Father Shawn Ratigan recently pled guilty in Kansas City to four counts of producing child pornography and one of attempted production of child pornography. Ratigan's bishop, Robert Finn, is facing charges of having failed to report that Ratigan had pornographic photographs of little girls on his computer, after Finn became aware of this fact.
At Talk to Action, Frank Cocozzelli wonders how Finn's fierce defender Bill Donohue of the Catholic League can be so strangely silent now that Ratigan has pled guilty. Donohue went ballistic when the Kansas City paper, the Star, refused to print an expensive pro-Finn ad he and the Catholic League crafted to defend Finn. As Jerry Slevin has noted, Donohue's anti-Star activities were an attempt to punish the paper for its excellent coverage of the Ratigan-Finn case. Donohue flew to Kansas City to stage a pro-Finn publicity stunt after the Star refused to print his ad.
And now Ratigan has pled guilty, proving that Donohue was wildly wrong in his defense of Ratigan-Finn. And Donohue appears to have nothing at all to say in response. Frank writes,
Bishop Finn has many powerful friends on the Catholic Right. As a hard charging leader of what he has called "the church militant" and one of four American Opus Dei bishops, Finn is clearly one of their own. The fact that these activists want to save Finn's position as bishop at almost any cost, suggests that their goals for the Church as a bastion of religious and political authoritarianism takes precedence over everything else -- including the safety and well being of children.
Silence might be a legitimate legal consideration for some in light of Finn's pending trial. But it soon will be time for Donohue and his cohorts to announce their penance.
They could begin by apologizing to Ratigan's victims; explaining how they could have been so wrong; telling us how they intend to mend their ways; and making some kind of restitution not only to the victims of children in the care of the Church, but to all those whom they have subjected to calumny.
The fact that these activists want to save Finn's position as bishop at almost any cost, suggests that their goals for the Church as a bastion of religious and political authoritarianism takes precedence over everything else -- including the safety and well being of children.
Wise words from a wise man about the abysmal pastoral failure of the U.S. Catholic bishops at this point in history, as they listen exclusively to the advice of their wealthy right-wing handlers and forget about the gospels.