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Full funeral mass set for Ohio priest convicted of murder

A full funeral mass is planned for Friday for a Roman Catholic priest convicted of killing a nun in northwest Ohio in 1980.

Two organizations that help victims of clergy abuse are upset that the Toledo diocese will observe the usual protocol for priests' funerals for the Rev. Gerald Robinson, who died July 4 in a prison hospice at age 76.

The Diocese Of Toledo said Robinson would receive a priest's funeral because he remained a priest after his conviction, although he was not permitted to take part in public sacramental ministry.

The diocese said a visitation is planned for Thursday and a funeral mass at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church in Toledo. The diocese said the media have been barred from the church and cemetery.

Groups including the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests had asked the diocese to reverse its decision allowing the usual protocol for diocesan priests' funerals for Robinson.

Robinson had been serving a prison sentence of 15 years to life in what church historians have characterized as the only documented case of a Catholic priest killing a nun. He was arrested 24 years after the nun's death and found guilty in 2006 of stabbing and strangling Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at a Toledo hospital where they both worked.

Robinson had been in a hospice unit since the end of May after suffering a heart attack.

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