Bp. Finn of Kansas found guilty of misdemeanor
#1
From the Catholic League, via Fr. Z:

Assessing Bishop Finn's Guilt
http://www.catholicleague.org/assessing-...nns-guilt/

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a judge’s decision yesterday finding Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn guilty in a case involving Father Shawn Ratigan:

Let’s get rid of some myths. Bishop Finn was not found guilty of a felony: he was found guilty of one misdemeanor, and innocent of another. The case did not involve child sexual abuse—no child was ever abused, or touched, in any way by Father Shawn Ratigan. Nor did this case involve child pornography. Here’s what happened.

On December 16, 2010, a computer technician found crotch-shot pictures of children, fully clothed, on Ratigan’s computer; there was one that showed a girl’s genitals exposed. The next day Ratigan attempted suicide. The Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Murphy, without seeing the photos, contacted a police officer about this matter. The officer, after consulting with another cop, said a single photo of a non-sexual nature would not constitute pornography. After a few more of the same types of photos were found, an attorney rendered the same judgment: they were not pornographic.

Finn then asked a psychiatrist to evaluate Ratigan. The bishop was given the judgment of a professional: the priest was not a risk to children (he was diagnosed as suffering from depression). Finn then placed restrictions on Ratigan, which he broke. When it was found that Ratigan was again using a computer, upon examination more disturbing photos were found. Murphy then called the cops (Finn was out of town) and a week later Ratigan was arrested. Yesterday, Finn was found guilty of one misdemeanor of failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

The Catholic League supports harsh penalties for child sexual abusers, and for those who cover it up. But it also supports equal justice for all, and given what we know of what is going on in many other communities, religious as well as secular, we find the chorus of condemnations targeting Bishop Finn to be as unfair as they are contrived.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that only two newspapers in the nation put this story on the front page: the Kansas City Star, understandably, and the New York Times.
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#2
Quote:On December 16, 2010, a computer technician found crotch-shot pictures of children, fully clothed, on Ratigan’s computer; there was one that showed a girl’s genitals exposed. The next day Ratigan attempted suicide. The Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Murphy, without seeing the photos, contacted a police officer about this matter. The officer, after consulting with another cop, said a single photo of a non-sexual nature would not constitute pornography. After a few more of the same types of photos were found, an attorney rendered the same judgment: they were not pornographic.

Yes, these photos may not have shown sexual acts, but if I caught a priest with pictures of crotch shots and a girl's (underage?) genitals, that would be a huge warning sign. I would place said priest on administrative leave.

Maxim magazine may not be pornography, but still, what business does a man has looking at that? The same applies here. What business does a Catholic priest have looking at kid's crotches (even clothed)? As for the other pic, was he teachig or studying anatomy?

Too much has happened. Priests must be held to higher standards. 

The article didn't even mention what Finn was charged with, now what he was found guilty of.
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#3
Found this. USA Today:

(RNS) Catholic Bishop Robert W. Finn was found guilty Thursday of failing to tell police about a priest suspected of sexually exploiting children, an unprecedented verdict that is being hailed as a landmark in the effort to bring accountability to the church's hierarchy.


Patrick Semansky, AP
Bishop Robert Finn, of Kansas City, Mo., leaves a meeting at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall assembly in Baltimore last November.
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Patrick Semansky, AP
Bishop Robert Finn, of Kansas City, Mo., leaves a meeting at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall assembly in Baltimore last November.
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Finn, leader of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and an outspoken conservative in the American hierarchy, was convicted of a single misdemeanor count for not telling police that one of his priests, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, had taken hundreds of lewd images of children in Catholic schools and parishes.
But even as he became the first U.S. bishop ever convicted in criminal court for shielding an abusive priest, Finn's standing inside the church appears uncertain, and the subject of intense debate.
Should he stay or should he go? Finn has indicated that he wants to tough it out.
"The Bishop looks forward to continuing to perform his duties, including carrying out the important obligations placed on him by the Court," Finn's spokesman, Jack Smith, said in a statement to Religion News Service on Friday.
Pope Benedict XVI is the only one with the authority to force a bishop from office, and the Vatican said nothing on Friday about Finn.
Meanwhile, the point man on the abuse crisis for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Ill., was circumspect about Finn's conviction.
Conlon, who recently acknowledged that the hierarchy's credibility on abuse was "shredded" in part because of cases like Finn's, said that he did not know the details of the trial. He instead stressed that the bishops stood by their policy of reporting all allegations to police and complying with all local laws on reporting.
"Church officials have committed themselves to follow the Charter" — the policies on abuse that the bishops adopted in 2002 — "and are bound by civil and canon law," Conlon said Friday.
But others directly called on Finn to step down.
"For the good of the diocese and the church, I think he should apologize and resign. Then a new bishop can begin the healing process," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center.
"The judge found him guilty," said Reese, a Jesuit priest. "There is no way he can lead the diocese after that."
Nicholas Cafardi, a canon and civil lawyer at the Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, said that Finn could be dismissed under canon law. He also noted that in the past year Benedict removed a bishop suspected of financial improprieties and another who suggested that the church debate the issue of allowing women and married priests.
In an email, Cafardi said that in Finn's case it shouldn't come to that.
"The best solution for the Church here … is not a canonical process or even Finn's forced removal," said Cafardi, a former head of the bishops' National Review Board that was established to ensure compliance with their own reforms. "It is that Finn put the good of his diocese above his personal ambitions and his need for power and resign immediately. After this, how can he face his people or his priests?"
Evidence introduced by prosecutors showed that Finn, 59, had also received numerous complaints about Ratigan's behavior over the course of a year, starting in December 2010, and did not tell authorities even after Ratigan attempted suicide.
Ratigan, 46, pleaded guilty last month to federal child pornography charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Thursday's verdict by Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court Judge John Torrence came at the end of a one-day bench trial. Prosecutors wanted to spare victims the pain of testifying, and the diocese wanted to avoid a lengthy trial that could have exposed further embarrassing details about Finn's record.
Both Finn and the diocese faced two separate misdemeanor counts of failure to report suspected child abuse. Torrence found Finn guilty on one charge, and said there was insufficient evidence to convict on the second. At the request of prosecutors, he then dismissed both counts against the diocese.
Finn could have faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine on each charge. Torrence gave Finn a suspended sentence of two years' probation, on condition that he complete the probation period without incident and complies with a series of steps.
Last November, Finn avoided trial on similar charges in another county in the diocese by agreeing to give prosecutors oversight of the diocese's sex abuse reporting procedures in that county.
In the long run, Finn's viability as a bishop may depend on how local Catholics react.
The case has left many of the faithful in the diocese discouraged and furious, and it is not clear Finn can reverse that negativity.
Finn's statement after his conviction carefully pointed to inadequate diocesan "process and procedures" as the reason that Ratigan was not reported to police, and his expression of regret was for policy failures and "for the hurt that these events have caused."
Until this week Finn had vigorously rejected the charges that he had done anything wrong, and had hired a high-priced defense team to make his case. The diocese revealed this week that Finn's legal bills have cost the diocese and its insurers nearly $1.4 million over the past year, and that parishes will have to kick in more money to cover the outlays. Finn and the diocese still face numerous civil suits resulting from the case.
"How can the diocese move forward after all this?" the Rev. Gerald Waris, a retired priest who was pastor of the church where Ratigan last served, told the Kansas City-based National Catholic Reporter. "Most of us who have worked in parishes and continue to work here, we'll have to find a way to rise above it all."
The Vatican does not like to be pressured into taking action, especially when it comes to disciplining a bishop. But the pope is also trying to promote accountability as a solution to the sexual abuse crisis and could be waiting to see how things play out.
Observers note that Finn is 59 and does not have to retire until 75. That could provide time for him to restore his reputation, or the prospect of having Finn as bishop for 15 more years could serve as a spur to Catholics to register their anger now.
"Rome is not immune to public pressure," said Cafardi. "It's now up to the faithful and the clergy of the diocese to come forward."
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#4
Re: the subject line. His Lordship has nothing to do with Kansas and, to the best of my knowledge, never has. He is the Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph in the State of Missouri.
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#5
we have to pray for him :pray: :pray: :pray:
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#6
Suffering from depression? Crotch shots and pictures of a young girls genitals?

I usually take pills for that.

This is what comes of being too charitable, naive and avoiding judging people.

The priest was obviously a weirdo.
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#7
(09-07-2012, 08:43 PM)m.PR Wrote: From the Catholic League, via Fr. Z:

Assessing Bishop Finn's Guilt
http://www.catholicleague.org/assessing-...nns-guilt/

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a judge’s decision yesterday finding Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn guilty in a case involving Father Shawn Ratigan:

Let’s get rid of some myths. Bishop Finn was not found guilty of a felony: he was found guilty of one misdemeanor, and innocent of another. The case did not involve child sexual abuse—no child was ever abused, or touched, in any way by Father Shawn Ratigan. Nor did this case involve child pornography. Here’s what happened.

On December 16, 2010, a computer technician found crotch-shot pictures of children, fully clothed, on Ratigan’s computer; there was one that showed a girl’s genitals exposed. The next day Ratigan attempted suicide. The Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Murphy, without seeing the photos, contacted a police officer about this matter. The officer, after consulting with another cop, said a single photo of a non-sexual nature would not constitute pornography. After a few more of the same types of photos were found, an attorney rendered the same judgment: they were not pornographic.

Finn then asked a psychiatrist to evaluate Ratigan. The bishop was given the judgment of a professional: the priest was not a risk to children (he was diagnosed as suffering from depression). Finn then placed restrictions on Ratigan, which he broke. When it was found that Ratigan was again using a computer, upon examination more disturbing photos were found. Murphy then called the cops (Finn was out of town) and a week later Ratigan was arrested. Yesterday, Finn was found guilty of one misdemeanor of failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

The Catholic League supports harsh penalties for child sexual abusers, and for those who cover it up. But it also supports equal justice for all, and given what we know of what is going on in many other communities, religious as well as secular, we find the chorus of condemnations targeting Bishop Finn to be as unfair as they are contrived.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that only two newspapers in the nation put this story on the front page: the Kansas City Star, understandably, and the New York Times.

Thanks so much for posting this. I live in Bishop Finn's diocese & he's the BEST thing that has happened here in my lifetime (70 yrs.). Some of you may remember an article that ran in the K.C. Star when he was sent here, "Bishop Finn Cleans House". He got rid of the laity that had been running this diocese for 40 yrs. He replaced them with priests & he brought an order of nuns (who wear habits ( :chleader:) He "came up" under Archbishop Burke's direction, he is a member of Opus Dei, he loves the Latin Mass, he forbid the NCR. to run articles by "Father" Richard is the camera rolling? McBrien & he is a quiet, gentle man. He was SET UP big time by both the laity that he replaced & I do thing that  the USCCB. had it's finger in this mess, as did the National Catholic Distorter.
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#8
(09-08-2012, 04:50 AM)ggreg Wrote: Suffering from depression? Crotch shots and pictures of a young girls genitals?

I usually take pills for that.

This is what comes of being too charitable, naive and avoiding judging people.

The priest was obviously a weirdo.

Yeah. This just seems weird, and the article reads like an apology (not an I'm sorry one, but a St. Justin Martyr one).

Yes, we should defend the clergy from the secular world, but let's not idealize either.
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#9
(09-08-2012, 06:18 AM)JoniCath Wrote:
(09-07-2012, 08:43 PM)m.PR Wrote: From the Catholic League, via Fr. Z:

Assessing Bishop Finn's Guilt
http://www.catholicleague.org/assessing-...nns-guilt/

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a judge’s decision yesterday finding Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn guilty in a case involving Father Shawn Ratigan:

Let’s get rid of some myths. Bishop Finn was not found guilty of a felony: he was found guilty of one misdemeanor, and innocent of another. The case did not involve child sexual abuse—no child was ever abused, or touched, in any way by Father Shawn Ratigan. Nor did this case involve child pornography. Here’s what happened.

On December 16, 2010, a computer technician found crotch-shot pictures of children, fully clothed, on Ratigan’s computer; there was one that showed a girl’s genitals exposed. The next day Ratigan attempted suicide. The Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Murphy, without seeing the photos, contacted a police officer about this matter. The officer, after consulting with another cop, said a single photo of a non-sexual nature would not constitute pornography. After a few more of the same types of photos were found, an attorney rendered the same judgment: they were not pornographic.

Finn then asked a psychiatrist to evaluate Ratigan. The bishop was given the judgment of a professional: the priest was not a risk to children (he was diagnosed as suffering from depression). Finn then placed restrictions on Ratigan, which he broke. When it was found that Ratigan was again using a computer, upon examination more disturbing photos were found. Murphy then called the cops (Finn was out of town) and a week later Ratigan was arrested. Yesterday, Finn was found guilty of one misdemeanor of failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

The Catholic League supports harsh penalties for child sexual abusers, and for those who cover it up. But it also supports equal justice for all, and given what we know of what is going on in many other communities, religious as well as secular, we find the chorus of condemnations targeting Bishop Finn to be as unfair as they are contrived.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that only two newspapers in the nation put this story on the front page: the Kansas City Star, understandably, and the New York Times.

Thanks so much for posting this. I live in Bishop Finn's diocese & he's the BEST thing that has happened here in my lifetime (70 yrs.). Some of you may remember an article that ran in the K.C. Star when he was sent here, "Bishop Finn Cleans House". He got rid of the laity that had been running this diocese for 40 yrs. He replaced them with priests & he brought an order of nuns (who wear habits ( :chleader:) He "came up" under Archbishop Burke's direction, he is a member of Opus Dei, he loves the Latin Mass, he forbid the NCR. to run articles by "Father" Richard is the camera rolling? McBrien & he is a quiet, gentle man. He was SET UP big time by both the laity that he replaced & I do thing that  the USCCB. had it's finger in this mess, as did the National Catholic Distorter.

This was in effect a plea-deal. Finn isn't denying the facts. If this was a liberal bishop no one here would be defending him.  Finn betrayed his holy office. No number of latin masses brought into the diocese make his actions defendable.
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#10
(09-08-2012, 10:46 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: If this was a liberal bishop no one here would be defending him. 

Because liberal bishops don't deserve defending. I am serious. And this case was not as clear-cut as others.

Good to see you back.
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