OH- On Friday, murderer/priest to get “full honors” funeral
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Toledo Catholic officials are not relenting. They have announced that on Friday they will give a funeral with “fully priestly honors” to a murderer, even as a third national organization has criticized them for the move.
We are grateful there's still time for church employees and members to object to this stunningly heartless act. We hope they will.
Earlier this week, the Boston-based Voice of the Faithful wrote to Father Charles Ritter, the “administrator” or temporary head of the Toledo diocese, criticizing funerals plans for Fr. Gerald Robinson, who was convicted of murdering Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl. So too has NSAC, the National Survivors Advocate Coalition, and our group.
It's a clear choice for Fr. Ritter and his clerical colleagues: side with one guilty priest or with many innocent victims. Show compassion for one deceased adult who did wrong or for many living adults who are blameless.
A simple, private funeral hurts no one. An ostentatious public funeral hurts many.
We hope Toledo Catholic officials will reverse their painful decision.
(For a copy of VOTF's letter, contact Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director, 1-781-559-3360, email@example.com. A copy of the SNAP/NSAC letter is available at SNAPnetwork.org)
For more information: Claudia Vercellotti of Toledo 419 345 9291, SNAPtoledo@aol.com, Barbara Blaine (a Toledo native) 312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Kristine Ward of Dayton 937 272 0308
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.