Catholic Bishop Indicted for Failure to Report Child Abuse

Bishop Robert Finn, Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been indicted by a grand jury on criminal counts of failing to report child abuse. The Bishop’s indictment marks the first time in the United States that a current bishop has been charged criminally for his failure to report his knowledge of the sexual abuse of a minor.
The indictment should not be altogether surprising given the manner in which Bishop Finn flaunted the civil law in a sexual abuse case involving one of his own priests, Fr. Shawn Ratigan who remains in jail on criminal charges relating to computer child pornography. The Catholic Diocese has also been named as a defendant in civil sex abuse lawsuits concerning Ratigan’s alleged involvement with minors in his parish in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
According to multiple media reports, Finn was warned a year prior to Ratigan’s arrest by a Catholic nun who became concerned with Ratigan’s behavior and his attention to children. She sent a letter to the Bishop who said he never read the letter. Finn didn’t bother to inform his own Diocesan Review Board concerning allegations about Ratigan. Finally, when the police arrested him this past May, Finn’s lack of action came to the forefront.