Today, the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese takes another step toward transparency and common sense.
The first report by the Catholic diocese’s new ombudsman will be released. Jenifer Valenti’s two-page report will outline allegations of sexual misconduct or suspicious behavior she has received in her first year, her assessments and the status of each case.
Less encouraging are filings in some of the legal proceedings against the diocese and Bishop Robert Finn. There, officials appear to be clinging to the excuse-making that helped create this horrible situation — the Rev. Shawn Ratigan guilty of child pornography charges and the diocese and Finn facing further legal troubles.
Understandably, the bishop’s legal team will use any viable argument to defend Finn in the civil suits and on the criminal misdemeanor charge of failing to report suspicions of child abuse.
No one is accusing Finn of abusing children. Yet holding the hierarchy accountable at some level is necessary to changing the institutional culture of the church.
Only then can Valenti and the dioce...