Bishop Finn Indicted
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Oct 15, 2011 at 08:47:45 AM EST
Robert Finn, the controversial Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, has been indicted by a Jackson County Grand Jury on misdemeanor charges of failing to report child abuse.

This is the first time a head of a diocese has ever been charged with a crime for failing to report pedophile behavior on the part of one of his subordinate priests.

As I reported here and here, Bishop Finn, previously best known for his Opus Dei vision of the Church and society, had constructive knowledge of improper touching of young girls and possession of child pornography by Father Shawn Ratigan (who has since been charged with the latter crime).  And as I wrote in my last piece:  It is not only time for Bishop Finn to go; it is time for him to go jail.

Missouri State Law makes it a misdemeanor crime not to report such behavior.

The Kansas City Star broke the news of the indictment:

A Jackson County grand jury has indicted Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse.

The charges, announced at a news conference today, make Finn - leader of the 134,000-member diocese - the highest-ranking Catholic official in the nation to face criminal prosecution in a child sexual abuse case.

The charges stemmed from the long-simmering controversy surrounding Father Shawn Ratigan, who is facing child pornography charges in Clay County and federal court.

"This is a significant charge," said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. "To my knowledge, a charge like this has not been leveled before.

Both Finn and the diocese entered pleas of not guilty.  If convicted, Finn faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine; the diocese only faces a fine of $5,000.

The indictment's graphic description of the photographs of children Ratigan had on his computer is disturbing.  But even more disturbing is the allegation that Bishop Finn sat on the evidence for over five months. If the charge is proven in court, then Finn should be given the maximum penalties.

An indictment of a prelate was bound to happen. The Church's reactions to calls by members to fix the problem of pedophile priests, have too often ranged from disinterest to cover-up. Now that Jackson County has broken the ice, indictments from other jurisdictions may follow.  A Grand Jury in Clay County, MO for one is considering similar charges.

Maybe the Church will hear us now.




Display:
He must be removed in order for healing to truly begin, both in Kansas City-St Joe and in the Church.

I also would include a defrocking in that exit.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Oct 15, 2011 at 09:03:13 AM EST


You're right about what Finn should do, but I think he and his claque, to say nothing about his curial supporters, will fight tooth and nail to keep Finn in office and free of criminal charges. Screaming Bill will probably have a lot to say in Finn's favor.

by khughes1963 on Sat Oct 15, 2011 at 12:44:48 PM EST
I'm on the Catholic League's email list, and I've been waiting for the "Those Liberal secularists have gone too far, now!" blasts.

by trog69 on Sat Oct 15, 2011 at 07:48:40 PM EST
Parent
I haven't seen Bill's latest screed, but I am sure he will be giving free PR to Bishop Finn.

by khughes1963 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 08:53:03 PM EST
Parent



When I saw this story in the weekly Talk2Action update, I thought I must be dreaming. After all, NO bishops have paid any price for the sexual scandals for which they are most responsible with their endless cover-ups for the errant priests. I wonder if the Catholic Church will now act as decisively against Finn as it acts against members who advocate for the ordination of women (ooooh ... scary!). I'm betting on "no."

I too wonder like the previous two posters, if the right-wing defenders of the church's "purity" will whine and make excuses and complain that Finn is being persecuted by "liberals." But things like this are the reason my Episcopal Church is brimming with former Catholics. I just ran into an acquaintance the other night at OccupyCleveland who said she's thinking of coming to our church because she wants community for her kids and doesn't think the church she was brought up in (Catholic) can fill their needs.

by anastasia p on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 06:36:40 PM EST


Looking over and reading many articles about this typical failed American CEO management style practiced by Bishop Finn, I have to say that it is the role of females who have brought this crime (misdemeanor) to the attention of the world.

That it was a female IT tech cleaning Ratigan's laptop that started the ball rolling whereby at least a half dozen people on the Diocese payroll, consultants, clergy, lawyer (?) etc. did not follow through on her original nasty discovery. Those half dozen played musical chairs with the laptop and contents for far too long.

That it was a female prosecutor that finally came through, in a long overdue manner with a meager amount of humanity and or justice.

Speaking about Bill D at CL as mentioned in one of the comments, I see they deleted an October 9, 2011 article "LUDICROUS ATTACK ON BISHOP FINN (still cached and readable) attacking an excellent article by National Catholic Reporter Phyllis Zagano, a female, June 8, 2011," Who are these guys and where did they come from?".

(aside) Also, I see another National Catholic Reporter article dated October 16th  "Charge against Kansas City bishop the temper of the times" by John Allen Jr. has disappeared from the web and is not cached.

Back on subject - It is the force of female caring, feminine morality, that is the hope of this church run now by obsolete despotic male only management.  


by Mike McShea on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:17:24 PM EST

It was the women who had the courage to do the right thing. I am not a technician, but I have enough computer skills to know that the things you download and save on your hard drive will stay there even if you delete them, unless you use software to completely erase the drive or physically destroy it. One wonders whether Ratigan just was stupid enough to fail to realize the technician was readily able to see his stash on the hard drive. That is how the child porn addicts get caught, that and trading online.

by khughes1963 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 08:57:40 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


How The Election of Trump Made My Life Easier
I might be one of a select few who didn't vote for Donald but would have to say Trump's election made my life easier...I......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Bakke Plot To "Infiltrate" Secular Institutions
Back in 2012-2014 I did a lot of writing and research on The Gathering, the yearly meeting of elite evangelical right philanthropists who collectively......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
The Term "Alt-Right" is All Right
There is a misguided effort underway to not use the term "alt-right."  The effort, currently led by the Center for American Progress, claims that......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Getting the Low Down on Dominionism
A refresher on dominionism will probably come in handy over the next little while. -- FC I am pleased to report that the task......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
The New Kochs: Anthology of DeVos Support, Funding of School Privatization and Religious Right
This post from 2-14 will be a helpful resource in the days ahead. -- FC Mother Jones' January/February issue includes an article titled "Meet......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech
This post about the long term strategy for privatizing the public schools takes on fresh importance in light of the nomination of Betsy DeVos......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (18 comments)
Did God Engineer Trump's Win?
Political analysts have postulated a number of theories to explain the victory of Donald J. Trump in the presidential election: Hillary Clinton failed to......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Some thoughts for a Sunday post-election reflection:
Emancipation, Reconstruction, Redemption, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow The struggles of the Civil Rights Movement took us two steps forward Now the "Second......
By Chip Berlet (0 comments)
On The Ridiculous Charge Of Clinton Anti-Catholicism
Julian Assange has been busy lately trying to sabotage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's run for the Presidency. As part of his vendetta, he has......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
From Russia Without Love
It was less than two years ago but it now seems like a lifetime ago that I wrote about how Russia appeared to be......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Northwest Arkansas, A Hotbed for Anti-Semitism
Three organizations in Northwest Arkansas are deeply interwoven into the most rabid Anti-Semitic teachings in the nation.  Gerald Smith, buried at the base of......
By wilkyjr (5 comments)
Joseph Cella is Back - Taking the Opposite Tack from Pope Francis
Joseph J. Cella has had a change of heart since he joined with those conservative Catholic activists who signed a declaration during the Republican......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Radcliffe Sucker Punched by Right-Wing Propagandists
The prestigious Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard College will host a panel on Monday, Oct 17, titled "Righting the Record: Conservatism and......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
Celebrating Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week is the venerable annual celebration of the right to read and the highlighting of efforts by cultural vigilantes of various sorts......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)

"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (0 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (0 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (1 comment)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.