A murderer is "a priest in good standing"
Often headlines are a little misleading. The headline you just read is not. It's true.
On the very day that Pope Francis met with abuse victims, the Toledo Blade reported that a convicted murderer - who choked and stabbed a nun to death - would be buried with full priestly honors
By the time you read this that burial may have already happened. Still, it's worth noting, especially for the sake of those whose lives have been touched by violent crimes, especially murder and child sexual abuse.
Fr. Gerald Robinson died last week in prison. A jury found him guilty of brutally killing Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl.
(It would have happened sooner, but a top Toledo Catholic official interrupted police questioning of Fr. Robinson, resulting in years of delay and doubt.)
The Toledo diocese has no bishop right now. Fr. Charles Ritter heads the diocese now. He's announced that Fr. Robinson is still "a priest in good standing" and will be buried accordingly.
We begged Toledo Catholic officials to reconsider. So did the National Survivors Action Coalition. So did the Voice of the Faithful.
No dice. No response.
The Catholic hierarchy takes little action against predators who commit child sex crimes. It takes virtually no action against enablers who conceal these crimes. But one would think that Catholic officials would rally and act against a priest who was accused of molesting a child and found guilty of killing a nun.
Think again. Think again, and weep.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.