DC--3 groups: Finn should not ordain clerics
Members of the National Lay Review Board
c/o US Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
Dear Members of the National Lay Review Board:
We are members of three organizations: BishopAccountability.org, the National Survivors Advocate Coalition, and SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are writing you today to express our dismay at the news that Bishop Robert Finn has been given special permission to perform ordinations of new priests and deacons in the Kansas City diocese later this month.
As you surely know, in 2012, Finn was convicted of failing to report suspected child pornography in the case of the now-convicted and defrocked priest Shawn Ratigan. Last month, Finn after years of outcry from victims and Catholics, was allowed to resign.
What kind of message does it send when a man who could not pass the background check in his own diocese is the one ordaining new priests? Does his crime mean nothing? Do the children Ratigan abused mean nothing? Does the pain of parishioners mean nothing?
A convicted and disgraced bishop is the last person who should be ordaining a new priest or deacon.
Finn should have no public role in church life at this point. He should hold no positions of power. He should be assigned a life or prayer and penance out of respect for the victims, who will never be able to undo what Ratigan did to them, and out of respect for thousands of betrayed and wounded Kansas City Catholics.
There are dozens of less objectionable bishops a short plane ride away from Kansas City. Why can’t one of them officiate at the ordination? Why give honor and prominence to a man who deliberately put children in the path of a suspected predator? Letting Finn lead these ordinations is not healing for anyone.
We ask that you take immediate action and demand that Finn’s role at the ordination—and any public role he may have at a later date—be revoked. We also urge you to ensure that Finn is not given any powerful or ceremonial role in the United States or the Vatican.
At this point, taking action on Finn is important. If nothing else, you can publicly denounce this move. We hope you will do so promptly.
David Clohessy, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314-566-9790, [email protected]