Skip to comments.Kansas City bishop indicted on child endangerment charge
Posted on 10/14/2011 1:56:18 PM PDT by RnMomof7
CNN) -- Catholic Bishop Robert W. Finn and the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of failure to report suspected child abuse by a priest, prosecutors said Friday in Missouri.
The class A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000 for Finn, 58, and a fine for the diocese, said Jackson
County prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker. Both pleaded not guilty Friday. "The fact that this is a misdemeanor complaint should not diminish the significance of this charge," Peters-Baker said. "This is a significant charge. To my knowledge, a charge like this has not been leveled before."
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Bishop Finn did in fact report the abuse. That’s why the priest was arrested.
The report itself is not very big on facts, but this looks like another anti-Catholic smear job.
The bishop reported this guy.
Does anyone think that the authorities would arrest a public school teacher for this? Let alone the head of the teacher’s union who covered for him, or the head of the school board, or the principal who hired him? I think not.
It’s just anti-Catholicism, 24/7.
There was some negligence on the part of the bishops decades ago, mostly because they foolishly trusted the advice of psychiatric advisers. But very, very few guilty bishops. Rembert Weakland, for instance. I think that at this point, they’re all gone, or will shortly be going.
The story seems to be that a priest had gotten caught with scads of kiddie porn on his computer. Story is coherent so far. Where the story becomes vague is how it was inferred or deduced that this priest was also molesting children, and that the diocese and the priest’s bishop had reason to know about it.
So is the state fishing, or has someone made allegations of being abused (or having a child being abused) by that priest and of trying in vain to alert his superiors?
The devil (or God) is in the details; of course Catholics would respond to this saying it’s another smear, while others might say aha it looks like you got caught with your pants down, and there will be a jolly ole imbroglio quite bereft of facts.
SNAP rides again. The object is to defame and impoverish the diocese.
A bit like tarring Mitt Romney with the polygamy of Brigham Young.
The "sex abuse" referred to in this indictment is not the usual physical sex abuse (touching, forced intercourse, etc). It refers to the acquisition of sexual images. Last December (2010), diocese officials discovered child porn images on his laptop and he is facing three state child pornography charges and 13 federal charges for possessing, producing and attempting to produce child porn.
It was not until May of this year that Bishop Finn notified law enforcement. During this period (December-May), Ratigan attended childrens birthday parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted the Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishops permission, at a girls First Communion. Some further indecent photos were taken during the Easter egg hunt.
Thus the indictment says that in this May-December window, abuse might have occurred due to the Bishop's delay in reporting the discovery of the pornography.
Let me give some real number about the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priest.
The Washington Post (not a Catholic Church friendly publication) found that Over the last four decades, less than 1.5 percent of the estimated 60,000 or more men who have served in the Catholic clergy have been accused of child sexual abuse.
The New York Times found in its investigation 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001. were accused of abuse.
That mean less than 220 priest are involved.
If you want to find rampant sexual abuse by clergy look at the Protestants.
An investigation done by Associated Press found these startling numbers.
According to Church Mutual, which insures about 96,000 Protestant churches, it had an average of 100 claims of child sexual abuse per year.
Guide One, which insures 45,000 Protestant churches, reported it has an average of 160 claims per year.
Brotherhood Mutual, another insurer, averaged 75 claims per year.
And since most Protestant churches are not control by regional or national authorities, the vast majority of sexual abuse cases are never investigated.
So if you want to protect your children from clergy, dont go to a Protestant denomination.
Now if you really want to protect your children, keep them out of school.
Schools have huge sexual abuse problems.
In a Hofstra University study by Charol Shakeshaft, it was found that nearly 10% of students (4.5 million) have experienced sexual assault, harassment or rape by teachers and coaches. This is over 100 times the abuse found in the Catholic Church.
Shakeshaft in a study of 225 abuse cases found that, All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.
Heck, states like Maine have laws which keeps reports of teacher sexual abuse secret.
So why are Protestant leaders never charged with child endangerment?
Why are principals and school boards never charged with child endangerment?
We all know the answer, dont we.
You may be entirely right. But the Catholic Church set itself for this kind of smear because of its past behavior in trying to cover this stuff up. I have no sympathy for “The Church”—none whatsoever. You reap what you sow.
A little addition to your facts from the New York Times.
“The case has generated fury at a bishop who was already a polarizing figure in his diocese, and there are widespread calls for him to resign. Parishioners started a Facebook page called Bishop Finn Must Go and circulated a petition. An editorial in The Kansas City Star in June calling for the bishop to step down concluded that prosecutors must actively pursue all relevant criminal charges against everyone involved.
Stoking much of the anger is the fact that only three years ago, Bishop Finn settled lawsuits with 47 plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases for $10 million and agreed to a long list of preventive measures, among them to report anyone suspected of being a pedophile immediately to law enforcement authorities.
Bishop Finn, who was appointed in 2005, alienated many of his priests and parishioners, and won praise from others, when he remade the diocese to conform with his traditionalist theological views. He is one of few bishops affiliated with the conservative movement Opus Dei.”
It seems that the Church in Kansas City is engaged in sort of fratricide between the conservative and liberal catholics.
Face it, there are those who are absolutely giddy about pedophiles masquerading as priests and abusing children. They are only disappointed that there are not many more cases to use as ammunition against the Church. Do you notice the absolute glee when they post these stories?
If they were sincerely concerned about the innocent victims we would see them posting stories about even higher rates of abuse in other denominations and secular institutions. Their silence on these other cases reveals their true agenda and the blackness of their souls.
Wouldn't happen if he weren't Catholic. Looks like Nero's on his way back.
ALL Protestant denominations - 838 Ministers
147 Baptist Ministers
251 "Bible" Church Ministers (fundamentalist/evangelical)
140 Anglican/Episcopalian Ministers
38 Lutheran Ministers
46 Methodist Ministers
19 Presbyterian Ministers
197 various Church Ministers
The most probable pedophiles in order are:
Priests are way down on the list.
So if a father is a teacher of mid-high history, coaches the girls basketball team and is a youth minister at his church on weekends/Sundays watch out! He would be much more prone to pedophilia that any priest.
Facts don’t matter, PK. Hatred of God’s Church, by its very nature, despises right reason.
How about sympathy for the bishop, if he’s being smeared?
Bishop Finn is my Bishop. The Monsignor who was responsible for checking all this out I also know. This is what I know. What happened was they went to the local police contact and told what they knew at the time when they found out. He was Kansas City police. he advised them they didn’t have enough evidence at the time to do too much. Somewhere around five months later more solid evidence came to light and they turned it over to Independence Mo police who got a search warrant and shortly afterwards the police arrested the priest. Both the Bishop and the Monsignor are of the highest moral character but the fact remains that there were children left in danger the whole time. It is a bad situation all the way around but ultimately you do have a guilty priest and not enough was done soon enough. These people got bad advice early on and followed it. It is a shame for everybody and hopefully they can be an example to other Bishops and others in dioceses all across the states that the children must be protected at first notice.
I live within the local KCMETRO media reach. This story has been ‘playing’ out for months. I do not understand why those in charge at their first awareness this pervert was in their midst they did not fire him. To continue to give him access to children is WRONG...
AND to those whose first instinct is to say well ‘everybody is doing it’ why hold Catholics to a higher standard apparently forget their own doctrine about who and what they claim their church is.
of course now we have this which will not help:
KANSAS CITY (MO)Courthouse News Service
By JOE HARRIS October 14th 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and its Bishop Robert Finn violate U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops policies on the handling of priest sex abuse victims, a former grant writer claims. She says she was harassed and fired when the diocese learned she had been an advocate for victims of sexual abuse.
“The environment inside the Chancery office is such that recrimination, retaliation and intimidation prevents those who believe in the precepts found in the ‘Protecting God’s Children’ initiative, the USCCB policies and those promulgated by the diocese from acting in accordance to them,” according to the complaint in Jackson County Court.
Margaret Mata worked as a grant writer for the diocese. In July this year, she says, several diocese employees were pushing to make her a full-time diocese employee instead of an independent contractor.
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