MO--First Catholic official calls for Bishop Finn’s removal

For immediate release: Thursday, March 19

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314 566 9790, [email protected]

A member of Pope Francis’ new child sex abuse panel is calling for the removal of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn. It’s the first time a Catholic official is publicly and explicitly pushing for Finn’s ouster.   

Peter Saunders of London was tapped by Pope Francis to be on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors . He founded and heads a charity for abuse victims called NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood).

“If we don’t see real change, if we don’t see the likes of Bishop Finn removed immediately . . .then the committee will be a pointless exercise,” Saunders told The Guardian.

Many pundits, journalists, abuse victims and concerned Catholics have advocated for Finn’s removal. But this is the first time a church official has explicitly done so. It’s especially significant that Saunders has met with Pope Francis and was appointed to the Vatican abuse panel by Francis.

This month, however, marks two anniversaries. It’s the two year anniversary of Francis’ papacy. And it’s the 2.5 year anniversary of Finn’s conviction.

There are two travesties here. First, it’s a travesty that Francis has done nothing to discipline or even denounce Finn. Second, it’s a travesty that – in a world with thousands of Catholic bishops – no one in the Catholic hierarchy except Saunders, a lay person, has found the courage to publicly denounce Finn.

Let’s put this as simply and clearly as we can: With lightening speed, Francis ousted a German bishop who mismanaged church money.

But with glacial speed, Francis ignores a bishop who was convicted of endangering children.

He’s making major strides in improving church finances, governance, morale and posturing on abuse and cover ups. He’s making nearly no meaningful strides to actually prevent abuse and cover ups. And by keeping Finn on the job, he’s essentially saying to bishops “When it comes to kids’ safety, no matter how egregiously and illegally you act, no worries! Your job is safe.”

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy 314-566-9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected]  

Showing 5 comments

  • Laura Sisk
    commented 2015-03-25 11:24:53 -0500
    When I was 16 we had visiting priests helping with confession before Easter. (39 years ago) After confessing my sins, he asked me my age. Then told me he couldn’t absolve me of my sins because I had not confessed what I had done sexually. I told him the only thing I had done was kissed a boy and that was not a sin. Later on I found out the priests were friends of our pastor Father Schaefer who was sent to prison for sexual child abuse. This is one of the reasons why later as an adult I left the Catholic Church!
  • Graciela Huth
    commented 2015-03-25 00:33:58 -0500
    This is one more example of what I have witnessed all through my life, there two types of people in the world, those in power with very few values left and very twisted interests and then, the rest of us who are simple people that everyday goes to work, brings up their children and lives a life based on real values. The last group is the one that keeps our society going and makes a positive contribution for the bettering of the world, regardless of all the damage that those in power cause.
  • Yolanda Mejias
    commented 2015-03-24 22:19:59 -0500
    As a rape survivor I’m disgusted and disappointed that nothing has been done to bishop Finn!! I was raised Catholic but after the sexual abuse scandal and learning how pope after pope starting with John Paul II knew and covered it up I knew I could no longer be a part of this religion of hypocrisy!! Then to make John Paul II a saint was too much for me to bare!! This makes me sick and appalled!
  • Anonymous Author
    commented 2015-03-20 10:39:03 -0500
    You are never happy.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-03-19 08:28:38 -0500

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