Posts Tagged 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.
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
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.
Cardinals and bishops involved in the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) investigation have suffered no discipline for their blunders in their handling of clergy pedophiles, according to news reports and legal documents …” By Jason Berry in GlobalPost.com