OH- At funeral, Catholic official insults jurors, judge, police & prosecutors

For immediate release: Friday, July 11, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, SNAPdorri[email protected]gmail.com)

Today, Toledo's top Catholic official needlessly and callously raised doubts about whether police, prosecutors, jurors and a judge wrongfully convicted a priest of murdering a nun.

Whether Fr. Robinson carried “a burden of guilt or a burden of a miscarriage of justice, I do not know,” said Fr. Charles Ritter.

Fr. Ritter could have said nothing about the unanimous jury verdict. Out of respect for crime victims, and for the family of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl, he could have avoided speculating about Fr. Robinson's guilt or innocence. But he chose to make hurtful remarks rather than compassionate remarks.

No justice system is flawless. But very few believe that Fr. Robinson was innocent. Remember, from the outset, Fr. Robinson lied: At first claimed that someone else confessed to the murder. Later, he admitted that that was not true. (Did a single Toledo cleric discipline or denounce Fr. Robinson for lying to police? Nope.)

Fr. Robinson was the leading murder suspect from day one. He very likely would have been convicted and imprisoned decades ago - and considerable fear would have been lifted from the shoulders of many - if a top Toledo Catholic official, Msgr. Jerome Schmit, hadn't deliberately interfered with a police investigation. (Did a single Toledo cleric discipline or denounce Msgr. Schmit for obstructing justice? Nope.)

Church officials say Fr. Robinson's appeals had not been exhausted. They don't mention, however, that most of those appeals were based on technicalities, like the fact that years passed between the crime and the conviction. Again, however, that was the direct fault of Toledo Catholic officials who acted improperly.

For a week now, Toledo Catholic officials hurt and insulted crime victims and Sr. Pahl's family. Now, one of them added police, prosecutors, jurors and a judge to the list of those they have been smeared, all because these clerics selfishly wanted to bury one of their own with full honors.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]


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