Panel urges pope to rule quickly in K.C. case
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The leader of the Roman Catholic Church’s new commission to fight child sex abuse said the Vatican needs to “address urgently” the position of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, the highest-ranking church official in the United States to be convicted of failing to take action in response to abuse allegations.
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who leads the pope’s global commission on the abuse problem, acknowledged that child protection policies in his own archdiocese would bar Finn from teaching Sunday school there.
“It’s a question that the Holy See needs to address urgently,” O’Malley said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” set to air Sunday. “There’s a recognition of that (from the pope).”
“One of the first things that came up is the importance of accountability,” O’Malley said. “We’re looking at how the church could have protocols on how to respond when a bishop has not been responsible for the protection of children in his diocese.”
Finn, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, waited six months before notifying police about the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, whose computer contained hundreds of lewd photos of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Finn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected abuse and was sentenced to two years’ probation in 2012.