State of Dead Priest’s Soul Topic of Debate
July 11, 2014
When Gerald Robinson, a Roman Catholic priest for 50 years, died on July 4, two factors were unresolved.
The appeals process after his 2006 conviction of the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl had not been exhausted and, with his death, the courts will not take further action, so officially and legally, he died a murderer who was convicted by a jury of his peers.
And, because he did not publicly confess to the crime, his life ended without good or evil being determined definitively, according to Catholic doctrine.
Because his appeal of the criminal conviction was ongoing, he remained a priest, according to church officials, even though he had been barred from giving public ministry.
He will be buried as a priest today, with interment at Calvary Cemetery after an 11 a.m. funeral at St. Hyacinth Church, 719 Evesham Ave.
In a statement from the Diocese of Toledo, the Rev. Charles Ritter, administrator of the diocese until Pope Francis names a new bishop, said, “Whether in the eyes of God, Father Robinson was or was not guilty of this crime, I do not know.