Tags: vatican | catholic | bishop | pedophilia

Vatican Sends Official to KC in Pedophile Shielding Case

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 09:39 PM

The Vatican has sent a church official to Kansas City to examine the leadership of Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Finn, who in 2012 became the first prelate convicted of shielding a pedophile priest.

Ottawa, Ontario, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast visited the diocese last week, interviewing more than a dozen people about Finn's leadership, according to the National Catholic Reporter, which first posted an account Monday on the Vatican-ordered probe. 

The archbishop’s main question was: “Do you think [Finn)] is fit to be a leader?" according to the report.

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But one pastor who met with Prendergast told the Kansas City Star he didn’t recall the question being that "bold." 

"His visit suggested a concern," the pastor, Patrick Rush, told the Star. "This is not a routine procedure for the Vatican."

Finn, who has headed the Kansas City diocese since 2005, came under increasing fire following his September 2012 conviction of a misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse in the case of a now-former diocesan priest who was producing child pornography. 

Former priest Shawn Ratigan was found guilty in federal court in September 2013 of producing child pornography and sentenced to 50 years in jail.

The episode unleashed a flood of criticism of Finn, and set off a costly round of litigation for a diocese that'd seen its membership drop in recent decades, the Star noted.

"I hope that there is a leadership change in the diocese of Kansas City St-Joseph," Jude Huntz, who served as the diocese's second-in-command from 2011 until last month, told the National Catholic Reporter. "And that's been my hope for quite some time."

But the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests blasted the visit as "timid" and "tepid."

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“If [Pope] Francis wants to investigate complicit church officials, there are plenty who merit it,” Barbara Dorris, the outreach director of the group, said in a statement, the Star reports.

"He need not start with one whose guilt has been clearly proven."

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The Vatican has sent a church official to Kansas City to examine the leadership of Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Finn, who in 2012 became the first prelate convicted of shielding a pedophile priest.
vatican, catholic, bishop, pedophilia
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2014-39-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 09:39 PM
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