Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn is … OUT!

Bishop Robert Finn: Call the cops? Nah. I might miss my tee time.
Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn: Unemployed

It’s the the papal version of the back-handed compliment:

In a one-sentence throw-away line in yesterday’s Vatican press bulletin, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn.

The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City, Mo. (U.S.A.) presented by His Excellency Msgr. Robert W. Finn.

In case you didn’t know: in 2012, Finn was convicted on one count of failure to report child sexual abuse. He covered up for Shawn Ratigan, a Missouri priest who was sentenced to 50 years in prison for producing child pornography.

From National Catholic Reporter:

Because of that incident, Finn served a two-year suspended sentence in Jackson County, Mo., and struck a deal later that year with a Clay County, Mo., judge to avoid a similar charge by entering a diversion compliance agreement that included regular meetings with the county prosecutor for five years.

As I have noted on this blog before, if Finn were to apply for a job at his own diocese, he would not pass the background check.

Removing Finn was low-hanging fruit for Pope Francis, who has called on churches to enforce “zero tolerance” (even though Francis recently appointed a Chilean bishop who is accused of covering up for child sex abuse crimes). It would have been easy for Francis to deliver a strong message and fire Finn. It would have been very easy for the Vatican to make a powerful announcement stating that Finn’s behavior was unacceptable and will not be tolerated in a pastoral Christian environment.

In fact, it would have been amazing if Francis or a high ranking Vatican official came to Kansas City-St. Joseph to address the hurt and pain that Catholics there are suffering.

But no. Francis let Finn quit and “save face.”

And Catholics in Kansas City-St. Joseph are still left with questions. And pain.

So, yes, I am elated that a convicted bishop is no longer leading a Catholic diocese. But since Finn’s “transition” was treated like an afterthought, I can’t help but wonder how much else is treated like an afterthought.


4 thoughts on “Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn is … OUT!

  1. After some research, learned that Shawn Ratigan is now being housed in a State of Missouri prison. Not sure how long his State sentence is but would assume after he completes it, he will be moved to a federal prison.

  2. Great article, as always Joelle. Based on the fact that Shawn Ratigan is not listed at the federal prison inmate website, I certainly hope that a backroom deal is not behind the secrecy.

    After all, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in South Florida obviously had the wealth and influence to negotiate a federal Non-Prosecution Agreement to stay out of a federal prison… and we all know the Catholic Church has more wealth and influence than Epstein, a hedge fund owner. Guess its time for another letter to the US Attorney that prosecuted Ratigan.

  3. Did former Catholic priest Shawn Ratigan receive any type of preferential treatment after his 50 year sentence? I did a federal inmate search using the resources at http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc and for some reason, Ratigan’s name and federal prison facility location is not listed. Any chance he is living in a resort-type and/or secret facility?

  4. Did Bishop Flinn get a nice ‘ Golden Parachute/ retirement package? How much will the good Catholics of Kansas City be paying to subsidize him for the rest of his life? Just curious.

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