Despite his 2006 conviction for a nun's murder, Father Gerald Robinson will be given a normal funeral befitting a diocesan priest, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo announced today.
"Whether in the eyes of God, Father Robinson was or was not guilty of the crime, I do not know," Father Charles Ritter, the diocesan administrator, said in the statement. "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."
The arrangements themselves remain to be made.
Father Robinson, 76, died early Friday in Franklin Medical Center, a Columbus hospital run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, where he had been admitted for heart problems.
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He was serving a 15-years-to-life sentence for the 1980 slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, whose choked and stabbed body was found on the floor at the former Mercy Hospital's sacristy the day before Easter that year.
Father Robinson had been ordained May 30, 1964 and served across the Toledo diocese during his ministry.