DC--3 groups: Finn should not ordain clerics
Members of the National Lay Review Board
c/o US Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
Dear Members of the National Lay Review Board:
We are members of three organizations: BishopAccountability.org, the National Survivors Advocate Coalition, and SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are writing you today to express our dismay at the news that Bishop Robert Finn has been given special permission to perform ordinations of new priests and deacons in the Kansas City diocese later this month.
As you surely know, in 2012, Finn was convicted of failing to report suspected child pornography in the case of the now-convicted and defrocked priest Shawn Ratigan. Last month, Finn after years of outcry from victims and Catholics, was allowed to resign.
What kind of message does it send when a man who could not pass the background check in his own diocese is the one ordaining new priests? Does his crime mean nothing? Do the children Ratigan abused mean nothing? Does the pain of parishioners mean nothing?
A convicted and disgraced bishop is the last person who should be ordaining a new priest or deacon.
Finn should have no public role in church life at this point. He should hold no positions of power. He should be assigned a life or prayer and penance out of respect for the victims, who will never be able to undo what Ratigan did to them, and out of respect for thousands of betrayed and wounded Kansas City Catholics.
There are dozens of less objectionable bishops a short plane ride away from Kansas City. Why can’t one of them officiate at the ordination? Why give honor and prominence to a man who deliberately put children in the path of a suspected predator? Letting Finn lead these ordinations is not healing for anyone.
We ask that you take immediate action and demand that Finn’s role at the ordination—and any public role he may have at a later date—be revoked. We also urge you to ensure that Finn is not given any powerful or ceremonial role in the United States or the Vatican.
At this point, taking action on Finn is important. If nothing else, you can publicly denounce this move. We hope you will do so promptly.
David Clohessy, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314-566-9790, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More