Skip to comments.Priest Named in Lawsuit That Alleges Ritual Abuse
Posted on 04/25/2005 6:53:43 PM PDT by Palladin
A Toledo Roman Catholic diocesan priest charged in the 1980 slaying of a nun was accused yesterday in a civil lawsuit of repeatedly torturing and raping a young girl in ritual abuse ceremonies at a north-side church. An unidentified woman claims she was the victim of bizarre demonizing ceremonies conducted by the Rev. Gerald Robinson and other clergy nearly 40 years ago in the basement of St. Adalbert Parish on Warsaw Street. The woman and her husband, who are listed as Survivor Doe and Spouse Doe, respectively, filed the lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Father Robinson, who is scheduled to go on trial in October for the aggravated murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl; Gerald Mazuchowski, a former lay minister; the diocese; St. Adalbert Parish; the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales, Inc., and fifteen "John Does" were named as defendants. Sister Margaret Ann, 71, was strangled, then stabbed up to 32 times April 5, 1980, in what has been described as a ritualistic slaying in the sacristy of a chapel in the former Mercy Hospital. Father Robinson is free on a $400,000 property bond. The civil lawsuit filed yesterday was assigned to Judge Ruth Ann Franks.
(Excerpt) Read more at toledoblade.com ...
I believe this article was posted on a previous thread,
40 year old "recovered" lost memories? I dunno.
Something stinks in Toledo:
Article published Sunday, March 6, 2005
TOLEDO CATHOLIC DIOCESE
Secret archives at heart of dispute; group says files hold key to abuse
By ROBIN ERB
BLADE STAFF WRITER
On a warm September afternoon, three Toledo detectives and a Lucas County prosecutor marched through the front door of the Toledo Catholic diocese and - over the objections of a startled receptionist - loaded into an elevator and punched the button to the fourth floor.
They were carrying a four-page search-and-seizure order signed by a judge, and their abrupt appearance at the downtown office of Bishop Leonard Blair marked a hairpin turn in what had been a cordial relationship between diocesan officials and criminal authorities investigating the 1980 killing of an elderly nun.
"Their communication prior to the search warrants was pretty open and free-flowing between us," the Rev. Michael Billian, episcopal vicar and the diocese's top administrator, recalled of the unprecedented search.
Their target that day: the church's most-secret files - documents that investigators had hoped might contain clues to a 1980 slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl and the man charged in her death: the Rev. Gerald Robinson.
Emerging from his office, Bishop Blair told investigators that such papers simply didn't exist.
But police, who removed 148 documents bearing the murder suspect's name, weren't convinced. Two days later, they returned with a second court order to search the office of the second most-powerful man in the 19-county diocese: Father Billian.
They seized nothing during the second search and haven't returned since.
But the fight may be far from over.
While investigators ramp up their probe in anticipation of the October trial of Father Robinson, accused of stabbing and strangling the nun in the Mercy Hospital chapel, a local support group for victims of clerical sexual abuse has pressed Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates to return with another search warrant.
They want investigators to seize the file that police reviewed during the second search, but left behind: accusations of abuse by priests. But so far, Mrs. Bates refuses to say whether her office will return to the diocese.
The local chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests say the documents may be key to establishing whether the diocese engaged in a longstanding practice of protecting priests who raped and molested children under their watch, as alleged in a barrage of lawsuits against the church since 2002.
While SNAP is asking for the confidential files, diocesan leaders say such records don't exist. The emerging debate may be new in Toledo, but it has been playing out for years across the country in a controversy that has shaken the American Catholic Church.
An ongoing battle
In courtrooms and at mediation tables since the 1980s, civil and criminal authorities repeatedly have demanded churches' key documents as they try to prove that a diocese's solution to abusive priests was to quietly move them from church to church.
By establishing a crucial link between a pattern of cover-up and specific abuses, attorneys have been able to step around statutes of limitations to pursue decades-old cases.
In Kentucky, a lawyer used the secret files of a diocese to show that church leaders knew about a school teacher molesting children but never bothered to tell police or discipline the abuser.
Despite the fact the abuse took place 17 years earlier - well beyond the statute of limitations -a jury awarded the victim $750,000, a judgment that stood on appeal in 1998. By hiding the information, attorneys argued, the clock on the statute never had a chance to begin running.
"They obstructed the victim from finding out about their liability, and then they couldn't rely on the statute," said Mary Suzanne Cassidy, an attorney in the case.
But some church leaders are adamant: Protecting the records is critical to the church's mission.
In Los Angeles, the archdiocese is locked in a legal battle over the release of the church's confidential files - not because leaders are trying to cover up crimes, the church says. It's a matter of principle, said Tod Tamberg, an archdiocese spokesman.
Such files contain other sensitive information, including issues in local churches that have nothing to do with abuse. Some priests confide to their bishops about the most private concerns. Prying open the records can destroy that communication.
"[Priests] make vows of obedience to him, and the bishop needs to have confidential communications with those priests. No priest would go to his bishop on anything if that communication is destroyed," Mr. Tamberg said.
In Toledo last week, Bishop Blair issued a statement hours after court documents were released outlining investigators' belief the diocese kept such a "secret archive."
More on this story can be found in The Toledo Blade.
A search did not show it.
There have been lots of rumors about this business in the past. I don't know where the truth lies. It's certainly possible that some sort of Satanism got loose among the clergy in Toledo.
It's the kind of thing you have to suspend judgment on, but it will be interesting to see where this leads. If there is any truth in these long-time rumors then it would be a very good thing to uncover it and correct any problems that may remain.
In particular, was there a circle of clergy or others in this case who have been protecting each other?
I don't know.
"Recovered memories" are the most flimsy of all evidence.
With added allegations of "Satanism", this whole thing is bogus.
Title was the same ("Priest named in lawsuit that alleges ritual abuse")...
Thank you for pointing me to the earlier thread.
Gerald Robinson is facing a trial for the murder of a nun.
I wonder if our new Holy Father knows what kinds of things are going on in the AmChurch?
Priests and Religous are human. Anything is possible--but as Carl Sagan once said, "extraordinary claims, requires extraordinary evidence."
If you're going to talk about recoverd memories, ritual killings, etc. etc. You better have some serious proof.
Thankfully "recovered" memories are generally not admissible.
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