anything, did Father Cekada say to you over the years about it? Did you raise the issue with him yourself (if so, how many times, approximately)?


Father Cekada was certainly aware of the visa problem. In fact, one of the main carrots he dangled to persuade me to accept the teaching job was his promise to resume work on my visa and legal status. He had a lawyer in Sharonville, he assured me, who had been working on various foreign clergy on his behalf with great success. This lawyer would surely be able to secure my green card once and for all. Once I accepted the teaching post, however, the green card was hardly ever mentioned any more. In retrospect, I should have pushed Fr. Cekada a little harder while I had the chance. Finally, last year, Fr. Cekada reduced my expectations considerably, when he casually mentioned that the newly elected President Obama would be likely to solve my problem by granting an amnesty to illegal aliens. It dawned on me that day that in fact, this was what Fr. Cekada was waiting for, and that he had never had any intention to sponsor any kind of status adjustment at all on my behalf.

15) How long were you in the employ of Saint Gertrude the Great School before you were fired? How much were you paid a year? Was the school paying for your health insurance and unemployment compensation insurance?


I taught high school at St. Gertrude's for five academic years, from 2004 until 2009, and then a couple of months at the beginning of this academic year. The school paid me $241 a week after tax, that works out to an annual salary of about 12.5 K. In addition I was paid a small amount for playing the organ on Sundays. They did not pay my health insurance, and I have been unable to buy my own. After I was fired, I also found out that they were not paying my unemployment compensation insurance, since I have been denied any unemployment benefits.

16) Could you comment on what happened on the day of your firing? Were you banned from the property of Saint Gertrude's?


The events of that day are still very clear in mind, and if it's okay with you, I'll spend a little longer answering this question, as I think it's the really the central point of my later involvement in this crisis.


It was the day following the return of Bishop Dolan and Father Ramolla from their European trip together. During their absence, the former (and now restored) principal of the school, Mark Lotarski, had gone back to his old familiar habits of bullying and abusing children and other teachers. Notably, he had asserted his own authority over that of Father Larrabee in front of the students, and even interfered in the spiritual life of the students, on one occasion physically preventing one child from going to Confession. Bishop Dolan had asked me to bring reports on Mark's behavior to him, and judging from his reactions, he was severely displeased with the actions of his school principal. On this particular day, after Mass and during the lunch recess, he asked me to come and see him. I gave him an update on Mark's behavior, which he agreed in two languages was "intolerable" (in English) and "insupportable" (in French). He finally seemed to be determined to let Mark go, agreeing that the latter's behavior was seriously scandalizing our students, and in one case had perhaps even destroyed the seed of a vocation in one of our grade-schoolers. We ended our meeting on the best of terms as usual, discussing the music for the upcoming Forty Hours Devotion.


When I returned to my classroom, I conducted a German class which ended at 2pm. At that time, John Lotarski made his scheduled return to my classroom for his next class. As I picked up my bag to leave school for the day, he suddenly began to shout at me. I must admit I was taken completely by surprise. John and I had always had a close working relationship, both in and out of school, and I had been particularly encouraged lately by what I thought was marked progress in his scholastic work and overall attitude. Now suddenly, out of the blue, I found myself in the position of being publicly and noisily rebuked by him in front of my other students. To deflate the situation, I invited him to the school office where we could discuss his grievance in private. To my ever-growing astonishment he now refused and sat down at his desk. I now found myself in the sad situation of having to give him a direct order, to which after hesitating, he stood up and started to walk towards the door of the classroom. As he passed me, he made a sudden lunge in my direction, obviously designed to make me think he was actually going to physically attack me. In the hallway outside, and in the presence of the first grade children who were lining up for the bathroom, a very angry and out-of-control John Lotarski then proceeded to wave his finger under my nose, and advising me in a very menacing tone that "this had better f**ing stop". Dazed, I remember asking him if he really wanted to say that. He repeated his threat, F word and all, and I told him to go back to the classroom.


It was now more than obvious that a situation had arisen that could not be just ignored. It could not be swept aside by Father Cekada any longer as a question of "boys being boys". It could not be deflected, or made light of, or excused, or tolerated. In a school where the students are permitted to speak this way to a teacher, something was very obviously and very seriously wrong. I had a pit in my stomach, and felt dismayed that the school had deteriorated to this level. Especially that one of my students, each of whom I looked upon with great affection, would have lost his way so profoundly.


I asked to see Bishop Dolan, but was told he was in a private meeting with Father Cekada and could not be interrupted. I drove home, trying to figure out in my mind how to "manage" the situation. Obviously something had to be done before the next morning. It was not possible to just resume business as usual. After discussing the situation with Father Joseph Collins and receiving his advice, I wrote an e-mail to Bishop Dolan, requesting him to intervene in the situation [the text of this e-mail is now available on the SGG Info website at Letter to Bishop Dolan alerting him to the serious recent events at the school, and describes the events above]. In a follow-up telephone conversation that same evening, Bishop Dolan expressed his sorrow and outrage that this had happened, and promised me that he would be meeting with the other clergy to decide how best to handle it. An hour or so later, I received an e-mail dismissing me from my positions as teacher and church organist, and forbidding me from setting foot on the church property [the actual text of the dismissal letter is posted on SGG Info at The E-Mail of Bishop Dolan to Rev. Mr. Hall announcing the termination of his employment].

17) Although Mrs. Janet Gaye has written [see Open Letter to Bishop Dolan from Janet Gaye] about the claim made by Father Cekada that you were aiding and abetting Mr. Eamon Shea's entries about Saint Gertrude the Great Church and School on the CathInfo website, would you like to address this issue yourself in your own words, specifically addressing Father Cekada's claim that you were providing information to Mr. Shea before you were fired.


During my lunchtime meeting with Bishop Dolan, we had briefly touched on my communications with a former teacher and parishioner of St. Gertrude's, Eamon Shea. I had not been aware that I was forbidden to speak with this man, and when Bishop Dolan expressed to me his displeasure, I remember having the unpleasant feeling that a Gestapo-like attempt was being made to control my private life. Actually, the reason I entered into any communication with Mr. Shea was that Janet Gaye's husband had asked me to drive Janet to a meeting with Mr. Shea that September. I had heard the "mentally ill" charges placed against him by Father Cekada after his dismissal, and was anxious to verify if he showed any such signs. Mr. Shea was actually very helpful in showing me how he had attempted to alert Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada to the abuses in the school, and how the clergy in return had given him nothing but excuses for Mark Lotarski's behavior. When the excuses did not work, he was fired. It sounds familiar, doesn't it, as exactly the same thing was about to happen to me, and then two weeks later to Father Ramolla. It was not surprising that Bishop Dolan had no wish for anyone to communicate with Eamon Shea. To do so was to learn some very inconvenient truths about the workings of St. Gertrude the Great. I was not providing information to Mr. Shea, other than comparing notes on some of the abuses he and I had witnessed. Our recollections were eerily similar, and I was definitely beginning to have a sinking feeling about my position as a teacher in the school.


If you've read my notice of dismissal from Bishop Dolan, you'll see that the reason he gave was my feeding of information to Eamon Shea and the CathInfo website. In fact, no such communications were made, and the accusation was made for the first time in this dismissal letter. At no time was I given the opportunity to defend myself and clear up Bishop Dolan's misunderstandings. It is true that on the day of my dismissal, Mr. Shea posted details on CathInfo about the incident at the school that had occurred earlier on with John Lotarski. However, he did not get that information from me, as Janet Gaye has written elsewhere. In fact, when I saw the posting at CathInfo, I actually went to the length of writing Bishop Dolan warning him. I sent him the following e-mail (which has never before been made public) at 9:29 pm:

Dear Bishop Dolan:


Just a quick word of warning to let you know that Janet was speaking to Eamon Shea today when I got home.  She laced into me on what happened with John, and Eamon must have overheard it as he’s put some details of the event on his website.  I just wanted you to know how that happened, lest perhaps you think I’m “feeding him information” as the Lotarskis are so fond of accusing me of.


Let’s pray, as you said, that all this unpleasantness can be happily resolved.  With all the anger in the air, and with the continued presence of the prime cause, it’s going to be interesting. 


Sorry your welcome home has been so distressing!


Bernard G.J. Hall


A mere 14 minutes later, at 9:43 pm I received my Notice of Dismissal, which not only ignored my e-mail but which provided me with no avenue of defense or appeal.

18) Do you want to add to anything that Mrs. Gaye has written about what happened at her residence on the evening of Thursday, October 22, 2009?


I'm sure everyone has heard all the details of that evening by now. One development that we found out later was that it had in fact been Mark Lotarski himself who had sent his two sons John and Andrew over to Janet Gaye's home that evening. John's menacing behavior towards Mrs. Gaye on her own property and Father Cekada's subsequent convenient arrival in time to try and excuse John's behavior to the police officers still there, was all indicative of the protection that the clergy of SGG has afforded all along to the Lotarski family, no matter what horrors they perpetrate.

19) Why didn't you seek to rectify your immigration status on your own after all of these years?


Well, first of all, the question assumes that I didn't. Actually, I made two separate attempts to adjust my status, the first when I was leaving my job at the British Consulate, and then again later when I worked for a travel agency on Long Island. I was unclear what my actual status was, thanks to the ditherings of Father Cekada on the matter, but I did want to clear up the loose ends and make sure that if I was here on a certain type of visa, that it was the right type of visa! As it turned out, at least to my understanding, I was already ineligible for status adjustment as my presence had already descended into the unchangeable "illegal" status.

20) When did you learn that Father Cekada had reported you to the Federal immigration authorities? Did he give you any advance notice that he was going to do so?


The first notice I had was when two agents from Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) rang the doorbell last Monday morning after Mass. They advised me they had received a complaint that Father Ramolla and I were in the country illegally. We had heard from one of our people in the church office at SGG that Fr. Cekada had received a return call from the Department of Homeland Security a few weeks ago, but at the time simply thought he was putting in a complaint against only Father Ramolla in an effort to get him out of the country.

21) What happened on the day that you were visited by the "gentlemen" from the immigration service? Was Father Ramolla accorded the same "treatment" as you were?


The two ICE agents asked me a series of questions, inspected and then confiscated my passport, and "invited" me to a meeting downtown on the following morning. They were both very professional and sympathetic, especially when they learned that Father Ramolla was in fact in the US quite legally. However, we both had to show up the following morning for photos, fingerprinting, and other bureaucratic "procedures". The agent was especially apologetic at having to fingerprint a priest, but Father Ramolla went through these unnecessary humiliations very calmly and with his usual good humor.

22) Do you believe that Father Cekada would have taken the action against you that he has taken if you had remained in the employ of Saint Gertrude the Great School?


I think we'd have a pretty unanimous answer on that one if we put it to the studio audience! While I was of use to Father Cekada, his vague hope, I suppose, was that my status would be legalized. However, as soon as I was no longer of any use to him, he immediately set about securing my removal from a country I have called my home for nearly thirty years.

23) Do you believe that Father Cekada has taken this action as a punitive measure because of your work in support of Father Ramolla and your own criticism of himself and Bishop Dolan?


I'm sure that if you asked Father Cekada that question he would answer that he has no thought of punishment or revenge against me for the work I am doing to help Father Ramolla. I believe he would say he is merely trying to protect his parish from the harm he thinks I am doing to it. That is the great pity of this whole sordid affair-- that all along he has interpreted the sincere complaints of injustice and the abuse of children from so many as a malicious attack on his parish, and on him in particular. Nothing could be further from the truth. And to this day, I am still astonished that a man who claims such intelligence could be so blinded to this simple truth. We aren't all out to "get" him.

24) What are the prospects for your staying in the United States of America?


These are early days, and we have an immigration lawyer working on my file. I can't possibly say right now how this will end up. But to be honest, the hand of Divine Providence is a pretty safe recourse, and wherever I end up, I will continue to evaluate (and hopefully fulfill) the mission in life that God has in store for me.

25) Is there anything that you would like to say to those who are staying at Saint Gertrude the Great Church?


That we are not on opposite sides in a war. That we are all actually on the same side in the war to save our own souls. Each one of us needs to take whatever steps are necessary to do that, and that could very well mean we end up in different parishes as we perceive one, rather than the other, to be the best place for us.


But a word of warning too. I was dismissed from the school, forbidden from the church property, because I was shining a spotlight on some of the abuses going on. Father Ramolla was dismissed for the same reason. Without this illumination, the same abuses will continue, but now in the darkness. Be very careful with the souls under your protection, especially in entrusting them to men who care very little for their true value. Remember the words of Father Cekada when I asked him how many more children's souls he was prepared to sacrifice in order to protect Mark Lotarski as principal of the school: "Oh, don't worry about that. Catholics have a way of having more children."


Please, listen to your children, particularly the older ones. Teenagers these days are a resourceful lot, and spend many hours on "social networking interfaces" such as Facebook and text messaging. They are far more aware than the adults of exactly what goes on at St. Gertrude's. And they are scandalized. Scandalized in the true sense, by the hypocrisy they see for themselves and discuss with each other. Where love and charity are preached, but bullying, injustice, and hatred are practiced.

26) Is there anything that you would like to say to Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada?


We all occasionally get a little agitated and say uncharitable things in the heat of the moment, and I'm sure I've been guilty of that too. So I would like to apologize to them for any such ill-conceived comments, whether spoken or written. But at the same time I want them to know that I am 100 percent firm in my conviction that they have utterly failed to act in accordance with their priestly and pastoral role of protecting souls, particularly those of the children under their care. Other than that I have said everything I wanted to say to Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada a long time ago. They invited me to say it, and then they chose to ignore it. For example, I took great pains to tell Father Cekada that the anger his parishioners were feeling against Mark Lotarski was gradually but inexorably being turned on himself and Bishop Dolan for failing to do anything about it. But he chose the path of denial, and then accused me of "betrayal" when the inevitable happened. What is the point of saying more to these men?


27) Is there anything that you would like to say to Bishop Donald Sanborn?


I pray that Bishop Sanborn's role in all this will eventually evolve into that of peacemaker. He has his seminary to worry about, and I'm sure there are plenty of worries, what with vocations, finances, construction, and so on. For him, a weak St. Gertrude's is a bad thing, firstly because of the generous donations he has received from them in the past, but moreover because he perceives the fighting here as something that will weaken the traditional movement as a whole, and the sedevacantists in particular. In response, I would like to remind His Excellency that in all these years, not one single vocation has emerged from St. Gertrude the Great. The reason why is the same reason why Father Ramolla and I, and countless sincere parents, teachers and parishioners have for years complained to our pastor at SGG. The fruits of SGG are contained in two large baskets, one full of healthy bank accounts, and the other full of lost souls. These are two baskets that will not balance. I would humbly ask Bishop Sanborn to use whatever influence he can to remind Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada of the real reason why they were ordained.

28) Are there any additional comments that you would like to make at this time concerning the abuse of clerical authority on the part of Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada as they seek to punish anyone and everyone who criticizes them?


I think their actions continue to speak for themselves and need no commentary from me. But when all's said and done it's their own actions that condemn them, not anything I say. We had a Christmas novena recently on our website for the conversion of Bishop Dolan, and I fervently hope that our combined prayers have brought him to see that his inaction in the face of so much abuse has been culpable and that he needs now to take a different path.

29) What would you do if you are indeed returned to England?


I would continue to work on my breviary website, and continue to promote the praying of the Divine Office among the faithful. One thing I will not be able to do is attend Mass or frequent the sacraments, as the only Masses offered in Great Britain are those in union with the New Church. For this reason, I would ask you to pray that I will not be forced back there, far away from my home and the Church I need.

30) Apart from prayer, is there any way in which the readers of my site can assist you?


I'm sure that those of you who know me will be surprised that I don't take this opportunity to request large batches of chocolate fudge brownies to sustain my spirits. But in truth, your prayers are all that I ask--as I take a very uncertain step into the New Year, I would truly appreciate knowing that I have the support of your occasional whispered prayer, particularly for the intercession of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the only canonized U. citizen. With her help and yours, I very much hope I will continue to spend the remainder of my life here in the service of God.


When all is said and done, good readers, Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada act as though they possess the authority of the Catholic Church to determine who is and who is not a Catholic in good standing, permitting themselves the license to destroy the lives of anyone and everyone who gets in their way. One priest, who has been acting in support of Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada, has told someone I know that he would take some of the very same measures as Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada as he wouldn't want anyone to "destroy" "his" parish. Alas, a priest's parish is not "his" (and, of course, none of the chapels that exist in the Catholic underground are canonical "parishes" as defined by the Catholic Church). A parish belongs to God and His Holy Church, and clerics who abuse their authority by showing diffidence in the face of serious moral abuses are unworthy of the support of their parishioners, who are under no obligation to yoke themselves to bad shepherds who treat them with contempt and scorn when they bring them their legitimate concerns.

Bishop Dolan has deferred to Father Cekada's atrocious judgment on the matters of the Prayers after Low Mass and the execution by dehydration and starvation of the late Mrs. Theresa Marie Schindler-Schiavo. Bishop Dolan seemed incapable of accepting my own criticism of how Father Cekada's study on the una cum Benedicto issue was handled without any consultation of bishops or priests other than Bishop Donald Sanborn. Bishop Dolan has told parents to their faces that he could never overrule any of Father Cekada's decisions concerning the conduct of Saint Gertrude the Great School. The bishop was unwilling to listen to advice given him by others, including me, that it was in the best interests of Saint Gertrude the Great Church and School for him to take leave of Father Cekada and the Lotarskis, standing steadfast in his support of them even as he authorized the sort of scorched earth policy against his critics that would have made former President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton blanche, a scorched earth policy that has nothing to do with maintaining one's dignity as an alter Christus.

As if that was not enough, Bishop Dolan has made it known to those who have been critical of him that they are doing the work of the devil in following Father Ramolla. This kind of self-serving hubris is beneath contempt. This means that the clerics who are supporting Father Ramolla are also doing the "work of the devil." Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have yet to publicly castigate the clerics who are assisting Father Ramolla, choosing instead to focus their attention on Father Ramolla and those who are assisting at his Masses as people who have sought to "destroy" Saint Gertrude the Great Church, people who are filled with "hate," accusations that are unjust and untrue on their face.

Anyone who says that what has been happening at Saint Gertrude the Great Church is merely an "administrative" matter is not facing reality honestly as Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have been acting as though the integrity of the Catholic Faith depends upon Catholics turning a blind eye to their own words and actions that are contrary to the good of souls. Catholics have been right not to do such a thing in the Novus Ordo world. They have been correct in refusing to ignore serious offenses against the good of souls at Saint Gertrude the Great Church.

The Faith has been under attack at Saint Gertrude the Great Church by virtue of the fact that Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada believe that they represent the authority of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and that anyone who questions them in this current matter is, in effect, questioning the authority of the Catholic Church. Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada have bred a schismatic mentality that has led many of their fiercest adherents to accuse those who have refused to knuckle under to the character assassinations and lies and misrepresentations of committing "apostasy," an accusation that is without any foundation unless, of course, the Catholic Church is coextensive with Saint Gertrude the Great Church and that all of the administrative and pastoral decisions of Bishop Daniel Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada are received from the hand of God and are not subject to anyone's comment or criticism. The Faith has also been under attack at Saint Gertrude the Great Church as Father Cekada has shown almost complete diffidence to the loss of souls that has occurred as a result of the abuses he, Father Cekada, has been so sanguine about for so long.

Stalinists always profess to want "peace." "Peace" for a Stalinist, however, consists of agreeing with everything that the Stalinist wants done. Those who disagree on any point must be denounced sloganistically as a "hater" or a "war monger" as the truth about a dissenter's intentions and motivations are misrepresented and distorted as his very character is assassinated. It is not for nothing, therefore, that Father Cekada referred to himself in a conversation with Mr Matthew D. Hardin and a lay woman in November of 2008 as an "ecclesiastical Stalin," stating that he believed it was necessary at times to "get rid" of people for the common good. Behold the people who have been "gotten rid of" in the past two months: The Reverend Mr. Bernard Hall, Father Markus Ramolla, and Mrs. Stephanie Johns, each of whom were eyewitnesses to abuses that no amount of propagandizing can make acceptable in the eyes of God.

We need to pray to Our Lady for the needs of the Reverend Mr. Hall and for Father Ramolla at this time. They have stood tall in the face of the sort of life-destroying efforts that not even the conciliar "bishops" have dared to launch against their critics. Our Lady will indeed reward the Reverend Mr. Hall and Father Ramolla for their fidelity to her Divine Son, who will not suffer one of his little ones to be corrupted in any way.

Let us pray a Rosary right now for Father Markus Ramolla and the Reverend Mr. Bernard G. J. Hall.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey