The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story

November 15, 2009

An Apology

 Given by Bp. Dolan from the pulpit
at St. Gertrude the Great Church
Bishop Dolan's modus operandi in 2009, as one can see very plainly in his attack upon Father Markus Ramolla on Sunday, November 15, 2009, has all of the earmarks of how he has treated others in the past, pronouncing sentences of "excommunication" upon people before they had been given a chance to defend themselves. Bishop Dolan had a sentence ready to be pronounced on Father Ramolla as he, Father Ramolla, manfully sought to remove people whose actions had been the cause of grave scandals at Saint Gertrude the Great Church and have caused some, including children, to lose the Faith altogether, which is hardly, as he noted in a sermon he, Bishop Dolan, gave two days ago, a "half-forgotten" hurt.

Before I give the sermon this morning I want to make an apology to you and in order for me to do this I think I first of all have to apologize.  You may have noted some familiar faces in church are missing and the choir sounds a tad thin, although’ they really do still sound very good, of course. And you may have been exposed to some unsettling conversations, or speculations -- that sort of thing, or it may be that you have heard nothing at all, and what I am going to say may disturb your Sabbath peace.  In either case, I do beg your understanding and forgiveness.

There has been quite a little controversy in our church, really for a number of months now, and finally the truth has come to light and I must break the rule that I have observed – I think for 31 years.

I don’t speak about these things at Mass or from the pulpit ever, but it is so grave that I have decided that it is my duty.

Tomorrow will be the second anniversary of the ordination of Father Markus Ramolla a young German priest who had been with us for just over a year He taught some courses at our school and was the pastor at our mission church St. Clare in Columbus.

If you are aware of any of these controversies or are missing someone today, know that it is because Father Ramolla began a systematic program of both denunciation and whispering to destroy first the seminary and the bishop who trained him for the priesthood – he began that before he was even ordained, it comes to light – the bishop who had educated him from a... garden nursery store to a rather polished and impressive young priest.  He arrived here just over a year ago and soon turned his campaign against this church and its clergy and our school, and its principal and their family whom he hated and hounded and humiliated, and for this I am particularly sorry.  But in all that he said and did and incited others to say and to do he meant to destroy us personally as well as in our capacity as clergy or as lay workers in a Catholic Church.

Now, I alone bear the blame for all of this.  I ordained Father Ramolla, indeed I brought him here from Germany, and then I sent him to St. Gertrude Church in effect to break hearts and to bring us low.  He ought never to have been ordained. 

Of all people a poor man who is a former seminarian and taught for a few months at our school, someone who struggles with mental illness and has now been running a full time internet campaign against St. Gertrude’s and so forth – of all things this man had warned me 2 years ago not to ordain him to the priesthood, citing the counsel of a certain lady who lived near Germany who was the housekeeper of our dear friend Father Schoonbroodt in Belgium.

This lady had gotten to know this seminarian, Markus Ramolla, very well, and on her death bed – she died of cancer – she warned this priest and others of the disaster that would happen if he were ordained.  But I did not listen because that’s not my way.  Um, he seemed to be so pious and I am an optimist, and after all he had signed a promise of obedience to me as to a bishop.  He signed a promise of obedience.  And I thought to myself “Well now he ought to be given a chance as I was when I was a seminarian.” 

But now I am afraid that we all have been paying and rather dearly and I beg your pardon for myself and for my poor priest son, Markus Ramolla.  His only experience in the holy priesthood these two years has been to destroy what we have built up at St. Gertrude the Great over the last 31 years when the mission of St. Gertrude was begun in Milford, Ohio with some thirty people.  Numbers don’t really worry us one way or another. But let me say again that I am so very sorry. Let me ask your prayers for those who have made themselves our enemy and for this poor, wretched priest and for SGG and for her children, her devoted workers, our lovely little school, our church, and our clergy, indeed our clergy throughout the world who have felt the wrath of this priest’s tongue. 

Now, I want to make a particular request of you, tomorrow’s our anniversary day: Could you see it in your own heart to begin tonight a nine-day Rosary novena -- to pray the Rosary nine days in a row in honor of St. Gertrude the Great and Our Mother of Good Counsel for all of our very pressing needs at this time. If you, if we will all do this, I have no doubt that Our Lady, through her Rosary, will protect us once again.