Friday, October 14, 2011

Breaking News: Bishop Robert Finn Indicted

This is breaking news I'm just now seeing: Catholic bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph was indicted today on charges of having failed to report child abuse in the case of Father Shawn Ratigan.  The indictment was issued by the grand jury of Jackson Co., Missouri.

As I've noted repeatedly on this blog, given the constant, nearly universal and seemingly nearly intractable tendency of the Catholic hierarchy to cover up, evade responsibility, and lie regarding cases of clerical abuse of minors, the best hope left for those of us who want to assure the protection of children (and who care about the church being what it's called to be: a sacramental sign of God's all-embracing love for the world) is the legal and criminal justice system.  And so I read this indictment as a good and hopeful sign that not even bishops will be let off the hook in the future--not as they have been all too often in the past.  And, as Barbara Dorris notes at SNAP, this is a first-time-ever historic event: no bishop has previously been indicted on charges of endangering children in the U.S.

More will follow re: this story in days to come, I feel sure.  For those who want to follow my previous commentary about the Finn-Ratigan story and links to other news coverage of this story, please click the label "Bishop Robert Finn" below.

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