The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Victims want outreach to kids who were with predator priest
They urge KC bishop & St. Joe Catholic school staff to write ex-students
Group wants Buchanan County prosecutor to launch grand jury probe
SNAP to Finn: “Guatemalan officials should be contacted about child porn cleric”
They will also urge the Buchanan county prosecutor to open a grand jury investigation into top church officials who have ignored and concealed child sex crimes.
They’re also asking Buchanan County prosecutor Dwight Scroggins to open a grand jury investigation into church and school officials who may have ignored or concealed child sex crimes by a KC priest who faces child porn charges, Fr. Shawn Ratigan.
At least twice, Ratigan, took LeBlond high school kids on trips to Guatemala. SNAP fears he may have exploited either some of the St. Joe kids or Guatemalan kids. The group wants Bishop Finn and local St. Joe Catholic school principals to write every current and former student and employee about Ratigan, urging them to contact police and prosecutors with any suspicions or information they may have about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
Several weeks ago, SNAP found a 2007 article in the KC diocesan newspaper (The Catholic Key) showing that Ratigan went on Guatemalan trips with St. Joe students. http://catholickey.com/index.php3?gif=news.gif&mode=view&issue=20070817&article_id=4601
Ratigan was arrested in May on three felony counts of possessing child pornography. (http://www.nbcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_missouri/priest-charged-with-possession-of-child-pornography)
It was later discovered that church officials had known about the photographs since December 2010 (http://www.examiner.net/news/x31867585/Bishop-explains-diocese-actions-in-Ratigan-arrest) and had been warned about Ratigan's behavior in May 2010. (http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/bishop-i-didnt-read-letter-warning-priests-behavior)
A recent civil lawsuit charges that Catholic officials were warned about Ratigan as far back as 2006.
Since Ratigan's arrest, four other clerics have been accused or removed for credible abuse allegations, including the diocesan second-in-command, Msgr. Robert Murphy. (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/amid-abuse-controversy-kc-diocese-appoints-new-vicar-for-clergy/) They are Fr. Michael Tierney, Fr. Bede Parry, Fr. James Urbanic, and a seminarian who was studying for the KC diocese, Nicolas Pinkston.
Ratigan was also involved in the Boy Scouts (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news5/2005_01_NCCS_Vocations_Committee_Ratigan_Scouting_Story.pdf)
SNAP is urging KC Diocese officials to reach out the Guatemalan government and tell them about the charges against Ratigan. The group is also urging KC’s bishop to buy ads in secular newspaper throughout the diocese in order to reach out to all of the communities where Ratigan worked, volunteered, or lived.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests