MO- Pope’s top US aide addresses Finn on 60 Minutes
For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 14
There’s more talk about the possible ouster of embattled KC Bishop Robert Finn. But it’s only talk. And it’s a distraction that buttresses an already unhealthy complacency in the church.
Suppose, after centuries of widespread child sex crimes and selfish cover ups, one pope finally does oust one bishop for complicity in clergy sex crimes. That will be encouraging. But that will only a very tiny drop of reform in an enormous bucket of horror. It will be the smallest of baby steps.
Finn's departure will, in the short term, if it happens, make some adults happier. By itself, it won't, in the long term, make many kids safer.
Keep in mind that dozens of Kansas City Catholic employees are concealing or have concealed clergy sex crimes. So it's irresponsible for anyone to get complacent. Protecting predators and endangering kids is a deeply-rooted and long-standing pattern in the Catholic hierarchy. It didn't start with one man and won't stop with one man.
The dozens of current and recent Catholic employees in Kansas City who knew of or suspected clergy sex crimes and kept quiet should be ashamed of themselves. They should be at least suspended – or more likely fired – by Finn or his replacement. But that almost certainly will never happen.
There are now, according to BishopAccountability.org, 25 publicly accused Kansas City area child molesting clerics. That's a fraction of the real total. Finn alone did not enable, ignore and conceal their crimes. Sadly, he has had and still has plenty of help continuing the cover ups.
So vigilance, not complacency, is needed now. It's crucial that those who see, suspect or suffer clergy sex crimes and cover ups in KC keep finding the strength to get help, protect kids, call police, expose wrongdoers, deter wrongdoing, and start healing. Let’s not waste precious time that could help precious kids by idle speculation and wild hopes that may or may not ever be fulfilled.
The 25 Kansas City MO area clerics are publicly accused predators include: Fr. John C. Baskett, Fr. Michael Brewer, Fr. Thomas J. Cronin, Fr. James H. Ford, Fr. Martin Froeschel, Fr. Richard Geimer, Bishop Joseph Hart, Fr. Mark Honhart, Fr. Sylvester Hoppe, Fr. Earl Johnson, Fr. James Lawbaugh, Fr. Francis E. McGlynn, Fr. Hugh F. Monahan, Fr. Stephen J. Muth, Fr. Thomas J. O’Brien, Fr. Thomas Parrott, Fr. Bede Parry, Fr. Shawn Ratigan, Fr. Thomas Reardon, Fr. Michael Tierney, Fr. Isaac True, Fr. John Tulipana, Fr. James Urbanic, Fr. Thomas Ward, Fr. James Wegenek, and Fr. Francis L. Wise.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.