Posts Tagged Bishop Robert Finn
Archbishop Nienstedt, Bishop Robert Finn have new homes outside former dioceses / National Catholic Reporter
Two U.S. bishops who prematurely resigned their posts amid clergy sexual abuse scandals each have found new landing spots outside their previous dioceses.
“A southern Michigan parish announced over the weekend that Archbishop John Nienstedt, formerly head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, will help out temporarily in the coming months, while Bishop Robert Finn, former head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. diocese, began last month as chaplain for a Nebraska community of women religious.
“Within the span of two months last spring, Finn, 62, and Nienstedt, 68, stepped down — years before the traditional age of 75 when bishops must submit their resignations to Rome — as shepherds of their respective dioceses, both of which teemed with anger and anguish for their church’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations.”
By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful wrote today to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board, which oversees the Church’s child protection policies, declaiming its distress that disgraced Bishop Robert Finn will preside at ordinations this month in his former diocese. In doing so, we add our voices to those of SNAP and other organizations that believe public support for abuse survivors and endorsement of strong child protection policies is essential for the Church.
Here is the text of the letter:
Dear NRB Members,
Voice of the Faithful urges you, as the office charged with ensuring the protection of children, to speak out immediately on the recent that Bishop Robert Finn, who recently resigned from the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, is scheduled to confer ordinations there later this month.
Bishop Finn, as you no doubt know, was convicted three years ago for the crime of failing to report the discovery of child pornography on the computer of a priest in his diocese. Despite that conviction, Bishop Finn was permitted to attend USCCB meetings. No other bishop publicly criticized his presence, and only when the Vatican announced his removal was there any consequence to his public failure to observe the 2002 Dallas Charter requirements or the laws protecting children in Missouri.
To have Bishop Finn preside at ordinations sends a compelling signal to the Faithful of cronyism and coverup, of clerical preference at the expense of a strong commitment to protecting children. Bishop Finn, who by his conviction is no longer legally eligible to teach children, does not embody the qualities needed for leaders and teachers of the faith and surely should not be in the position of ordaining future pastors and spiritual guides.
In the name of abuse survivors and our children and grandchildren, we pray you speak out against this misguided plan to have Bishop Finn confer ordinations. Your message would be a significant demonstration that it’s not “business as usual” for the coverup of child sex abuse. If you fail to act, the message delivered instead is that “courtesy” to bishops matters more to the USCCB than its own promises about protecting children from sex abuse.
Mark Mullaney, President
KC priest criticizes prosecution of Bishop Robert Finn, and prosecutor fires back / The Kansas City Star
As the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese tries to move past the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, a priest has roiled the waters with a letter alleging that the criminal charges against Finn were politically motivated.
“The prosecutor who filed the case, Jean Peters Baker, this week responded with a strongly worded letter of her own.”
By Judy L. Thomas, The Kansas City Star — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The resignation of Robert Finn as bishop of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., is a bitter but necessary moment of reckoning for leaders of the Catholic church if they hope to begin to deal seriously with their long betrayal of the community’s trust.
“Let’s be clear that this is only a beginning. Finn was removed for cause, we have been told. Finn was criminally convicted for failing to report Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who ultimately pleaded guilty to possessing and producing child pornography. Ratigan received a 50-year prison sentence.
“Finn also violated the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, commonly called the Dallas Charter, which the U.S. bishops themselves wrote to guide their response to the violation of children by clergy.”
Editorial by National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
In a March 2014 interview, Pope Francis was given an opportunity to comment on the sexual-abuse scandal, a subject he had said remarkably little about since his election. Acknowledging the ‘deep wounds’ suffered by victims, Francis went on to defend the church as the only public institution to address such crimes ‘with transparency and responsibility.’ No one else has done more, he continued, and yet “the church is the only one to be attacked …’
“For nearly three years, Kansas City Catholics have been wondering whether a pope would replace Finn with a bishop who would put the safety of children first. On April 21, they got their answer. In a terse statement, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had accepted Finn’s resignation. The brevity of that statement was inversely proportional to its significance for the global church.”
Editorial by Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this editorial
Despite announcing his resignation a week ago, Bishop Robert W. Finn will preside over the priestly ordinations of seven deacons next month in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
“A diocese spokesman Monday (Apr. 27) cited a scheduling conflict that prevented the new temporary leader of the diocese, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, from ordaining the seven men on May 23 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City.
“Naumann, who continues to lead the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, will preside over ordinations scheduled for the same time in Leawood …
“‘There is closure on this,’ Naumann said in a phone interview. ‘Bishop Finn resigned, and the Holy See has accepted it. But he doesn’t disappear from the face of the Earth. … He still is a bishop.’”
By Rick Montgomery, The Kansas City Star — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Bishop Finn finally pays the price for misusing power and placing church secrecy ahead of the safety of area children / The Kansas City Star
The departure of Robert W. Finn as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, although overdue, is a step forward for the diocese and thousands of area Catholics.
“Finn’s conduct in office made him a symbol of the Catholic church’s failure to adequately address child sexual abuse by priests. He was the first Catholic bishop to be convicted of a crime related to that crisis.”
Editorial in The Kansas City Star — Click here to read the rest of this editorial
Marie Collins of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was the featured speaker April 18 at the Voice of the Faithful 2015 National Assembly.
The Vatican’s special commission on clergy sexual abuse has given Pope Francis a proposal on how to punish bishops who failed to protect minors from sexual abuse by clergy under their oversight.
“Marie Collins, a member of the panel — formally known as the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors — and herself a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, said she couldn’t reveal details of the proposal, but that personally, she believes some bishops must be removed from office.
“Among those she cited was Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, convicted in 2012 of failing to report suspected child abuse to civil authorities.”
By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
With Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation, which the Vatican announced today, Voice of the Faithful is more hopeful that bishops, at long last, might be held accountable for failing to report priests to criminal authorities when they are suspected of child abuse.
Although the Vatican used its usual “accept the resignation” in making this announcement about the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., bishop, the lack of praise for past service and failure to designate any new posting is what passes for a forced resignation in the Vatican, especially given Finn’s age. Most bishops with documented records of shielding abusers have been allowed to fill out their terms and retire at 75.
Former Bishop Finn, as have others, chose to ignore the mandated reporting required by the 2002 U.S. bishops’ charter for the protection of young people and local civil law, as well as moral obligations not only to protect children who had already fallen prey to clerics, but also to prevent potential exposure of other children to clergy abuse.
“Voice of the Faithful has long called for such bishops to be held accountable for covering up and enabling abuse and activities that endanger rather than support the faithful in their parish communities,” said Mark Mullaney, VOTF president.
Of note are Finn’s activities even as his tenure at the diocese began in 2005. According to National Catholic Reporter, Finn dismissed several lay diocesan leaders, canceled the diocese’s nationally recognized lay formation programs, forced through budget cuts the closure of the diocese’s Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry and appointed someone with no formal theological training to oversee adult catechesis and lay formation.
Pope Francis, in contrast to such activities, has said frequently that he values lay input, sees no place in the priesthood for abusers and desires bishops to be held accountable.
“VOTF prays that this resignation signals a new willingness to remove those bishops who still choose to hide suspected abuse rather than address it,” Mullaney said. “We are hopeful the mistaken appointment of Bishop Barros in Chile will soon become a second marker of accountability.”
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
U.S. Bishop Robert Finn, the Catholic prelate in the U.S. heartland who became a symbol internationally of the church’s failures in addressing the sexual abuse crisis, has resigned. He was the first bishop criminally convicted of mishandling an abusive priest yet remained in office for another two and a half years.
“The Vatican announced Finn’s resignation as head of the diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City, Mo., in a note in its daily news bulletin Tuesday (Apr. 21).”
By Joshua J. McElwee, Brian Roewe, Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.