The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


December 10, 2009

A Cry for Redress

The Editors

Calumny?  Detraction?  Say it ain't so!

The rapid fire volleys of calumny and detraction have been making their usual but noisy clamor lately.  It is normal for people who have no training in moral theology to make such mistaken charges, but we find it sad that those who received a priestly formation (albeit at that highly dubious institute of learning, Ecône!) would lend their own voice to these accusations.

Moral theologians agree that there is a proper time to ascribe blame for evil.  After all, if we could not do that, we would still be sitting in the pews of our local Novus Ordo Church.  This moral principle is applied here to the situation at St. Gertrude's.  We welcome your comments.

"...evil deeds will rise, though all the world o'erwhelm them to men's eyes..." (Hamlet, Prince of Denmark)

The news of the firing of yet another teacher during the school day at SGG is shocking.  When coupled with the recent publication of the long list of witnessed misfeasance at SGG School this must surely give us all pause.  No Catholic could ever condone Bishop Dolan's failure to intervene against such inhumane treatment of children. Unfortunately, instead of contrition for his grossly irresponsible actions he seems instead to have resorted to groundless charges of detraction, calumny, and whispering.

We say that the charges of calumny are groundless because calumny, we are reminded, is a lie about a fault not committed.  We have invited Bishop Dolan in our last editorial to provide his parishioners right here at with evidence that we have  misrepresented the truth in any way.  So far, he has not submitted anything for publication.  We reiterate that our disclosures about the events at SGG have been entirely truthful.

We say too that the charges of detraction are equally groundless.  Detraction is the unjust disclosure of another's hidden fault.  In a case like the present crisis, however, moral theologians teach that it is not against justice to confirm what are already public and notorious offenses. Moreover, if there is an evil effect, then it must have cause.  We are allowed, morally, to identify that cause for the public good.  And anyone who permits, let alone condones, such evil effects has lost his right to a good reputation.*

As to any charge that we are sowing discord among the pastor's close clerical friends and associates, we answer that there is nothing wrong against breaking the bonds of an injurious and perilous friendship.**

The simple truth is that there is no calumny, no detraction, and no whispering, except by Bishop Dolan himself as he seeks to defend the indefensible.  It is Bishop Dolan's own inexcusable acts which have brought down upon his head the admissible exposure of his truly existing faults, which pose a grave danger to souls.

Many readers have told us how difficult it has been to contain their anger over the many abuses condoned by Bishop Dolan at SGG School.  We concur.  Many of us have tried over the past years to seek redress from our pastor, to have these abuses corrected, and those responsible removed from their position of power.  When each of us discovered, one by one, that a far worse crime was being perpetrated in the actual excusing and encouragement of these abuses, and that the perpetrators of the abuse were to be protected at all costs instead of being removed, we, the faithful of St. Gertrude the Great Church, were driven beyond the limits of tolerance that we would normally have for men in sacred orders.  And while we do not expect Bishop Dolan or his associate to renounce their own reputations, which are necessary to fulfill the offices of pastor and school chaplain, *** we, nevertheless, are certainly not forbidden by the laws of morality from demonstrating the lack of judgment and utter disregard for the welfare of souls that they have shown in performing these sacred duties.

At last, we have seen Bishop Dolan for the prideful, frail and egotistical man he is.  As a result of his actions and his failures to act, many of his former parishioners now believe he has forfeited the privilege of leading St. Gertrude the Great.  We pray the Holy Ghost may give him the grace to leave peacefully. 

* B. H. Merkelbach, O.P., Summa Theologiæ Moralis, (Montréal: Desclée, 1954), Tomus Secundus:  De Virtutubus Moralibus, §§429 and 430.

** Ibid., §429.

*** Ibid., §432.