Father Robinson to be given priest's funeral
July 6, 2014
Father Gerald Robinson will be given the usual funeral for a priest in the Toledo Diocese according to Diocesan Administrator Father Charles Ritter.
Robinson died on July 4. He was convicted of the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Pahl in 2006 and was serving 15 years to life in prison at the time of his death.
Robinson was ordained as a priest in 1964 and served across the diocese until he was brought to trial for murder.
In a statement Father Ritter said said, "Whether in the eyes of God Father Robinson was or was not guilty of this crime, I do not know. I do know that he is the work of God's hands, as are we all. He was a sinner, as are we all. He was a baptized member of the body of Christ, and he was, and remains an ordained priest of the Roman Catholic Church. This is the context in which his funeral will take place."
Not everyone shared Father Ritter's feeling. Georgiane Warren, a parishioner at Little Flower Catholic Church said, "I think it's very unfair to the family of the woman he murdered. I wish he would've said I'm sorry and he did it. Then I would be fine if they gave him a priest's funeral."
Others said that it was between Robinson and the Lord now.
Claudia Vercelotti of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests takes issues with the decision saying that Robinson did not deserve the same treatment as other priests who have passed away. "I would hope that somebody in a position to make a better decision would strongly reconsider a funeral that we give priests in good standing in this community, being given to a convicted murderer who violently heinously struck down the life of an innocent elderly religious woman."