14 October 2011

State Goes after Bishop

You may have read already that the Jackson County prosecutor has filed an indictment against Bishop Robert Finn on a misdemeanor charge of "failing to report child abuse".  He has pled not guilty.  If he weren't a Catholic bishop he might be able to expect a fair trial.  If he weren't a faithful Catholic bishop he might expect not to be charged.

Rest assured, says the prosecutor, that "it is all about protecting children."  

Right.  I totally believe that. 

There is a lot that could be said about this.  I won't say it here.  If you see me around, I'll be happy to chat.  

This is a blatant attempt to take down a good Bishop.  

This is persecution.  

You don't agree?  I don't care.  It's still true.

Pray for Bishop Finn.  Faithful bishops, clergy and laity will be increasingly targeted by the state.  History repeats itself.


Anonymous said...

We will begin a 54-day Rosary novena for Bp. Finn tonight. And we'll include Fr. Lockwood in our intentions as well, as he supports his Bishop through this. Kyrie Eleison.


CU said...

I agree. Bishop Finn!? Really!? When my husband told me about this indictment I felt as though someone had kicked me in my stomach. I have learned that when I hear the buzz words of "let me be clear"... "in all sincerity"..."it is for the poor"..."I don't recall"..."it is all about protecting children" that the opposite is true--that there is an agenda at play. For example, if you have to tell someone that you are humble, honest or sincere, then usually, you are not.

Can you explain to me (you might have discussed this before) why the Catholic Church is fair game, when molestations occur (even one is horrible) in far greater numbers in the public school system, in the political arena, in corporate america, in other religious groups? Recently, a former child actor stated that Hollywood is filled with pedophiles and yet no one seemed to bat an eye. Convicted child molester/rapist, director Roman Polanski is still a darling of Hollywood. As far as I can see, the Catholic Church is the only one trying to implement safeguards to protect children against the sins of fallen men and women. I know the answer as to the why but how is it legally possible to single out the Catholic Church for legal action?


bill bannon said...

Bishop Finn between December and May ordered Fr. Ratigan to stay away from children but he took insufficient pains to enforce that order and Ratigan was repeatedly near children during that time and took another photo of a child. The prosecutor's abortion stand is immaterial. Hitler had an obligation to arrest house burglars.. Mao Tze Tung had an obligation to arrest muggers. Let's see. The Inquisition wasn't bad because Protestants killed also. The Bishops putting pervs in new parishes wasn't bad because psychologists told them to. Are we ever going to own anything.....to take responsibility?

ATW said...

Agree completely.

Anonymous said...

Then-Father Finn came to dinner at our house many years ago, it was a combined potluck sort of thing with two other homeschooling families, back when we lived in Webster and he was in-residence at Holy Redeemer. There is no finer man or priest. He's being fed to the wolves.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Timman, but this has nothing to do with what religion, or ideological slant, Bishop Finn has.
It is a simple case that Bishop Finn's office heard very credible reports about Fr. Ratigan's abhorrent behavior, and instead of reporting it to the police as law mandates, they ASKED Ratigan to not do that anymore. (Akin to asking a drunk driver not to drink anymore without taking away his driver's license or car.) There was no accountability - Ratigan attended parades, had access to computers, and continued mingling with children.

Three additonal thoughts.
1. The current vicar general of the diocese, Msgr. Robert Murphy, will receive a much harsher sentence than Bishop Finn. Both knew of Ratigan's behavior, but seems that Bishop Finn listened to Murphy when instead, he should have followed the law and hopefully his own gut instincts here.
2. If you were to post the vile actions of Fr. Ratigan, which you won't, your readers would immediately side with the prosecutors in this case.
3. If your child were abused by Ratigan (I can't call him "Father"), there is no way you would be approving of ANY Bishop who allowed Ratigan free reign without reporting him to the police.
4) It is criminally naive to simply ask Ratigan "not to do that again," and then not enforce strict supervision.

Despite tremendous press on this pediophilia, I still think some in our church don't get the seriousness of this illness in men like Ratigan, and want to believe that by choice, they can change who they are.

God bless Ratigan's victims, and the church that hopefully is doing all it can to ensure the safety of all children.

JPII fan

thetimman said...

JPII fan, if you use your drunk driver analogy, your argument fails. You don't get indicted for asking a drunk not to drive, as opposed to taking away their license. You can't take away their license.

This is different, because there is a statute. I get it. But what you haven't established is what exactly the Bishop knew. If the actions of Ratigan were not prosecutable, then there may have been no duty to report. You haven't established anything about that question. You are following newspaper reports which assume facts not in evidence.

And as an aside I also oppose laws that require people to report other people to the police for any reason. I don't want to live in a Big Brother state. And no, I don't care what the crime is. A moral person may decide it is best to so report, but a free person should be able to decide for themselves.

Finally, none of this speaks, of course, to whether a Bishop should allow a known sexual pervert to remain in ministry. But I have no evidence that the Bishop knowingly allowed him to do so after having evidence of any sexual misconduct.

The facts aren't in. Until they are, we have rush to judgement.

Think of this: how many misdemeanor criminal prosecutions are instigated by grand jury indictment. Seems like an outrageous waste of public money when the prosecutor can simply file charges themselves. This smacks of a highly stylized "process of law" to give the state cover for persecuting a Catholic Bishop. And by Catholic, I mean Catholic; not merely a Bishop of the Catholic Church.