Matt C. Abbott
December 18, 2006
Book: diocese paid for abortions
By Matt C. Abbott

By now, many people are at least marginally familiar with the Father Gerald Robinson case in Toledo, Ohio. Robinson was convicted on May 11, 2006 of murdering Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in a hospital chapel in 1980. He is serving a sentence of 15 years to life.

David Yonke, religion editor of The Toledo Blade, has written a book about the case; it's titled Sin, Shame and Secrets.

The following excerpt of Yonke's book (p. 176) contains an allegation that could be described as a bombshell:

    On September 17 (2004), detectives Forrester and Ross again marched into the Catholic Center and went straight to the fourth-floor chancery, this time demanding access to the files in Father Billian's office.

    They reviewed a number of files that were marked 'Privileged,' but found nothing related to the investigation of Father Robinson.

    The detectives left the chancery empty-handed.

    Officially, Sergeant Forrester said the privileged files involved cases of sexual abuse of children by priests. Off the record, a number of insiders, including a diocesan priest, said the files contained reports of abortions paid for by the diocese.

As of the time this column was submitted for posting, the Toledo diocese had not responded to my e-mail inquiry on the allegation contained in Yonke's book.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

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