NE--Convicted ex-head of K.C. MO diocese now works in NE

NE--Convicted ex-head of K.C. MO diocese now works in NE

Victims want decision reversed

They’re worried about controversial MO prelate

Convicted ex-head of KC diocese now works in NE

“He shouldn’t be in ministry of any kind,” group says

SNAP: “Lincoln bishop should meet with his flock about this”

WHAT


Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, leaders of a victims’ group and concerned Lincoln citizens will hand deliver a letter to Lincoln's Catholic bishop and
publicly urge him to:

--revoke his permission to let a convicted Missouri bishop minister in Nebraska, 

--hold an open public meeting to explain and apologize for his decision, and

--disclose whether he’s importing other “wrongdoer clerics” into his diocese.

The victims will also urge anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.”

WHEN

Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE

In Lincoln NE, on the sidewalk outside the Lincoln diocese headquarters/chancery office, 3394 Sheridan Blvd.( corner of High St. next to Cathedral of Risen Christ.) In Lincoln

WHO

A concerned Nebraska woman and two leaders of a nation-wide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

WHY

The only bishop in the US to be convicted for concealing child sex crimes has just started working in the Lincoln diocese and abuse victims want him ousted.

He’s Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City. Last year, he resigned as head of that diocese. (Only three complicit US prelates have resigned.) In 2012, he was found guilty in criminal court of refusing to tell police about suspected child pornography being created by a priest. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/us/kansas-city-bishop-convicted-of-shielding-pedophile-priest.html?_r=0 

He is also accused, SNAP says, of being reckless and secretive about other predator priests.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/mo_kc_bishop_is_ousted_a_tiny_step_forward 

In 2014, he was found to be violating child safety steps he had pledged to take. As a result, an arbitrator made Finn’s diocese pay $1.1 million to 40+ victims as a result.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/diocese-of-kansas-city-st-joseph-to-pay-for-failure-to-report-abuse.html 

But despite this “proven wrongdoing,” Lincoln Bishop Paul Conley is letting Finn minister in his diocese. SNAP wants Finn kept out of ministry all together. And it wants Bishop Conley to hold an open meeting with his flock to discuss the controversy and to reveal whether Conley is letting other troubled or controversial or accused wrongdoer priest

“Finn has endangered kids, stonewalled police, deceived victims, hidden predators and betrayed thousands of Catholic families,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “Why give him more chances to hurt more families? Why take the risk?”

Some church officials claim Finn should be forgiven. “There’s a difference between forgiving a wrongdoer and enabling a wrongdoer to do more wrong,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “We can forgive a drunken school bus driver. But we’re irresponsible and cruel if we give her the keys to another school bus. That’s what Nebraska Bishop Paul Conley is doing with Finn: giving him another opportunity to put his career and comfort above the safety of innocent youngsters, the wounds of suffering victims, and the feelings of Catholic families.”

“Finn retains his title – bishop – and all the privileges that come with it: a pay check, health insurance, dental insurance, car allowance, and the prestige of belonging to a rarified group. And he gets to perform sacraments and say mass and hear confessions and begin to ingratiate himself with Nebraska families, and win the trust of, and perhaps hurt or betray more Catholics. Again, why take the risk?” asked Dorris. “In nearly every other workplace, he’d be unemployed, for one or all of the allegations he faces.”

“If the Finn learns of and conceals child sex crimes in Nebraska, will kids be hurt less because Finn works with nuns instead of parishes? If he ignores strong signs of possible abuse, will kids be hurt less because Finn is only ‘helping out’ or ‘here temporarily’ or whatever other excuse Conley may offer?” asked Clohessy.

“The reasons, roles or duration of Finn’s work in Nebraska are irrelevant,” said Judy Jones of SNAP. “What really matters is how he has behaved in clergy sexual abuse and misconduct and cover up cases. And plenty of evidence shows and suggests that he’s acted callously and deceitfully, time and time again, with many of the 25 publicly accused predator priests in the Kansas City diocese.” (See bishop-accountability.org)

“Two disturbing signals are sent by Finn’s new position. Victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and betrayed Catholics are essentially being told “Your pain doesn’t matter. We’ll put any cleric anywhere we like, no matter how clear or horrific or devastating his wrongdoing is in child sex cases,” said Jones. “And Catholic employees are essentially being told “No matter how much hurt you cause, if you’re a priest or bishop, you’ll always have a place in ministry and on the Catholic church payroll.”

CONTACT

Judy Jones of SNAP 636 433 2511SNAPjudy@gmail.com, Elle Hansen of Lincoln 402-937-2752,elleinlincoln@gmail.com, David Clohessy of SNAP 314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com

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