The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


November 27, 2009

Thinking the Unthinkable

The Editors

What Goes On At SGG?

What does Mark Lotarski know about Bishop Dolan and Fr. Cekada?  Why did he tell teachers that they would never dare fire him, because he knew too much?

We may never know the answer.  But the truth has a way of making itself known.

 Like most of you, the editors of welcomed the Thanksgiving Holiday as a brief escape from the calamity Bishop Dolan has brought down upon the heads of the faithful. While we relished seeing family and friends, the table talk was never far from the somber and cautionary tale of a faithless pastor who lost his way and abandoned his flock. We regretfully report that one question arose again and again in dining rooms, dens, and parlors across Ohio and the nation: Why in the name of all that is holy would Bishop Dolan lead his church to ruin for the benefit of just one man? Surely he understands that a Catholic must prefer the common good over the triumph of individual caprice!

Our friends in private enterprise and public service all offered revealing accounts how a secular organization would never allow an institution to collapse as the result of the actions of a mere individual. No man who had become a lightning rod for such frightening censure would ever be allowed to continue in the same position of responsibility. He would not have been shielded. He would have immediately resigned or been given a speedy severance before the damage became irremediable. Our dinner companions concluded that Bishop Dolan has acted irrationally against his own self-interest and against the souls in his care. His behavior more resembles appeasement than patient endurance or long-suffering forbearance.

Across festive tables, over fragrant pie and steaming coffee, and amid the flickering images of gridiron contests, we saw the uncharacteristic cynic’s smile trace a ragged grimace of contempt on the once earnest faces of relatives and friends. We read their thoughts: This one man must know something so terrible that Bishop Dolan can do nothing except defend him even unto the ruination of St. Gertrude the Great Church, the loss of souls, the desolation of a pastor’s betrayal. We hate the thought. We struggle against it as it insistently claims our assent. We appeal to every other explanation imaginable. But in the end, we yield to its unseemly persuasiveness: Reason demands we do so.