If Fr. Ratigan pleads guilty, several suffering families will be spared the trauma of a trial. We ache for every single child, mom, dad, and sibling who is in pain because of Fr. Ratigan’s crimes and Catholic officials’ complicity.
Regardless of what happens tomorrow, Bishop Finn – and every KC Catholic employee – still has a moral and civic duty to help find and console every family hurt by Fr. Ratigan. No doubt there are still former parishioners who have moved elsewhere who need and deserve outreach and comfort. Church staff must help in this way or remain a part of the problem, not the solution.
Fr. Ratigan and Bishop Finn and the diocese all face other criminal charges. So tomorrow’s outcome is not the end of this tragedy. It’s still important for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward. No one should assume that justice will be done in each of these cases. Instead, we must help make sure justice is done and kids are protected. That means that whatever we may know or suspect must be given, as soon as possible, to law enforcement, so they can build the strongest case possible against these wrongdoers.