Anniversaries for Finn & Law
What a weekend it was! No one apparently noticed that over Memorial Day, it was Robert Finn ten year anniversary of taking over the Kansas City diocese AND the 30 year anniversary of Bernard Law being named a cardinal.
With the possible exception of Cardinal Edward Egan, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop John Nienstedt, Archbishop John Myers, could there be two more disgraced US Catholic prelates than Finn and Law, the first US bishop who was convicted in the abuse crisis and the first US bishop who resigned in the abuse crisis?
As we said recently in a post on Marci Hamilton's blog: Some call Finn’s belated resignation “punishment.” But we don’t.
Finn did no jail time, of course.
He still wears a Roman collar. In fact, he still wears the pointy bishop’s hat too. And the fancy ring and robes.
That’s right – he’s still a bishop. He’s just been freed from the mundane chores of running a diocese.
But he still gets the glory roles: twice this month, to the chagrin of many, he ordained the newest clerics into the diocese.
That leads many to wonder if Finn will be showing up for graduations, ground-breakings, confirmations, funerals and other functions in Kansas City for years to come. (He’s an apparently healthy 62 years old.)
And when hundreds of US prelates gather next month in St. Louis for their annual meeting, Finn will likely be there. Ditto for bishops’ installations and the papal trip to the east coast this fall."
Like Finn, Law was let down easy too.
After a brief, low key stint staying with some nuns, Law rose to even greater power in Rome than ever before, exercising even more influence on the world-wide church as he sat, for years, on several key Vatican committees, including the one that helped pick and promote prelates all across the planet.
In the Catholic Church, nearly every other prevention measure – except punishing the hierarchy – has failed. Despite decades of scandals, lawsuits, settlements, exposes, prosecutions, and defections, bishops keep protecting predators and endangering kids.
So something more and different must be done. Punishing wrongdoers must happen, instead of promoting wrongdoers.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for justice in the church. Just be grateful for – and keep pushing for – justice in the courts.