The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


October, 2009

The Letter of Bishop Dolan
to Parents about the
dismissal of Fr. Ramolla

In this letter from Bishop Dolan to Fr. Ramolla at the time of his dismissal, the Bishop distorts the truth surrounding the events leading up to the dismissal and even claims that Father was leaving of his own free will. The conveniently sudden appearance of unrelated "inappropriate behavior" going back for years, is used as the reason for a "discussion" with Fr. Ramolla.  Apparently this behavior was Father's aptly justified criticism of the running of the seminary and the school, and his attempts to reform the latter now that he was the Principal.  Fr. Ramolla never made a decision to leave the church and school.  He was dismissed.  His visa had already been revoked, and Bishop Dolan told him in no uncertain times that he wanted him "out of the country".  And what exactly was the calumny that Fr. Ramolla is accused of spreading?  No amount of hand-wringing and requests for "understanding and prayers" can disguise this simple inconvenient truth for Bishop Dolan, that his attempt to excuse his actions falls way short of the truth, and that his accusation of calumny against Fr. Ramolla is the biggest calumny of all.

Dear Parents,

On September 23, Father Cekada wrote to you announcing 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 over 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 St. Gertrude the Great Church, St. Gertrude the Great School, Most Holy Trinity Seminary, his fellow priests and two bishops.

The vehemence and the scope of his criticism came as a shock to me.  No one was spared.  Not once did Father address these issues in the proper forum: a reasonable and moderate private conversation with those directly involved.

On Tuesday of this week, I attempted such a discussion myself with Father Ramolla, hoping to salvage both the situation and a young priest with considerable promise.

I was not successful.  Father's response, I learned on Wednesday, was a decision to leave our church and school.  On Thursday, I asked him to do so quietly without doing any further harm, and I urged him to make a retreat with Fr. Schoonbroodt in Belgium, perhaps with a view towards a future assignment in Europe.  This advice has apparently gone unheeded too; Father Ramolla has now descended to the unspeakable depth of calumny, even against his father in Christ.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Please know of the sadness and the confusion of my own heart at this development.  I cannot, however, countenance backbiting, slander and worse in my clergy.  I will not have our school children, teachers and clergy subjected to it.  Good communication is a key to good leadership.  Behind-the-back criticism leads only to loss, tremendous loss.

I thank you for your understanding and prayers.  I assure you of my commitment to you and to all of our faithful, and in particular to our school, its students and its faculty, as well as to its stability and future.

Thank you for your prayers, for your patience during this unfortunate turn of events, and for your understanding.  I send each one of you my blessing, along with the assurance of my prayers in turn.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Daniel L. Dolan