Bishop Robert Finn
Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City, who was found guilty of failing to report suspected sexual abuse of a child to authorities, is now refusing to resign and the Roman Catholic Church is wholly supporting him in this refusal.
Unfortunately it seems that the Roman Catholic Church has absolutely no problem with these types of activities based on their reaction to this case, although to their credit they have removed some clergy in the past over sex abuse allegations.
What might be even more troubling is that one such Catholic priest was later hired as a supervisor for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
That being said, they are about as far from blameless as they could get since Pope Benedict XVI himself refused to remove a priest,
The charges brought against Robert Finn were, in my opinion, far from adequate seeing as he was only charged with two crimes and only found guilty of a single misdemeanor charge.
He was found guilty for,
Finn also failed to respond to warnings received by the diocese from a principal at a parish elementary school which detailed the suspicious behavior of Reverend Shawn Ratigan around children.
Ratigan pleaded guilty in August to federal charges of both producing and attempting to produce child pornography and prosecutors have stated that they are looking to sentence him to life in prison for his crimes, although a sentencing date has yet to be set.
However, Bishop Finn doesn’t even have to actually face this relatively minor penalty. Finn was sentenced to a mere “two years probation, suspended,” according to Courthouse News.
Personally, I find the excuses put forth by Finn’s attorneys to be nothing short of disgusting.
Courthouse News reports,
In other words, they claim that Finn shouldn’t be responsible because it wasn’t officially his job.
Using this absurd logic, one might be able to justify never reporting any crime because no particular citizen is specified as the mandated reporter under the law.
According to the British Guardian, despite advocates for the victims of clerical sex abuse challenging the Vatican directly and calling on the Pope to step up and dismiss Finn from his position, the church isn’t budging.
Even some Roman Catholics realize just how absurd this is and have launched a campaign to push for Finn’s resignation which includes a newly created Facebook page entitled, “Bishop Finn Must Go.”
Since Pope Benedict XVI alone has the ultimate authority over bishops, all he would have to do is give the word and Finn would be removed.
This is, in my opinion, a quite unlikely scenario given that,
One of the more troubling aspects of this case is the fact that Finn was actually aware of nude photographs of children discovered on Ratigan’s laptop computer in December of 2010 and still failed to turn him over to police, instead opting to send Ratigan to live at a convent in Missouri.
According to court documents, the photographs were eventually handed over to authorities in May 2011 by Monsignor Robert Murphy against the wishes of Finn.
Monsignor Murphy turned over the evidence after Ratigan continued to refuse to stay away from children and not take pictures of them.
While Finn has apologized for the pain his actions (or lack thereof) caused, he still shows no interest in stepping down from his position.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is now calling for the Pope to intervene in the situation in a letter penned by SNAP director David Clohessy.
According to Clohessy, dismissing Finn from his position would,
Hopefully the Pope will no longer cover up the sexual abuse of children by priests, although given the Pope’s history - and the Roman Catholic Church in general - I’m not going to hold my breath in anticipation.