MO - Top aide to Bishop Finn moves; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 21, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell,

Msgr. Brad Offutt is no longer the vicar general of the Kansas City Catholic diocese, the only diocese in the world headed by a bishop who was convicted of endangering kids by hiding evidence. We are glad Offutt is no longer in the diocesan headquarters but don’t believe it will improve the reckless, secretive and deceitful way Bishop Robert Finn and his top aides continue to deal with clergy sex crimes and cover ups. 

After hundreds of child porn pictures were found on his computer, Fr. Shawn Ratigan was ordered to stay away from kids and computers. According to the diocese’s own internal report, Offutt knew Fr. Ratigan was disobeying this order. (The same report noted that “there was no supervision given to Ratigan to ensure those instructions were followed.”)

Instead of calling police or pushing hard for decisive action, Offutt wrote Finn "Something needs to be done to limit Diocesan liability and protect children."

But Fr. Ratigan, the report says, heard confessions from minors April 11 and "grew bolder" by attending a high school track meet May 7 and accessing the guest computers at the Vincentian home.

And Offutt apparently did nothing.

Even now, years later, Offutt hasn’t spoken publicly for his irresponsible silence and refusal to call police about known or suspected child sex crimes.

For years, Offutt has been a loyal underling to Bishop Finn, who refuses to post on the diocesan website the identities of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics (like 30 other dioceses do) and take any meaningful step to really protect children.

Again, we are glad Offutt is no longer in the chancery. He shouldn’t be leaving voluntarily, though. He should have been booted out.

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,

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  • Vin Cozad
    commented 2014-02-16 18:55:35 -0600
    I am sorry that I am so very late in reading the tripe written above. I have known Fr./Msgr. Brad Offutt since his posting to St. Therese, North over 25 years ago. A more honorable man, and hardworking priest for his parishioners, I have never met. It has been my very great privilege and pleasure to have this man involved in our catholic lives. Karl Vin Cozad.
  • Friend Friend of Snap
    commented 2013-10-23 14:21:10 -0500
    Something is not right. Msgr. Offutt wrote this scathing commentary in the Cathedral’s weekly bulletin over the summer:

    A Letter from Our Rector, Msgr. Bradley S. Offutt
    Dear Friends,
    It is so hard to write this today. This morning I received some truly crippling news having to do with my
    vicar general duties. I am in the throes of trying to figure out how to digest it, what to do about it. I realize
    I should not even mention it here because I cannot tell you fine folks what it is, but God I so often wonder
    when I will be able to lay aside this stinking job and reclaim some semblance of sanity in my life. I have
    dealt with the mixed-up, maxed-out, messed over, and done under so long that I am fast becoming all these
    things myself. Please, in your prayers, try to offer one for me and my work for this sorely afflicted diocese.
    Some days I feel like a worn out boxer in a ring, so tired of taking hits and not able to really see
    where the next one is coming from; all the while hoping he can make it to the end of the round and the
    sweet sound of the bell. What have I ever done in my life to deserve this? I have never wanted it. I do not
    want it now. What foolishness I must commit to have landed in this situation. And the trouble is that I am
    like a man beset with a bad flu. I know I am in trouble but I do not know where it came from or when it
    will end. In the painful moment I am tempted to fear it will never end.
    Well, for the sake of the truth, I should mention good news too: The Parish Pastoral Council met the new
    rector for the first time this last week. I believe all of them were positively impressed, as they should have
    been, for Father Powers is a remarkably gentle and authentic priest. I am very confident that you will soon
    learn to love him for he has a beautiful quiet quality that draws people to him and brings out the best in
    everyone. My brief acquaintance with him has obviously inclined me to admire him very much.
    Also, in the way of good news, the diocese has thus provided me with a two week old report about our parish
    participation in the Forward In Faith campaign. So far, I have absolutely no statistics from other parishes
    with which to contrast ours, but the Stewardship Office people have strongly indicated to me that we
    have done very well. Of course, that means you have done very well. We have passed the mark in the
    campaign where we will begin to receive 25% of our contributions back to the parish. Furthermore, we
    owe zero cathedraticum, that is diocesan tax, on the money thus raised. If you folks of Cathedral Parish
    continue to make sacrificial pledges to Forward In Faith it will do so much to help Catholic education in
    the diocese and even assist us to maintain this old and crumbling place. We are down on our personnel
    costs this last fiscal year and we are way up on our facilities costs because of necessary repairs to Donnelly
    Hall, the old part of the organ, and other mechanical issues at all three buildings. Anyway, if you have yet
    to make a pledge to Forward In Faith, please prayerfully consider it and get it in the mail. Remember,
    there will be no Bishop’s Annual Appeal for two years running for us. Forward In Faith pledges will, I
    hope, reflect the moratorium on the BAA and be accordingly generous. It is important for Forward In
    Faith is a bonafide opportunity to invest in a better, Gospel future for our children and even our parish.
    Well, I have gone on long enough. I have been called to the bedside of a dying man I knew in my first
    parish. He is hardly an old person, just a very suffering, terminally ill person. Perhaps he will teach me to
    be more grateful for my life, intractable problems and all, than the first paragraph of this letter betrays me
    to be. Gratitude is one of the very fundamental elements of wisdom and holiness. It is essential for the
    spiritually serious person. I pray mine, and yours, is watered by God’s grace this week.
    In our Holy Communion,
    Msgr. Bradley S. Offutt

    In the following weekend’s bulletin, he recanted and apologized. It sounds like he might have butted heads with Finn and is paying the price for it.
  • A.j. Baselice
    commented 2013-10-21 12:01:40 -0500
    Never ever trust the rcc to investigate !
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