Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Someone should tell Bishop Finn to step down if he won't do it himself

Bill Tammeus
National Catholic Reporter
Dec. 12, 2012

I wish at least one of America's Catholic bishops had the courage of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater.

Goldwater had stuck with Richard Nixon all the way through the Watergate scandal until, on Aug. 5, 1974, newly released transcripts revealed a conversation Nixon had six days after the Watergate break-in that showed the president directed the CIA to stop investigating the crime. Stunned by this smoking gun, Goldwater went to the White House to tell Nixon there was no hope for him to remain president and he should resign.

Because Goldwater wasn't among those who had called for Nixon to quit earlier, it required a special kind of courage to face his president and tell him to get out.

Maybe one day, we'll learn that one of Bishop Robert Finn's peers told him privately that his continued presence as bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., was hurting the church in many ways and that he should quit.


All we know is Finn remains in office, and none of his fellow bishops has said publicly that Finn needs to go now that he's been found guilty in a court of law of covering up for a priest suspected of child abuse. A smoking gun, but silence from bishops and silence from Rome.

Any book written about Finn's fellow bishops in this affair should be called Profiles in Cowardice.


Turning against a peer or co-worker can be terribly difficult, especially in the world of business. Quite often in such cases, the whistleblower pays by getting fired while the one who needs a remedial course in ethics keeps his or her job or even gets promoted.

But for heaven's sake, the church is not a business. It's the called-out people of God who, having received the saving grace of Jesus Christ, are deputized to proclaim the Gospel to others through word and deed.

No one is suggesting Finn can't be forgiven his sins. Indeed, forgiveness is precisely what God always stands ready to offer.

But when someone in a position of ecclesial authority has failed in so spectacular a way that even a secular court has found him guilty, he has the obligation to do what he can to avoid further damage to what Finn often calls -- in words that should make him quake -- Holy Mother Church.


full article at National Catholic Reporter

1 comment:

  1. The KC judge found Finn guilty of concealing and not reporting sex crimes against innocent little girls. This has NEVER happened to a US bishop before. and there are many other bishops who could have been sitting in that court room and been found guilty also. So we can not expect any of the other bishops to confront Finn.

    Church officials are not able to police themselves because there is no punishment for the bishops who break their own rules. Victims deserve to be treated with respect no matter how long ago their abuse happened, Child predators need to be exposed and removed from their ministries no matter how old the allegations, because they can never be trusted to be around children.

    The KC diocese sexual abuse cover up is not an isolated case by any means.
    Even though Bishop Finn received no jail time, he is now deemed a criminal, he can not even pass the Catholic Conference of Bishops' own "child protection back ground check". and therefore he needs to be defrocked from the priesthood.

    Until a bishop is jailed nothing will change, and kids are still not safe today.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director,
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)