Convicted US Bishop must go

Bishop of Kansas City, Robert Finn, convicted of a misdemeanour charge for failing to report suspected child abuse, must either resign or be removed, according to an editorial in NCR.

NCR says that if Finn were a layperson he would not be allowed to volunteer at a Kansas City parish, teach a religious education class or chaperone a parish youth group to World Youth Day and asks why the same standards should not apply to the diocese’s ‘chief pastor’.

NCR has identified two significant issues

  • the governance of the Kansas City-St Joseph diocese
  • the integrity of the US Catholic bishop conference

According to NCR, Finn, for almost a year, has been largely absent from the the day-to-day life of the diocese. The chancery offices are in disarray, diocesan personnel feel abandoned and the clergy are either dumbfounded or angry.

Even putting aside the US$1.39m costs surrounding his defence, NCR, whose offices are in Kansas City, does not believe that Finn can heal the wounds inflicted on the local church.

Finn’s inactivity has also brought unwanted attention on the US Catholic Bishops’ conference.

It is 10 years since the Bishops adopted the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children, and in this time the bishops have told their flocks that whatever happened in the past, they learned their lesson and would be vigilant both in the protection of children and the prosecution of those who failed to protect them.

The bishops mantra for the past 10 years is there no place safer for children than the ministries and parishes of the Catholic church and so to maintain the integrity of the US Catholic Bishops’ conference and for the good of the local church, NCR concludes Bishop Finn must go.


News category: World.

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