A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging controversial Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn to stay home next week and “show contrition” - for acting “recklessly, callously and deceitfully” in clergy sex abuse cases - by skipping the annual meeting of America’s Catholic bishops.
Dear Bishop Finn
We respectfully ask you to make a small, simple, and easy sign of contrition for the reckless, callous and deceitful way you have handled several recent clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
We’re not just talking about the Fr. Ratigan case. We’re also referring to the Fr. Tierney case.
Regarding Ratigan, in the weakest way possible, you've said you're sorry. Now please show it. By your actions, please reassure clergy sex abuse victims and KC Catholics that you’re sincere. Please stay home next week. Please skip the annual meeting of the USCCB next week in Baltimore.
It’s easy and fine to use your words to express remorse. It’s harder and better, however, to use your actions to actually show remorse. That’s what you consistently refuse to do.
You refuse, for instance, to
--explain why Fr. Michael Tierney was allowed to remain in ministry, month after month, despite the accusations against him,
--apologize honestly for your actions in the Fr. Ratigan and Fr. Tierney cases, especially your hurtful attempt to argue that the disgusting pictures taken by Ratigan somehow did not constitute child pornography,
--take any real steps to search out victims of Thomas M. Reardon and Thomas J. O’Brien, Missouri’s most dangerous child molesting clerics. Each faces or has faced dozens of child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits, most of which have been settled. Both still live in Kansas City (and have) often worked in concert, giving drugs and liquor and porn and ‘massages’ to the same children, molesting them, and rationalizing one another’s crimes to these scared and confused youngsters who’d been taught since birth to respect, revere, trust and obey Catholic priests. Basic psychology and common sense strongly suggest that both Reardon and O’Brien remain dangerous.
--post the names of credibly accused predators on your diocesan website.
These are simple and easy steps that you should, and yet have repeatedly refused, to take. You claim to want to protect your flock, but your actions indicate that you still want, even more, to protect yourself, your reputation, and your child molesting clerics.
How can the cause of justice, prevention, healing and closure be served by "business as usual" in the wake of your conviction? Doesn't an offense like yours - recent, serious, and reckless - merit some kind of discipline – either by your colleagues or yourself?
If you truly respect the USCCB, care about your flock, want to deter future recklessness and are sorry for your serious crime, we urge you to stay home.
David Clohessy, SNAP Director
314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director
314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
Mike Hunter, Kansas City SNAP Director
913 634 6490, firstname.lastname@example.org