The following comes from an April 29 blog post on Saint Louis Catholic:
[blogger’s note: I am honored to be able to publish here the text of a letter from a priest who shall remain anonymous, writing to Catholics about the resignation of His Excellency Robert Finn. It says it as well as it can be said. It has been edited slightly to remove some personal references; the substance is his – Abyssum]
“As you all know, Bishop Finn has resigned … This comes after a long, bitter, nasty campaign by many of our brothers and sisters, who, for whatever reason, were convinced that he needed to go. … It is now, therefore, time to say a few things in the open during this time of sorrow for him, and for our diocese.
First of all, for the instigators of this unfortunate event, the issue was never the Ratigan affair [below]. There were definitely mistakes made in handling the situation by people who, it turned out, were in over their heads, but there was never any malice, or impulse to cover up anything.
[Editor’s note: A Jackson County circuit judge in 2012 convicted Finn of a misdemeanor of failing to report suspected child abuse until months after church leaders and employees learned of photographs of young girls on a priest’s computer. The charges were expunged from Finn’s record after he completed a two-year probation period without incident. (from April 27 Kansas City Post article)]
If this had happened on another, more popular bishop’s watch, the aftermath we have seen would not have occurred, because the motivation for the mob-scene that ensued was Bishop Finn’s fidelity to a classical concept of the church, not the cover-up of any misconduct.
For years before the bishop’s arrival, there had been in place a bleak outlook on the future shape of the church, a church without many priests, a church run “out of necessity” by laypeople, lay administrators, with priests as the sacramental suppliers, not leaders. It was said a lack of vocations was the reason for the new organizational principles adopted here, but, in fact, the lack of vocations was self-inflicted. Certain radicalized theologians and catechetical experts after the council had predicted a priest-less church, and some labored to bring this to fruition. In the’90’s in our diocese we sometimes had less than 5 seminarians in any given year, and this reality was used to prop up the idea that the post-Vatican II church was meant to be a new church, with a new organizational chart.
Bishop Finn, as most modern, younger bishops after the council, decisively rejected this depressive scenario, put much less money into programs established for the bleak future, and, instead, put money and resources into the development of priestly vocations, and we have seen the result. We will have 10 new priests in this fiscal year, and have had many in the past several years. Though we will ordain so many, we have more men applying right now than the number we’re ordaining.
Those who are celebrating the departure of Bishop Finn now began their work long ago, not because of the Ratigan case, but because Bishop Finn rejected their view of church reality. He was an “arch-conservative,” “pre-Vatican II,” “trying to take us back to the medieval church,” all these bits of nonsense that covered up the real truth: Post-conciliar ego and pride, the belief that we finally knew more than those thousands of saints who had gone before us, had led to the destruction of much of our church, the loss of clergy and religious, compromise with the world, especially in moral matters, the endangering of our families and children, and our own spiritual bankruptcy. The “Springtime of the Church of Vatican II” has never come, because we, in our smug superiority, had severed our connection with our past and Catholic Tradition.
One of the most disturbing things I have seen in my years as a priest is the glee and meanness of many of our brothers and sisters in the aftermath of Bishop Finn’s resignation. Champagne corks popped, celebrations begun, more mean and vicious things said by people whose Lord Jesus said to them, “Love one another.” There is no forbearance or forgiveness for this man who plead no contest to a politically motivated charge filed by an ambitious prosecutor with strong ties to the abortion industry, so that he might save his local church the pain and cost of a public trial. The statute used to prosecute Bishop Finn was not even applicable to what happened, but such is our legal and political society.
What has this whole thing done to us? Is our love and respect conditional? [One person] put up a post on Facebook, “I hope Bishop Finn rots in Hell forever.” We have become mean, low and self-involved. The vicious attacks by Christians against Christians that we see day to day have become the norm. Whatever happened to praying for your enemy, blessing those who persecute you? Who are we and what have we become? No one has won anything here; we’ve all lost. An honorable man has been unjustly disgraced, and we have sacrificed his dignity and our own in a rush to punish and destroy; things antithetical to everything our common faith represents.
If any good is to come of this, it must come from the grace of God in the humble hearts of His faithful children. Let us learn the lessons again from Christ who is meek and humble of heart. His yoke is easy and His burden light. Let us not take upon ourselves the heavy yoke of hate and spite; they, in the end, are too much for us to bear without us losing everything the Lord wishes to give us. May God’s peace give us clean and humble hearts.
In the Sacred Heart of our Crucified Lord !!!
The Catholic laity of this country spoke loud and clear to the bishops and priests of our land: no more pedophiles in the priesthood and no more episcopal coverup of pedophiles. The Dallas Charter of 2002 was the bishops’ response. Pervert priests, along with a few innocent ones, were thrown out of the priesthood by the hundreds. I for one am glad that the perverts are gone! Now for the first time a bishop is caught red-handed covering up for a pervert priest. Irregardless of the fact that most of us on CCD are on Finn’s side of most things Catholic, do we want a bishop who has shown that he covered for a priest with a proven fixation on little girls’ genitalia to remain in office? Now is the time for fortitude people! Let Finn off and every modernist bishop knows that he is free to protect his Lavender Mafia. The LM would like nothing more than to eradicate Dallas: the pall of being removed from the priesthood hangs over every chickenhawk wannabe wearing a collar. Make Dallas toothless and it is your sons at risk!
“FrMichael: What you say is wrong.
Bishop Finn, by all known accounts, was attacked for his fidelity to the True Faith. He celebrated Tradition, and that trait has grown.
Further, he sought to bring Tradtiional orders to his Diocese, such as the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. These things are hated by Satan, and by his allies that run much of the Catholic Church of today.
You are certainly correct that clerical perversion cannot be tolerated. However, the Pope does very well doing so. Look at how he lovingly appointed, and has defended, Bp. Juan Barros (Osorno, Chile), who, by all accounts, not only tolerated a serial homosexual child-molester, but may well have witnessed one or more such attacks on a young boy. Hundreds of clergy, elected representatives, and ordinary Catholics, have done all they could (letters, near riots) to keep Barros from being installed.
But, Francis has a deaf ear to all who disagree with him, and his view of loyalty, and Catholicism itself (e.g., look at his trust in the cesspool of theologians, like Cardinals Kasper, Dolan, Wuerl, Maradiaga, and Abp. Forte, Cupich and the like). The Pope, and the Vatican, are putting the final nails into the coffin of the Church (or so they think), to give effect to the “spirit of Vatican II” and to the guiding principles of “liberation theology”. (What was the dopey thing Francis said, something about “kneeling to the poor”?)
Bishop Finn would have none of this. The only real question is: why did he ultimately cave? Not sure that we know the full story, but it surely involves some threatened action by the Vatican that Finn felt must be avoided.
These are not good people. Bishop Finn is a good and great bishop, not perfect mind you, but very, very competent.
I don’t deny that the pope hangs around and even promotes unsavory characters and the stunning news from Chile doesn’t bode well. However, his strange papacy (as I’ve come to label it) doesn’t negate the legal facts of what Finn failed to do with respect to Ratigan. To the very end Finn wanted Ratigan “rehabilitated” while continuing to have priestly faculties and out of prison for his crimes against the young.
Fr. Michael I agree with you. We must not excuse this. It is wrong to not report pedophilia. Wrong on every account, I don’t care if the priest is very conservative or not. He should know better especially since he is traditional, he should know better, one would expect someone who is conservative and traditional to be more strong and report those injustices done on kids. Zero tolerance! No false compassion for priests that look at children like that, Zero! Regardless of how people feel, it is not ever right. Especially when a priest is solid and sound, one expects that he knows better, better than a liberal priest would act!` The church needs to understand that pedophilia addicts can not be fixed and they need to be held accountable and not with false compassion either. They need to get help and get kicked out of the priesthood.
Bishop Finn committed a sin, for which he paid. It is very important, to protect our children! But I do agree with St. Christopher’s post! And just when is the Pope going to expel prelates who are much worse, and truly evil, as well as those who are heretical, to the Faith??
Gay folk called for the ouster of Bishop Finn (and all pedophile priests and their protectors) at least as loudly as anyone.
Yet, “GAY FOLK” continue to poison our society – by publically promoting sodomy, and FORCING people to go against God’s teaching regarding homosexual acts through the Courts.
But let’s not forget that the majority was homosexual abuse, not pedophilia which was actually 5% as compared to 76% abuse of post-pubescent boys and young men.
All of the abuse should be condemned, regardless of whether the targets were boys or girls. And bishops who cover it up should resign. Ronnie, I have been unequivocal about that from the beginning, as have every gay person I know.
Try as you might YFC, the so called gay community is linked to this scandal, gays have no place in the clergy ever…the sooner they are all rooted out the better it will be for the Church….
So what? “The gay community?” really? Let me say ONCE AGAIN, regardless of whether the targets were boys or girls, the perpetrators should be condemned, and those who cover it up should resign or be fired. The “gay community” has, from the beginning, said the same thing.
I agree with YFC regarding this issue.
Yes, but we must get to the truth of what happened. It was overwhelmingly homosexual abuse, with girls/women accounting for less than 20%. But yes, all Bishops who actually did cover up (but the majority did send these gay Priests away but they erred when they believed the secular docotrs who claimed they were ‘cured’ and sent them back into ministry) should be held accountable but what is often left out is that it was the ‘liberal’ diocese and Bishops who moved them around more often and covered-up the abuse, Archbishop Weakland, Mahoney, Law, come to mind.
The fact is Bishop Finn did something, but it was not publicized by the Mainstream Catholic Media. The Dallas Conference dealt with pedophelia, when the real problem was not pedophelia, but ephebophelia, pederasty. The pederasts are still out there. Subscribers to ‘Protecting God’s Children” have no idea about homosexual pederasty, and all the homosexual activity that has grown rampantly in the past couple of years. This is the tragedy of the Finn affair. Finn deserved retaliation from the Homosexual Lobby in the Church because he author of the wonderful pastoral letter on ministry to homosexual persons (a replacement of the dreadful USCCB “Always our children”(1997) that contradicted Catholic moral teaching).
The word is pedophilia. There is no rampant growth in homosexual activity. Finn did not report a child molester. That is why he was convicted, and that is why he had to resign. Please try working with facts, Charles.
YFC…No the word is exactly as Charles described it: homosexual pederasty. But I think you might be correct as far as the rampant growth in homosexual activity having been reduced. The recent prohibitions against those with ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies’ being admitted to the Priesthood might be the reason.
“Let us not take upon ourselves the heavy yoke of hate and spite; they, in the end, are too much for us to bear without us losing everything the Lord wishes to give us.” Did you even read the article fr Michael? The image I have of the commentators here attacking this gentle bishop is a circle of ravening wolves. Here is another commentary you likely won’t read…
…ravening wolves with blood on their fangs, eyes glittering slits intent on their ‘prey’. Pray.
Dana, yes I did. I also read the reports about the crimes of Ratigan and Finn’s deep involvement in covering up what the pervert priest did, along with trying to provide cover for his negligent chancery. Quite frankly, the reports trumped the account of the anonymous priest.
….but “who” reported/evaluated the extent of +Finn’s involvement?
That’s a question worth investigating especially when seeking to get to the heart of truth. (Not sure if you heard the vigorous testimony of the young woman in Baltimore who swore up and down that she saw a police officer shoot a young black man in the back just a couple days ago. The truth – the suspect’s gun fell and fired and nobody was shot. Sometimes folks “see” what they want to see and then accustom the “facts” to meet their expectation. And those on the inside – police force, etc – are speaking anonymously so as not to be targeted by the rigorous court of public opinion. Much like the grand jury witnesses in the Ferguson case.)
There is no denying, Father, that we must reject any/all who support, promote, hide and or facilitate pedophiles/abusers. But when we take what is occurring with +Finn in context with the appointment of now “Bishop”Juan Barros (Osorno, Chile), who, by all accounts, not only tolerated a serial homosexual child-molester, but may well have witnessed one or more such attacks on a young boy (as testified to by the actual victims) it gives one pause as to the true motives of those who would cast themselves as judges.
Who is evaluating these cases? What other criteria do they use? How can some testimony be used to reject and castigate one, while even more damning testimony of actual victims is cast aside?
Here is an excellent article by the brilliant Hillary White. Please read this Fr Michael and others who are so easily misled.
Thank you and I pray you’re not found in a similar situation of being falsely accused … Especially by the people who should be your support and upholding truth
About fifteen years ago, a president of a Catholic ladies’ club said to me, “You do not know who to trust any more.” I thought at the time, she was being a wee bit paranoid, but I do not think that any more.
In God we trust, all others pay cash.
“One of the most disturbing things I have seen in my years as a priest is the glee and meanness of many of our brothers and sisters…”
A troubling letter indeed, and FrMichael brings the crux in to clear focus. The cost in Human Lives & Suffering, both to the Victims and those who could not receive aid from the Church because it had to pay for Attorney Fees (40%) for this Intolerable Abuse to Our Young (whom money can never truly compensate for their lost innocence) – is a Harsh Lesson, and one we Must Learn Never to Repeat.
I did not know the details of this story until now and take no glee in any part of it, and although their are Villains enough to blame – I think that the Complacency of the Lay Faithful who just assumed the Church would roll along on Autopilot without their need to pay much attention beyond attending Mass and donating to the collection basket, Must Be Considered as a factor in allowing the cult of abuse that has caused so much harm to exist ‘under the gaydar’ – and Must also Never be Repeated.
Particularly so in places like Sodom by the Sea, where the Gaystapo Power Structure are so jaded and decadent that like The Larry Brinkin Posse – their biggest thrills often come from perverting and subverting the youngest and most innocent. (SEE San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession: https://cnsnews.com/node/757449 )
From what I know about this case, Bishop Finn was tried by a kangaroo court, and forced to retire. He may have been imprudent, but then in religious matters, sometimes prudence must be kept on the back burner. According to Priests for Justice, many of the matters approved at the Dallas meeting were against canon law. A person is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but for political reasons this has all been changed. Cardinal Burke was also retired, and his only crime was being faithful to the magisterium. I believe, and I may be wrong, this is the main reason why Bishop Finn was forced to retire. It is hunting season at the Vatican, and all traditional and conservative clergy and religious are fair game.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston (who does not fully adhere to the Catholic Faith as stated in the CCC);
and who illegally uses the Mass for political purposes – support for ILLEGAL immigration at the border;
and had a Protestant woman minister bless him (with picture taken for Scandal);
was after Bishop Finn and publically stated this.
Supporters of the “National Catholic REPORTER” were also out to get Bishop Finn. (The ‘Reporter’ falsely calls itself “Catholic” and was condemned in 1968 by Bishop Helmsing as well.)
Well Fr. Karl & “St. Christopher”, even your buddy Randy Engle (famous for her gargantuan THE RIGHT OF SODOMY book published almost a decade ago) has explored the notion that Traditionalist groups and their leaders are not immune from making big mistakes when it comes to recognizing and dealing with perverts in their communities. A commitment to good traditional liturgy is a great good indeed, but it is NOT the golden bullet that stops the effects of incompetent leadership. Read this article on her website, if you dare: https://www.newengelpublishing.com/exploiting-traditionalist-orders-the-society-of-st-john/
Ah, such loving rhetoric. One almost senses the heart of a reformer, jack…Lenin? No, too soft. Pol Pot? No, too hard. Obama? Yes, just right! What a fun and Christlike guy you must be when you’re not full of bluster and bombast. Even sharks must sleep.
Thank you “Father Karl”. (This may be a duplicate, due to complete mis-understanding of what not to do on a computer.)
“Jack”: what is your point, exactly? If you want to show (assuming accuracy, which is not a sure thing here) perversion in a Traditional community, that would not be impossible to find. Man is fallen, by nature; sin is natural to Man since Adam. However, escape from sin, and achieving redemption is greatly aided by Tradition, far more than through the “let’s make up everything new since Vatican II” mentality that has pervaded the Francis Administration (and much of the Vatican since then).
Bishop Finn was besieged because of his orthodoxy, and nothing more. Yes, he was unwise in not rebuking the priest that apparently engaged in inappropriate behavior. But, Finn is a rock of Tradition in a sea of mediocrity in the Church. Who would you want to lead your flock: Abp. Cupich (Chicago) or Bp. Finn; Bp. McElroy (San Diego) or Bp. Morlino (Madison, WI)?
It is still unclear what Bp. Finn was threatened with to cause him to leave now, some two years after the apparent conclusion of the legal action that was offered as the reason. Pray for Bp. Finn; perhaps God will have other plans for him in the Church’s reformation. And, remember what is likely going to happen in October at the Synod: Francis is cleaning house everywhere. Expect more.
I just read Fr. Karl’s post. Yes– it is “hunting season,” at the Vatican, and the Pope wants to replace true Catholic prelates, with liberal, faithless, weak prelates, as much as he can, within his power to do so! That is scary– but true!! Regardless of the truth, of what really happened, in the Bishop Finn case– the Pope probably sought to get rid of him, because of his orthodoxy! I am so sorry to say this– but this Pope is, without a doubt– the VERY WORST POPE, since Vatican II!!
Well, many of us doubt that he is the very worst pope. Please own your opinions.
I just read read night that Al Gore felt he just might become Catholic with a pope like this. Yes, indeedy, this is how you get more people in the Church! You invite pro-abortion, anti-Catholic, atheists to a climate change conference and they see the light! “Mmmmm. Mmmmm. What’s not to like, they think…cool art, I can believe whatever I want and still go to Heaven. Oh, baby, I’m home! “
This was in my mailbox today. I hope Linda Maria and others will read it and feel some shame…https://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/factors-that-led-to-bishop-finns-resignation
Look at who are judging Bp Finn! There is a lesson for all of us in this. Also, if there were no profit motive, I wonder how many priests would have been accused, how man lawyers would have pursued justice for innocent children? It’s no coincidence that these lawsuits have caused untold damage to the Church, and in the meantime there is more power in the hands of homosexualists than ever. Satan never sleeps, never takes a vacation, never relents.
Thanks for this link.
Yes, Dana, thank you.
Thanks be to God our Heavenly Father, the Most Holy Trinity, Who He is Just at the End of everything. When Bishop Finn enters Heaven, i pray that he will help t o speak well of those who are now judging him without end! “The tree is known by its fruit.” ‘But, by the grace of God there goes I!” Try to put ourselves in the shoes of Bishop Finn and walk in them for one mile, then, may be we will have a different view. Could we do better?
Doctrine of the Faith –
CCC: ” 2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights.
Commutative justice obliges strictly;
it requires safeguarding property rights,
paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted.
Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.
One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community,
and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion to their contributions and needs. ”
Anyone who advocates any government stealing property/money from it’s citizens – and giving to others violates the Faith.
Jesus taught us that we must help the poor. He never said to partner with a government.
Father Karl and others:
I invite you to read a blog post from an orthodox blogger https://thwordinc.blogspot.com/2015/04/my-first-post-on-finn.html and then, if necessary, read the report commissioned by the diocese in question @https://www.diocese-kcsj.org/_docs/8-31-11_Report_of_Independent_Investigation.pdf, and then come back to this discussion.
Finn was covering up for a molester priest and a negligent chancery.
I read Fr. Michael’s link.
Finn did not get bad legal advice. Finn and his staff manipulated the opinion of the police officer, clearly trying to get him to tell them what they wanted to hear by withholding the true scope of evidence that they found.
Before I moved to Arizona, I very well knew the firm that represented the Diocese in most matters. I assumed that perhaps Finn (whom I did not know and became Bishop well after I left KC) might have used different legal counsel.
Now we discover that legal counsel told Finn to report to Missouri Division of Family Services. Upon reflection, this is better than the Jackson County prosecutor, b/c local prosecutors are elected and can play to local public opinion. Reporting to the state Family Services division would meet your legal duty to notify proper legal authority, but might avoid a prosecutor looking for a headline.
Thus it seems pretty clear that Finn received sound legal advice and either 1) ignored it and 2) manipulated it b/c he did not want to deal with this ugly incident.
He has appropriately been forced by resign by the Vatican. Indeed, it should have been done much sooner. Further, Finn was rightly prosecuted.
Yes, Bishop Finn’s dismissal IS about Fr. Ratigan. The fact is, the article states that Finn was advised that he had no duty to report if there was no criminal act, and that Ratigan possessing naked pictures of girls in “non-sexual” poses was not child pornography.
If true, he received terrible legal advice. Honestly, I find this puzzling since I personally know two Kansas City catholic attorneys who are former Jackson County prosecutors and are now in private practice who would have been perfect to approach with such an issue. Or even a retired Catholic Judge.
This advice looks like someone was trying to come up with an excuse to allow Finn not to report this discovery and avoid an ugly controversy.
The problem is the question of where did he get the photos? It was possible they had discovered pictures Finn had taken personally, which would then need investigation. Finn’s criminal conviction shows just how bad that legal advice was. Of course, it could have been Finn that was looking for such an excuse and latched onto what he wanted to hear.
Admittedly, Finn had a pastoral duty to Fr. Ratigan. His suicide attempt had to be considered in how Finn handled this delicate matter. Given the current environment with respect to the pedophilia scandal, the Church needed to report this finding to the Jackson County prosecutor’s office.
Of course you would say this, “JonJ”. Homosexual enablers and supporters despise people like Bp. Finn.
Look at the state of apostasy among American bishops. Their record is beyond appalling. Yet, the best that the Vatican can do is to come down hard on Bp. Finn, who fosters Tradition and Catholic Orthodoxy. The Devil and his children cannot tolerate a bishop that actually lives the Faith.
Bp. Finn could have been given public penance, which it is likely he would have accepted. Instead, you have the Pope — the Pope — acting as an arrogant king in appointing a man of true depravity as the Bishop of Osorno (Juan Barros).
No, “JonJ”, the Vatican is only cleaning house, nothing more. Anyone who believes otherwise is willfully ignorant, and welcomes the moral whirlwind that we are inheriting.
Read Fr. Michael’s link. Read the independent investigator’s report that Fr. Michael lists in his post. Finn was advised by legal counsel to report to the Missouri Department of Family Services. He did not do so.
That, combined with his criminal conviction, is enough to know that he bungled the matter. Failure to report a potential sex scandal after generations of failure should be automatic dismissal and forced retirement for ANY bishop.
Don’t fault Pope Francis for getting this right when we have the scandal of Cardl. Mahoney voting in the papal conclave.
Of course you say this, “JonJ”, it is in your pro-sodomite nature to do this.
Bp. Finn truly made a horrible mistake. That was never the issue. (He also may have received poor legal advice, or failed to follow correct legal advice.)
A couple of key points (that commenters continue to ignore):
1. There were other “sanctions” available to the Vatican, other than removal from office.
2. The Vatican cares little about sodomite-loving clerics. Just take a look at the beyond shameful record of newly placed Bishop Juan Barros (Osorno, Chile). This man is objected to be nearly everyone. His alleged personal attendance at one or more sexual attacks on a young boy by a local priest is truly sickening. Yet the Vatican issued only a tepid, and entirely unconvincing statement to the effect that, “nothing here, folks, move along”.
The Pope wants his Peeps and will do anything to get them placed, regardless of their junkyard morals.
Bp. Finn deserves penance, but you need to focus on the penalty here. His removal was the prize for the Zombie-Liberals in the Church, not his mistake.
My pro-homosexual bias makes me come down hard on pedophile protectors?
What kind of logic is this?
I do not know much about Bishop Barros. I now know quite a bit about the Ratigan issue that wasn’t in any of the links b/c I discussed this with my contacts in KC.
Finn did not get bad legal advice. I now know that from sources I trust. Finn ignored criminal acts when he had a duty to report. While the criminal law has progressively cheapened both felony standards and worn away the intent element in criminal law, in this area the Church needs to have zero tolerance.
That includes senior clergy with a duty to protect his flock.
The fact is, I’d like Barros gone too. In this area the Church needs to avoid even the appearance of impropriety to rebuild its credibility. It is you who exposes your Traditionalist bias to make excuses for a Traditionalist bishop.
Economist Paul Krugman calls this “affinity politics” that makes one ignore facts. While I’m not exactly a fan of everything Krugman espouses, you’re a poster child for the phenomenon he’s talking about.
Sorry, “JonJ” your sputtering lacks any coherence, or message.
No one defends Bp. Finn’s errors in judgment. The issue is a just punishment. Neither his offenses, nor the precedent of the Vatican’s views in such matters supports Finn’s “resignation”.
In fact, a public rebuke, coupled with public penance, would have been far more effective to prove the point of concern and enforcement from the Vatican. Instead, we have a stubborn and arrogant Pope who likes what he likes and is more than happy to impose his human, and deeply flawed, will on the entire Church. (One wonders how long it will be before the habit of Francis of not genuflecting after the consecration will find its way into the already unspeakably poor Catholic Mass-ritual; kind of creating a new “Gandum Style” of the liturgy.)
Francis loves Bp. Barros and will simply not listen to the hundreds and hundreds of well-informed protestors from all parts of Chilean society that are angered by this appointment, and by their being dismissed, as no more than noisy children, by the Vatican. Barros will stay and continue to give hope and comfort to homosexuals in Latin America.
Bp. Finn, by contrast, was hounded from office due to his Traditional leanings and refusal to recant from that, not from his misjudgment regarding protecting one priest, years ago.
Bp. Finn was wrong, undoubtedly, but you do not execute someone over a DUI, however dangerous that one driving offense may have been.
The case against Bishop Finn was so weak that his public record was expunged by a Civil Court after 2 years.
No Dottie, that is not true. The case was expunged because he served his sentence without incident, and I presume (though I don’t know) that there was a promise to expunge if the Bishop served the sentence without incident or appeal.
I wish to reply to the second post of St. Christopher, replying to JonJ– just his final sentence, regarding the fact that to execute someone over a DUI, is too severe a punishment. Recently, I saw in the news, where a drunk driver returning from a Napa wine festival, ran over and killed a mother and her little girl. Pornoggraphy and child sex abuse, are very serious crimes! This man’s crimes were NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY, at first, and his crimes were permissively NOT confronted! A priest must be a chaste, pure, and holy man, with sacred vows to God, utterly trustworthy, in his Christ-like care for families and children! One criminal act of harm, one pornographic photo– NO! Out he goes, right along with his permissive bishop, not mature enough for this sacred, episcopal responsibility! The Pope and most of his babyish, permissive prelates of today– likewise! OUT THEY GO!
I will add one more thing, to my reply to St. Christopher’s reply, to JonJ. The modern world no longer seems to take sin seriously! Millions of children’s lives have been destroyed, by evil pedophiles and pornographers– and where is the MORAL CONSCIENCE– of the Vatican?? The Church no longer understands the responsibility of the safety of her good Catholics– while attending Mass and other church functions! If you can’t even keep your people safe from criminals in a church— what does that say? In our San Fran. Archdiocese, most all of the modern prelates are immature, and UNTRUSTWORTHY, far worse than Bp. Finn! Most should have been long-ago PUNISHED, LAICIZED, and EXCOMMUNICATED!! The Church is rotten, unChristian, untrustworthy, deeply-infested with immature clergy and criminals, who don’t care! Not “Christian” at all! No MORAL BACKBONE! Including the Pope!
Following precedent makes sense when the system works. When a discipline system has failed to curb unacceptable behavior for more than two generations, more strict enforcement makes sense.
Or do you think the status quo of Bishops turning a blind eye to child abuse is acceptable?
JonJ, I think you meant to say that Ratigan may have taken the photos himself, not Finn. I think you misspoke, right? There is no evidence that Finn himself was involved in any way other than failure to report the activities of Ratigan, right?
I meant Ratigan. And YFC, this case hits close to home. I grew up in Kansas City. My father used to be the personal physician for one of Finn’s predecessors . I know many of the lawyers who have long-standing relationships with the Diocese. Finn blessed my parents marriage on their 50th wedding anniversary (along with a group of catholic couples from the Diocese also celebrating their 50th).
My mother informed me that Ratigan had been assigned to their home parish, or had at least offered masses there, before he moved to St. Patrick’s. From what I understand, multiple teachers thought his behavior was “creepy” around students, but they had no evidence. From what I heard, many complained to the Diocese before he was discovered to be taking photos at St. Patrick’s.
From what I was told, rank and file parishioners across Kansas City wanted Finn gone—and it had nothing to do with him being Traditionalist. It was all about the Ratigan affair.
Kansas City has seen its share of pedophilia problems in their clergy, including a priest from my childhood parish. A local Catholic University President also died of AIDS due to homosexual relationships. Not only was Finn’s behavior unacceptable in the abstract, it was terrible given the past history in the Diocese.
I had never heard of this problem until reading about Finns resignation b/c, I suppose, my family and catholic friends didn’t much want to talk about it when I was visiting.
Your comment is a complete red herring, “JonJ”: You try to use the old liberal reporter trick (used especially by the Washington Post and NYT), of saying, “many people say” and “source confide that. . .” This is all nonsense.
What the literature suggests is that Bp. Finn was widely admired in his Diocese, and that admiration was growing. Moreover, just after his announcement, the glorious Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles issued the following statement: “We will be forever grateful to Bishop Robert Finn for his spritual fatherhood of our community. It is through his paternal solicitude that our life of prayer has been made possible”.
Compare this to the few whining, childish, sodomite-enablers who demanded that Bp. Finn be more “welcoming” of their morally vile sexual habits. And, of course, no one can reconcile the Vatican’s death sentence for Finn, and its warm and public embrace of Bp. Barros and Cardinal Daneels, whose solicitude for sexual immorality against children is widely alleged. This is the real treason against Catholics. And you are wrong to issue the calumny that you against Bp. Finn.
EVERY reporter will use the anonymous sources attribution when they are told something in confidence. This applies to both liberal and conservative journalists.
You, on the other hand, are using this distinction as an excuse eliminate that which you do not wish to hear. This behavior is exactly how Bishop Finn put the children under his care at risk of child predators.
However, I must conclude that assuring yourself that Traditionalists are both persecuted, and incapable of immoral behavior is more important to you than protecting children. I guess you truly are a Traditionalist, just like the Bishops who have allowed generations of catholic children to fall prey to predators.
One last comment, regarding the posts of St. Christopher, and JonJ. I saw the riots on tv, of good Catholics in Chile, protesting the Papal appointment of Bp. Juan Barros. It made me CRY OUT IN PAIN for these good people, ABUSED by the Pope! How does the Pope compare the two cases, of Finn and Barros (whose case looked much worse, than Finn’s)?? But maybe the Vatican will be pressured to take sin in the clergy seriously, especially horrible sex crimes, against little children! I hope so! Our current Archbishop of San Fran., Abp. Cordileone, inherited terrible moral problems, of bad previous prelates. We hope and pray for SUCCESS, for Christ, in all his endeavors, for the Lord!
Sorry, again, “JonJ” — perhaps reporters that you admire do this, people that produce the offal in the NY Times and Washington, Post, for example. Good reporters may use “anonymous” sources, but they combine this with other identifiable sources to lend credibility to their stories.
Oh, yes, there is also the issue of trust. The use of such by the Zombie-Left identify little except for dissembling — lying, in other words. Few serious readers give such accounts any credibility, as they are intended to raise emotions and “incite the mob”. Nothing intellectually honest is ever brought up by these kind of reporters, like so many that attempt on CCD, to attack orthodoxy by use of sloppy language, third-person invective, and outright slander (dressed up as “news”).
Your comment of 3:21am is, aside from being relatively incomprehensive, another example of attempting to create confusion by lies, and a connect-the-dot form of analysis. Certainly “generations of children” have been molested by Catholic clergy. However, Traditionalists have nothing to do with this, as the resulting cause of thousands of molestations is a growing homosexual clergy. Bishops do play a large role in this, of course, as they themselves are either homosexual, were homosexual (and want to be again), are trying to remake the Church as a homo-haven, and otherwise wish to enable homosexuals to gain influence in God’s House. Your positions on these issues is simply execrable.
Thank you Fr. Michael, I agree with Kevin O’Brien. And as tough as it was reading his opinion about the comments Fr. Benedict Groeschel (God rest his soul) made to the NCRegister reporter in 2012 , he was right about that as well https://thwordinc.blogspot.com/search?q=groeschel
No not at all, it was because Bishop Finn was an advocate of The Traditional Latin Mass and was orthodox in all respects, Rome went after the Franciscans of The Immaculate and His Grace Cardinal Burke very odd indeed!
You can save yourselves reading the full diocesan report and simply read the stipulations agreed to by Bishop Finn:
Tell me that it was simply a matter of AmChurch taking down an orthodox bishop. I know AmChurch rejoices at his downfall, but that can’t be helped, since this bishop obviously had the psychiatric and spiritual rehabilitation of this priest in mind over all considerations of danger to the People of God.
Sometimes even the good guys do the wrong thing.
Fr. Michael, I read the SHOCKING computer stories which you provided! I did not know the details, of this case!! My God! Bishop Finn (like many modern prelates, sadly!)— is IMMATURE!! He has no character formation, and no moral conscience! And does he think Catholic tradition is all about a holy and beautiful Mass– and correct theology and morals– in a book?? Even elementary school-age Catholic kids knew, years ago, before the Council– your dad, and the Church, and the police– do NOT act like babyish Bishop Finn– especially on sex crimes, involving kids! You call the cops immediately, they nab the criminal priest, and there is a big, HORRIBLE news story, and HUGE mobs of Catholics, all down at the local chancery office— CRUCIFYING the bad priest!! The nuns all would be in HORROR– and the Bishop would be ready, as a man and as a huge Man of God– to almost PERSONALLY KILL the evil priest!! You’d never see this criminal ever again– he’d be in prison, excommunicated and laicized — despised by all!!
I will add one more thing, to my above reply, to Fr. Michael’s post. Years ago, before Vatican II– Christian Morality was taken very seriously! The Madonna was highly esteemed, and the Virtue of Chastity was considered one of the very highest virtues! Women and girls were protected from evil predators, by good men, and priests. Even bad men would fight to the death– if a sex predator tried to harm his little sister, or his mother!! To protect women and girls from bad men, was a duty and an honor, for all men, and for the clergy!! I can just picture the men of Kansas City, many years ago– being so riled up over a sex predator priest, down at the local Catholic school– they all get out their shotguns, and go after him!! Today’s priests and prelates are way too babyish on sin! Very immature! Not manly! That is the whole problem (as I see it!) — with prelates like Bishop Finn! (The Pope is babyish, too!)
If Bishop Finn got such a bad deal from the secular courts, then why was there no publicized appeal to higher levels in that court system?
At least one Catholic believes that Bishops guilty of violations of secular law need to face prosecution there. Absent that, the Brother Bishops as a group will continue to think their group is above the law.
If the law is bad, work to change the law. If the system is bad, change the system. If both are bad, perhaps move.
Watch Christ throw the money-changers out of the temple, and accuse the Pharisees of being “whitened sepulchres!” Watch His cousin, St. John the Baptist, accuse evil old King Herod, of horrible sins! A true, MATURE man, will GET IN YOUR FACE AND OPENLY ACCUSE YOU OF SIN– if you committed a HORRIBLE CRIME!! You had better consider yourself old enough, to take it!! That is, no doubt– EXACTLY where this bishop failed!! (That is where ALL the modern Churchmen fail!!) I bet Bishop Finn— WAS TOO SCARED TO BE A MAN, AND GET IN SHAWN RATIGAN’S FILTHY, SATANIC FACE, AND ACCUSE HIM OF SIN– WITH JUST, MANLY ANGER!! Watch evil Shawn Ratigan throw himself on the floor, have a big tantrum, cry and scream, and threaten to kill himself, like an effeminate, little baby- girl toddler— And CALL THE COPS!! PERIOD!! IT’S OVER! A grown man (and Churchman!) — is NOT some babyish, scared, pacifist, college-boy, “mama’s boy,” liberal-permissive, indecisive “hippie!” (Next, let’s see the Pope resign– same problem!!)
The bishops of America have clamped down on evil priests who molest children (=good thing), but they themselves want to be kept safe from accountability (=bad thing) when they fail to do the right thing.
I hope this action against the bishop of Kansas City will send a strong message that no one is above the law!!!!
Appointing a similarly orthodox, TLM supportive Bishop to replace +Finn would have been a clear indication that +Finn’s removal was only due to the charges placed against him. If his replacement represents a change in climate – that is of suppressing and/or not supporting the TLM and traditional Catholic practice – then the intimation of this clamp down would be clearly directed toward supposedly bad, unacceptable behavior instead of an opportunity for a policy shift.
No one needs legal advice, when it comes to serious sins and crimes! Use your head! Always call the cops, no mater what! Better to be safe, than sorry! When young, I once worked part-time at a religious place, along with others from local churches. Well– the Manager was a deeply devout Christian, but with little moral backbone! As it turned out, he saw a newly-hired young divorcee (with two children), take money from the cash register, daily, and put it in her pocket. He “felt sorry” for her, and ignored the problem. Finally, the problem was noticed by the home office, and the Manager was confronted. They called the cops, as the Manager was too scared to tell the truth, and it made him look culpable! This girl ended up slowly stealing about $50,000! YES, Christians– this is a SERIOUS CRIME!! She went to jail, the Manager was fired, and the Christian franchise was closed for that area! The fired Manager’s mother, a lovely, successful Phillippine stockbroker– told her eldest son, to find another field; he loved God, but was not a talented businessman!
@ St. Christopher 5/7 6:50 AM comment:
“No one defends Bp. Finn’s errors in judgment. The issue is a just punishment.”
Despite the Dallas Charter being on the books for a decade, and every priest and bishop in the United States knowing what it calls for, Bishop Finn chose not to follow it in order to protect a pervert priest and his vicar general. What would be a “just punishment” in such a situation? The man can’t be trusted to do the right thing as a bishop in such a critical matter, so the just punishment is to remove him from his office in which he has proven to be so spectacularly a failure. His other good initiatives in the diocese can’t make up for his profound moral deficit. He needed to be removed from office in order to protect the People of God and now he has: that is the just thing to do. Hopefully penance of prayer and fasting will be forthcoming. The awful fact that the Lavender Mafia is running amuck in Rome and protecting one of its own in Chile (and elsewhere) doesn’t excuse Finn’s horrendous enabling in Kansas City.
No, “FrMichael,” killing Bp. Finn accomplished nothing, nothing, to protect children. But it does eliminate a strong defender of the Faith, a flawed one to be sure, but an Orthodox man that is greatly needed in his position.
Yes, the “Lavender Mafia” is pretty much in control at the Vatican (another reason to keep a man like Finn as a bishop). But look at the depth of that evil: Bp. Barros in Chile, Cardinal Nichols in the UK (saying the “Soho Mass” to his LGBT darlings tomorrow), Cardinal Daneels (perhaps the “Great Satan” of them all, given his open advocacy for homosexual marriage and his tolerance for a fellow bishop’s sexual abuse of a young boy and harsh advice to the victim) — these are the enemy, Father, not the confused, and weak, Bp. Finn.
You are well intended, but focus on the wrong thing. The Church has never used, in current times, a bishop’s similar error to call attention to its strict no tolerance policy. Make Finn step up and publicly confess and offer public penance: what a better thing than sending him away somewhere, while a vile clerical poseur takes his place.
Well, the thing is done, now. Finn is out. But self congratulations are wrong. Instead, head slapping and screams of, “what have we done” should be the order of the day. Time to fight now, and come out of the philosophical and theological closet while doing so.