Bishop Finn Indicted

Bishop Robert W. Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, which he heads, entered pleas of not guilty to misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse. The charges were brought in connection with the diocese’s handling of the case of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan. “Bishop Finn denies any criminal wrongdoing and has cooperated at all stages with law enforcement, the grand jury, the prosecutor’s office” and the independent commission appointed by the diocese to study the matter, said Gerald Handley, the bishop’s attorney. The charge against Bishop Finn carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. Father Ratigan was arrested in May on charges of possessing child pornography. In August federal prosecutors charged him with producing child pornography. In early September, an independent report commissioned by the diocese to examine its policies and procedures on assessing child sexual abuse allegations found “shortcomings, inaction and confusing procedures.” The report also said that “diocesan leaders failed to follow their own policies and procedures for responding” to abuse claims.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A man rides a bicycle past a billboard with an image of Pope Francis April 26 ahead of the pontiff's April 28-29 visit to Cairo. (CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)
“Peace be with you” was the message of the Risen Jesus to his disciples on the first Easter, and it is the message Francis will bring to the Muslim and Christian communities in this land.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 26, 2017
Pope Francis is presented with a football helmet by Michigan football team coach Jim Harbaugh during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
Coach Jim Harbaugh presented a custom Wolverines helmet and a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers to Pope Francis.
Michael J. O'LoughlinApril 26, 2017
The 'Hamlet'-inspired play made the playwright Tom Stoppard an overnight sensation.
David StewartApril 26, 2017
In this Feb. 20, 2017 file photo, an Indonesian al-Azhar university student, center, and an elderly Egyptian woman pray at al-Azhar Mosque, in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This weekend, Pope Francis meets in Cairo with Al-Azhar's grand imam, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, their second meeting in a historic initiative to improve Muslim-Christian dialogue.