Priest Sex Abuse

Four days ago and one day after the $1.8 million John Jay study on the root causes of priest sex abuse, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Fr. Shawn Ratigan, was arrested for possession of child pornography on his computer.
Incredibly, that’s not the disturbing part of the story. According to the Kansas City Star, diocesan officials, including the bishop, knew about the computer pornography since last December but failed to tell anyone. Of course, he was transferred (that’s the protocol). The information wasn’t shared with the Diocesan Review Board or the parish where the priest had been assigned prior to his transfer.
“We haven’t been presented the case; we haven’t been asked to look at the case,” said Jim Caccamo, who serves on the board and said he first learned of the allegations against Ratigan after hearing news reports of his arrest.
“There’s nothing normal about this,” Caccamo said, referring to the delay between when the diocese first learned of Ratigan’s possession of child pornography and the priest’s arrest.
“My question will be: Why did it take five months?”
Bishop Robert Finn apologized for his behavior only after getting caught. His response to distraught and angry parishioners: “Trust our Lord Jesus Christ. Trust his church.” Isn’t he supposed to be representing Christ to Catholics whose faith has been shaken once again? His response isn’t good enough. This behavior can’t continue to be tolerated.
Review Boards and expensive reports don’t mean much when the bishops themselves remain the sole arbiters in priest abuse cases. In spite of all the talk and public relations spin, the bishop still gets to decide who stays and who goes when an allegation is made about the sexual abuse of a child. Perhaps, bishops should be held criminally liable for such actions. Perhaps, that would force much needed change.