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Published: Tuesday, 5/16/2006

Was this a ritual murder?

This "Question of the Day" popped up on my television screen as I watched Court TV's coverage of the Toledo trial of Gerald Robinson, the priest accused of murdering a nun.

I turned to my computer and shot off an email. Yes, I said, it has the markings of a ritual murder. Below my signature, I wrote, I am a retired psychologist who spent a career working with ritual abuse survivors and wrote a novel about ritual abuse and murder in a small town in the Bible Belt.

A producer telephoned me the next day. "Our anchors, Lisa Bloom and Vinnie Politan, want to know if they can do a live phone interview with you. They'd like you to tell our viewers how survivors get over ritual abuse . . . and give your impressions of the case.

For seven minutes on May Day, I spoke for survivors to 2 million viewers about the reality of ritual abuse.

Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl was brutally murdered in 1980 on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter in the Christian faith. Holy Saturday, the day that satanic calendars refer to as a holiday requiring a human sacrifice. As tragic as the nun's apparently sacrificial murder was, perhaps her death was not entirely in vain.

The image of a "Bride of Christ" lying posed, partially naked on that cold sacristy floor with an inverted cross stabbed over her heart has effectively silenced those who say that there is no proof for the existence of ritual abuse.

Wanda Karriker

Catawba, N.C.

I have been a Catholic all my life, and I remember being taught by nuns and priests at Rosary Cathedral School to not hide when things don't go your way, to face problems head on, and to above all be honest and forthright.

Unfortunately once again the Toledo Diocese led by Bishop Leonard Blair is keeping doors closed, literally and figuratively since the Gerald Robinson verdict. The Bishop chose to issue only a statement, rather than face hard questions from reporters and ease the pain fellow Catholics and Toledoans in general are feeling since the verdict.

One would think that the leader of this very large diocese would welcome the opportunity to look into a camera and comfort all of us.

Bishop Blair, Fr. Mike Billian, and other clergy have once again decided not to be courageous enough to speak to their "flock". Bishop Blair has had weeks to prepare what he would say on camera whether Gerald Robinson was found innocent or guilty on this most monumental day in the Catholic faith.

The defense team was prepared and although a very rough day for them, they took the heat, they spoke to all of us, looked us in the eye and made their statements. The prosecution team, not celebrating, but obviously victorious for Sr. Margaret Ann spoke and were gentlemen.

Bishop Blair had the opportunity to show the people of this diocese, and Catholics and non-Catholics alike around the country that he is a strong leader who can face tough situations, and he failed us miserably. In my opinion, most importantly he let Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl, her family, and fellow sisters down, proving once again the leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo should be totally ashamed.

William W. Schroeder

Collingwood Blvd.

In regard to the proposed rail yard in Erie Township, Mich., I must make a comment concerning published remarks made by Judy Kleparek at the township meeting. Ms Kleparek stated that if the rail yard was built, "We're going to have nothing but scum from these rail yards."

As a career railroader with 41 years of service I am totally offended to be called "scum", and I am sure that there are many other rail workers, both active and retired that feel the same way. Rail workers are mothers and fathers, taxpayers, church members, voters, consumers, and citizens, but one thing that we are not is "scum."

Ms Kleparek owes every rail worker a public apology. After all she did make her misguided remarks on a public stage.

Randall J. Duke

Temperance

Kudos to Kirk. His May 10 editorial cartoon reminds us again of what was for me the final confirmation on President Bush's duplicity, that is, the giving of the Medal of Freedom to CIA Director George Tenet.

The 9/11 Commission Report and CIA Inspector General's Report speak of operational failures and mismanagement issues under Mr. Tenet's watch that partially explain why 9/11 happened. It was also under Tenet's watch that misinformation that provided the justification for invading Iraq occurred.

The Medal of Freedom is our nation's highest civilian award. It dishonors the award and those who have received it in the past to give the medal to Mr. Tenet for "exceptional meritorious service." But he was a good soldier, he played along, and President Bush rewards those who are loyal.

Mitchell C. Anderson

Perrysburg

Recently, The Blade claimed that the $400,000 that I included in the Supplemental Appropriations Bill to keep the Asian Carp demonstration barrier in operation was inappropriate and fiscally irresponsible. You failed to mention that the funds were fully offset with already appropriated monies within the FY2006 Army Corps of Engineers budget. I worked with the Corps to determine the appropriate level of funding to keep this barrier in operation. In no way does this funding affect our national deficit nor should it be considered new funding.

This demonstration has successfully prevented the spread of the destructive Asian carp into the Great Lakes - which is why a permanent barrier is being constructed and will be completed later this year. Without this vital funding, the Corps would shutdown the demonstration barrier before final testing is completed on the permanent barrier. Destructive Asian carp, which displace native fish and disrupt the Lakes' ecological balance, would place this national treasure at serious risk and the significant federal investment in both barriers would be wasted.

The Great Lakes must be protected, and the barriers play an important role by helping us to limit the spread of invasive species. I have spent my career working to restore the Lakes, and I will continue to do so because of their importance to our environment, public health, and economy.

I am also proud of my record to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington and will continue this hard work to ensure that the Senate considers the adverse impact legislation can have on our growing national deficit.

George V. Voinovich

United States Senator

On behalf of the Gradkowski family we would like to take this opportunity to thank not only the University of Toledo but the whole city of Toledo for taking such great care and embracing our (son, brother,nephew, cousin, grandson) Bruce Gradkowski for the past five years.

From the coaches, staff and fans of the Rockets to the citizens of the city of Toledo..a BIG thank you from the bottom of our hearts. There will always be a Pittsburgh-Toledo connection.

As he moves on the "Bay" we will never forget the memories we made in Toledo Ohio and deep in our hearts we will always be "Rocket Fans."

Judy Blair

Pittsburgh , Pa.

Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the top commander of the North Vietnamese forces, said after the war that North Vietnam never had the military strength to defeat the United States. Everything depended, he said, on eroding the determination of the Americans on the homefront to win.

So, the North hung on, inflicting steady casualties, until the balance of U.S. opinion swung against continuing the war.

Is history repeating itself in Iraq?

Fred Nofziger

Maumee



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