judgment day

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 12, 2006

When someone behaves like a beast, he says: "After all, one is only human." But when he is treated like a beast, he says: "After all, one is human." -- Karl Kraus

A Toledo jury, after due deliberation, decided that Fr. Gerald Robinson was only human.

The superior of the religious community to which Robinson's victim had belonged issued a response.

Sister Marjorie Rudemiller, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Regional Community of Cincinnati -- which includes Toledo --read a written statement at a Mercy Hospital press conference this afternoon.

Without mentioning Robinson by name, Sister Rudemiller -- who did not personally know Sister Margaret Ann Pahl -- thanked the police, the prosecutor's office, the witnesses, and the jury, whose decision she said she respected.

"We have prayed for truth to prevail and for a fair and just trial. The jury has spoken, and we respect their decision," she said. "God's grace enables us to forgive the person who caused her death."

A pretty good statement, under the circumstances. It doesn't gloat. It doesn't strike poses of grief or vindictiveness. It expresses sober respect for the efforts of the jurymen and the other parties who performed often-unpleasant duty. It locates the incident in a frame of Christian faith by the mention of forgiveness -- not as an exercise in self-congratulation, but as something God's grace makes possible.

Toledo Blade photo

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  • Posted by: - May. 14, 2006 12:33 AM ET USA

    If one takes the jury's verdict at face value and we assume Fr. Robinson perpetrated this crime, one has to ask whether Fr. Robinson is indeed a Satanist. He has been implicated in ritual abuse of children as a member of a group whose ringleader was another, now defrocked priest. Through the recent sex abuse scandals we've learnt of the existence of a homosexual subculture within the clergy. One has to wonder if this case doesn't give us a window into another, more sinister subculture also.

  • Posted by: rpp - May. 13, 2006 1:57 PM ET USA

    This whole scandal saddens me very much. I think the Sister's words were good and appropriate. I cannot imagine what she is feeling, that a priest in her order, any priest anywhere, could do such a thing. While I pray that the prosecutors and jury got it right, I still hope that this is somehow a terribly mistake. I am not optimitic, however. Lord, for the sake of Christ's sorrowful passion, have mercy on Sister Margaret Ann Pahl and Father Gerald Robinson.

  • Posted by: NonSumDignus - May. 13, 2006 9:24 AM ET USA

    This case has given me, as no other in recent memory, a palpable sense of evil in the world and yes, in our Church. That he could celebrate the Requiem Mass for the victim of his crime so soon after mocking the Sacrament of Unction with her blood makes my own blood run cold. "Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith." (1 Peter 5:8-9a). May God have mercy on him. The look in his eyes says all.

  • Posted by: - May. 13, 2006 4:17 AM ET USA

    Sister Rudemiller also implicitly makes a good point: Christian forgiveness of the perpetrator of an evil act is perfectly compatible with justice and punishment. She made this point by omission: by NOT simultaneously calling for the priest's immediate release into the community, which would only endanger others. Many people, sadly, cannot make this distinction, and think that forgiveness necessitates releasing criminals from the just punishments decreed by society.