Friday, May 12, 2006
ROBINSON FOUND GUILTY
According to The Sydney Morning Herald:
A 68-year-old Catholic priest has been found guilty of the murder 26 years ago of a nun in a crime that prosecutors said had Satanic undertones and may have been covered up by church leaders.
The Rev Gerald Robinson appeared stony faced as the jury's guilty verdict was read and he blinked repeatedly and glanced at his lawyers before being led away in handcuffs.
He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison by Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik, who offered Robinson a court-appointed lawyer if he wanted to appeal.
Robinson, who wore his clerical collar throughout the two-week trial, had been free on bail raised by supporters since his arrest in 2004, and relieved of his priestly duties since that time.
After the verdict was read, one of Robinson's supporters left the court in tears. She turned to Claudia Vercellotti, a local leader of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, who had helped reopen the case, and told her, "I hope you rot in hell!"
It never fails to amaze me that there are Catholics who will attack the abused or those who represent them in an effort to defend a priest who has been found guilty. We strongly resist believing anything negative about those who act in personna Christi. That attitude has worked to our detriment, and when we are finally forced to believe it, the impact is much more devastating than the impact of other crimes would be.
The story about this trial that I found most interesting is this one at the Court Television Network website where the alleged evidence that the jury wasn't allowed to hear is offered, including these two pieces:
S&M allegation. In 2003, a nun told a diocesan panel that she was sexually abused by Robinson when she was 15. She claimed that another priest paid her father to let Robinson engage her in sadomasochistic acts involving a whip. The same woman also alleged she was raped repeatedly as a girl during satanic rituals led by priests. Authorities have not been able to substantiate or disprove her charges.
Occult book. When police searched Robinson's home in 2004, they found a pamphlet entitled "The Occult." Many passages were underlined, including one describing a black Mass in which "an innocent" was used as an altar. The booklet was published by a Catholic group in the 1970s, before the murder, but it was unclear whether Robinson obtained it before or after the murder.
There is also a claim that a large number of photos of corpses in coffins were found in Robinson's house in 2004.
As my husband pointed out, I have a library of occult books that could be turned into an argument against me even though my purpose in having them is to write an opposing viewpoint, not to learn how to practice Satanism. I also have a few pictures of relatives in their caskets, a custom in my husband's family that I'm comfortable with. There are even pictures from the funeral of John Paul II in his casket that can be downloaded from the web. And pictures of incorrupt bodies of various saints can easily be obtained.
I haven't, however, been accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old, or convicted of stabbing a nun through an altar cloth in a pattern representing a Satanic symbol, and then leaving her body half naked to be found by others who stumble onto the murder scene. Which is what makes this information about Fr. Robinson, if it is true, much more incriminating.