Nuns Not Asked to Care for Dying Priest
By John Seewer
June 24, 2014
A nursing home run by nuns has not been asked or agreed to take care of a dying Roman Catholic priest convicted of killing a nun at a hospital chapel in 1980, his attorney said Tuesday.
The attorney for the Rev. Gerald Robinson wrote in a court filing that his statement last week that the Little Sisters of the Poor were willing to care for the priest was in error.
"The Little Sisters of the Poor were not asked to care for, and have not made any commitment to care for Father Robinson," attorney Richard Kerger said.
Robinson has been in a prison hospice unit in Columbus since the end of May after suffering a heart attack and wants to die in his hometown of Toledo, Kerger said in a motion filed Friday in federal court.
The motion said that the Little Sisters of the Poor, who run a home for the elderly and dying just outside Toledo, indicated a willingness to care for Robinson during his final days. It also said the priest's brother and sister-in-law were willing to take him in, Kerger said.
The order, whose mission is to serve the elderly poor, routinely takes care of priests at the end of their lives.
Messages seeking comment from the Little Sisters of the Poor and the priest's attorney were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
Robinson is serving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison after being convicted in 2006 of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl during Easter weekend at a Toledo hospital where they both worked.
Church historians have said it is the only documented case of a Catholic priest killing a nun. Robinson wasn't arrested until 24 years after Pahl was found stabbed and strangled. Prosecutors blamed the murder on Robinson's simmering anger over Pahl's domineering ways, saying their relationship was strained.
Robinson, who has maintained his innocence, has only a month or two to live, Kerger said.
Ohio law does not permit a convicted murderer who is not yet eligible for parole to be released for care to ease pain and suffering. Gov. John Kasich's office already told the priest's attorney that there is nothing it can do.