Report offers hope for real-world thinking at KC diocese
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...
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.