MO - SNAP sends letter to Pope Benedict

Below is a copy of a letter that leaders of SNAP are sending to Pope Benedict, urging him to step in and punish Bishop Finn following his conviction yesterday on child endangerment charges.


Dear Pope Benedict XVI;

Yesterday, Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn was found guilty of endangering kids by refusing to report suspected child sex crimes to police.

He and his lawyers admitted, in a written court filing, that several top diocesan staff saw, knew about or suspected that Fr. Shawn Ratigan had or created child porn photos of young girls at the parishes where he worked.

The secular justice system has spoken. Now you must act.

When wrongdoing is ignored, wrongdoing is repeated. When top Catholic officials refuse to punish complicit bishops, complicity is encouraged.

When you speak of the horrors of child sexual abuse, your words ring hollow because you continue to let pedophile priests and corrupt bishops remain in the church and in positions of power.

But now, for the first time in US history, you have a diocese headed by a proven criminal. You must act if you are serious about making the church safer for children, discouraging future cover ups in child sex cases, and ameliorating the wounds of tens of thousands of suffering adult victims and millions of betrayed parishioners.

We are formally urging you to demote or discipline Bishop Finn. Doing so would be an act of justice towards him and mercy towards his flock.

And doing so would strongly deter other church officials from acting recklessly, callously and deceitfully in other child sex cases.

Unless you take firm steps to show strong disapproval of Bishop Finn's crimes – through actions, not words - similar crimes will continue to be repeated by others in the Catholic hierarchy, as they have happened for centuries and still happen today.



David Clohessy, SNAP Director

Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 

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  • Tom Sadloskos
    commented 2012-11-30 02:02:17 -0600
    I would doubt very much any letters sent from people like us ever reach the Pope. I would also venture to say, they do not want to hear from the general public, unless its something to the effect of how wonderful they are, and here’s my back account information, just take whatever amount you feel you want to! I have come to the realization that things are not going to change, they do not want change, and the College of Cardinals are never going to elect a Pope that will upset thier little applecart, even though change is desperately needed. When I was still a practicing Catholic, and was a member of the choir, I couldn’t even get them to add some new songs.That is how resistant to change these peole who have been in the church for 30, 40, 50 years are. I noticed on the official Vatican website, they removed the email function. It wasn’t because they were not getting emails, they got plenty, but not the kind they wanted to read!
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2012-11-30 01:16:51 -0600
    I wrote to the Vatican (not the pope) in September of 2011. I was givn explicit instructions on the process. The letter was sealed in an envelope and then placed in another envelope and mailed to the papal nuncio (position was vacant at the time) in Washington D.C.

    I recieved a response in about 2 weeks that the letter was being sent to Rome. In December of 2011, I recieved notification from Rome that it was recieved. I’m still waiting for another letter to let me knwo the outcome.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I cna tell you this much, Donald Wuerl is no longer untouchable.
  • Tom Sadloskos
    commented 2012-11-30 00:47:19 -0600
    This letter was written several months ago. Could you advise if you have gotten any kind of response from the Vatican at all? I know you will not get a response from the Pope, I doubt he ever even saw the letter.
  • Gloria Sullivan
    commented 2012-11-29 13:46:58 -0600
    I would like it if you would “date” each comment, if you could. I’m sure I wrote that a long time ago. I still agree with it. Why write at all….nothing “ever” will come of it but more subtrefuge.
  • Robert Verhoff
    commented 2012-11-29 13:20:53 -0600
    They have no fear since all sins are forgiven. There is no hell. It’s the “get out of jail free card” they have in their pocket.
  • Carol Kobel
    commented 2012-09-08 18:48:25 -0500
    Excellent letter, David!
  • Tom Sadloskos
    commented 2012-09-08 17:24:40 -0500
    That letter is excellent, stating the facts, to the point and outlining what the Pope should do. However, I am sure it will be totally ignored. I do not understand their mindset. They remain high and mighty, and I think honestly believe that nothing they do, no matter how wrong, or dishonest can effect them in a negative way. I have always thought Benedict was a man of questionable character, especially after his history as a Nazi Hitler Youth while growing up in Germany was made public .As a Bishop in Germany he protected predator priests, and as Pope I’m sure he feels he is well insulated from any legal reprecussions, so why should he change his stand now? It would not surprise me at all to find out that as a priest he engged in this activity, I believe many of the bishops that also protect these priests were child molesters when they were priests, their victims either afraid to come forward, or did and were not believed. This is a disease deep within the Catholic Church, and no matter how deep you cut, it will never be eradicated. I think the only thing that would have a major impact on the church, and really force it to change its policies would be for law enforcement to march into the Vatican and haul the Pope out in handcuffs, but since he is the head of Vatican City, which is its own country, we will never see that happen. He knows he is well protected, and will continue to instruct bishops everywhere to cover these acts up and keep them quiet.
  • Gloria Sullivan
    commented 2012-09-08 16:47:59 -0500
  • James Moran
    commented 2012-09-08 15:19:11 -0500
    Kay – these are the addresses I came up with on the internet:
    Pope Benedict XVI
    00120 Via del Pelegrino
    Citta del Vaticano, Italy


    I would NOT send to the local embassy here in DC — I did that YEARS ago only to get a call from BOSTON asking if they could help me — I am sure my letter NEVER made it out of the country.
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2012-09-08 13:53:59 -0500
    I heard the butler is going to send Finn to a diocese in Mexico heavily populated by one of the drug cartels. The butler is going to arrange for some one to pin a sticky note on Finn’s back that reads “I’m a snitch. What are you going to do about it.”
  • Kay Goodnow
    commented 2012-09-08 12:15:09 -0500
    Ference, ROFLMEO. Thank you for the laughter! klg
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2012-09-08 10:56:26 -0500
    I know you meant well, David. But screw the pope, you shoul dhave sent the letter to the butler.
    Mike Ference
  • John M Shuster
    commented 2012-09-08 09:40:16 -0500
    Clever PR moves are more important than the truth in today’s Roman Catholic priesthood. Their double lives are all about self-deception and deceiving others. This is bad religion at its worst.
  • Kay Goodnow
    commented 2012-09-08 07:59:37 -0500
    Please post snail mail address for BXVI or e-mail address so that we can send similar letters. Thank you.
  • Kathy Demoranville
    commented 2012-09-07 18:42:02 -0500
    All I can say to the pope, the perverted, child molesting priests, and ALL the people who help to cover up these crimes is…….YOU ARE ALL GOING TO HELL!!!! Do you really think that your god who is so all knowing and loving, does not KNOW what you are doing???

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