Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 10 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Michael of the Saints

Bishop Finn resigns

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/21/15

ef9918ce-b0e2-4174-9dc1-4053f2ac50a3

From Associated Press: 

Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, who led the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Finn pleaded guilty in 2013 to failing to report a suspected priestly child abuser in the first known case of a pope sanctioning bishops for covering up for pedophiles. The Vatican said Tuesday that Bishop Robert Finn had offered his resignation under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign early for illness or some “grave” reason that makes them unfit for office. It didn’t provide a reason. Finn, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, waited six months before notifying police about the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, whose computer contained hundreds of lewd photos of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Finn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected abuse and was sentenced to two years’ probation in 2012. Ever since, he has faced pressure from local Roman Catholics to step down, with some parishioners petitioning Francis to remove him from the diocese. No U.S. bishop has been removed for covering up for guilty clergy. Finn remains the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of failing to take action in response to abuse allegations. The Vatican’s failure to sanction or remove him had fueled victims’ complaints that bishops were continuing to enjoy protections even under the “zero tolerance” pledge of Francis.
This comes right on the heels of headlines announcing that confirmed abuse allegations against Catholic priests were in the single digits for 2014. One allegation is too many, but clearly the zero-tolerance measures put into place over the last ten-or-so years, and the laicization of hundreds of bad priests under Pope Benedict XVI is having the desired effect. As to the ouster of Finn, it is not unexpected. Ears to the ground, we’d heard the bishops and advisers counselling Pope Francis were insisting that for the good of the church and the healing of its abuse victims, it was time to take effective action at higher levels — specifically against those bishops who had not been pro-active in responding to allegations. In Finn’s case, this is kind of a no-brainer; he is the first and only bishop to be convicted of “failing to report a suspected abuser.”
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
2
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
3
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
4
Francisco Veneto
Priest brother of pilot whose plane broke in two says “St. ...
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
resurrection
Philip Kosloski
4 Fun facts about Easter Week
7
NUNS
John Burger
Benedictine nuns in Missouri seem to be targeted by shootings
See More