USCCB should disinvite bishops in sex abuse cases from conference
This week, all of America's Catholic prelates are invited to the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Almost all of them will certainly show up.
But because of their recent recklessness with children's safety, some don't deserve to be there. They should have the decency to stay home. More importantly, leaders of the conference should have the courage to disinvite them.
Let's start with the first and most obvious bishop who should be forbidden to attend: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., who was found guilty of criminally endangering kids in September. For at least five months, Finn kept hidden from police hundreds of pornographic, suggestive and inappropriate photos of young girls taken by Fr. Shawn Ratigan. Besides breaking Missouri's mandated reporter law, Finn clearly violated both the letter and the spirit of USCCB's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Yet so far, not one of Finn's roughly 200 peers has even seen fit to criticize him. Our secular justice system has punished his wrongdoing. The full Catholic church hierarchy has ignored his wrongdoing.
But Finn is not the only member of the bishops' conference who should be disinvited.
Consider Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who just las...
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.