The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


November 13, 2009

Letter to Parishioners in Response to Fr. Cekada's "School Dazed"

by Jim Gebel


Over the past two weeks, many parishioners have written to their erstwhile pastors at St. Gertrude the Great Church, forwarding their letters for us to include on this website.  We reprint some of these letters below.  We remind our readers that these letters are from private individuals who have their own point of view, which may not necessarily reflect that of Fr. Markus Ramolla.  We take no responsibility for any sentiments expressed in these letters, and ask our readers to keep in mind the degree of hurt and betrayal that these individuals have experienced.

Dear Parishioners,

In the latest bucket of slop that has been puked from the pen of Fr. Anthony Cekada, “School Dazed,” some of the lies he chants concern me and my son.  One really petty piece of mendacity concerned something that happened on Palm Sunday – which, by the way – was my last day at SGG.  As many of you recall, I ushered at SGG while I was there.  During the Palm Sunday procession, it was my job to ring the bell while the bishop was processing.  Fr. Cekada wrote: “When on Palm Sunday 2009 our school principal (also the head usher) tried to get the usher to ring the bell at the proper time during the procession, said usher took offense.”

As many of you will recall, I have “rung the bell” many times; it would be absolutely absurd for me to “take offense” at something that I did all the time!  What possible motive would I have for “taking offense”?!!  Come on, Anthony, what are you smoking?!!  What actually happened on Palm Sunday was that I was ringing the bell -- as my fellow usher Dale Wilker could attest to -- when the bell cord got “stuck” (I believe it was “off-track” somewhere above the ceiling), and I couldn’t operate it any more.  Keith Monnin, who could also attest to said problem, ran and got a ladder, then climbed up on the church roof to get the cord “back on track,” but failed.  I silently “motioned” to the bishop that it was stuck, and he gave me an understanding nod.  Mark Lotarski then tried to pull on the cord to ring the bell; and after a couple of hard tugs at it, gave up as well.

That’s all there was to it.  There was no “taking offense” at ringing the bell (gimme a break!).  Why make such a ridiculous accusation that can be easily refuted by either Mr. Wilker or Mr. Monnin (not to mention others present who witnessed the event?  More importantly, why make an issue of such a trivial matter anyway?  Even one of Fr. Cekada’s staunchest apologists can see through this one!  Or will Messrs. Monnin, Wilker, et al be labeled as “mentally ill” and their accounts of it summarily dismissed as “hogwash”?

Fr. Cekada, in another part of his letter, referred to my son as a “pompous doctor” who “…presumed to pronounce on matters of moral theology.”  My son, Dr. James M. Gebel Jr., only commented on the medical aspects of the case (as Cekada well knows), not on matters of moral theology.  I invite anyone to read what my son has written (I included it as an attachment in one of my earlier letters; many of you should have read it – unless you threw it out without doing so).  If you do, you will see Fr. Cekada’s accusation as the bald-faced lie that it is.

Conversely, you will see – in Fr. Cekada’s response to my son – that it is Cekada who is pompous and who “presumes to pronounce” on matters of medical expertise.  Here again, Anthony, you have shot yourself in the foot.  But this is nothing new for you: you and Bp. Dolan have been doing it so often lately, it’s a wonder you have any feet left -- or even lower torsos!  Your lying has reached new heights of stupidity and irrationality.

And as for Fr. Cekada’s supposed “personal apology” to me, all he ever admitted was that he was sorry for not knowing that Dr. Gebel was my son – not for what he said about my son.  This is, in effect, no apology at all.  As far as apologies go, Fr. Cekada needs to apologize to a whole army of people for the slanderous slop that he wrote about the Schiavo affair.  As almost every moral theologian and medical expert has stated, he was wrong on both the “moral theology” and the medical aspects of the case.

Fr. Cekada also attacked myriad other folks with his slimy slander, but I will leave their defending of themselves to them.  I will only add that this piece of trash labeled “School Dazed” (along with Bp. Dolan’s incredibly stupid slandering of Fr. Ramolla in his sermon of November 15) reaches new depths in shameless, easily seen-through (and easily refutable) lying and hypocrisy.  Fr. Cekada and Bp. Dolan, you are men of no conscience and no principles.

There are probably some parishioners at SGG who still have blind faith in the unsubstantiated lies put forth by these two men while explaining away corroborated facts from everyone whom Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada oppose. Some of you have labeled me as a “trouble-maker” who has tried to shatter your little world at SGG.  Wake up, folks!  These men are liars; they are hypocrites (anyone with half a brain can see that).  Your “little world” at SGG is a Fantasyland of phoniness.  Don’t let your pride keep you imprisoned in it; read the hand-writing that’s been on the wall for quite some time now.  “Deal with reality, or it will deal with thee.”

Jim Gebel