MO - Victims seek Vatican rebuke

  • Victims seek Vatican rebuke
  • They want Pope to discipline KC bishop
  • Group also urges head of US prelates to act
  • SNAP blasts Finn for his latest legal maneuver
  • His lawyers claim that accused predator priest isn't “employee”
  • And victims want diocesan abuse training 'outsourced' to independent agency

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will publicly urge –Vatican officials to discipline or demote Kansas City's Catholic bishop, and –the head of the US bishops, Cardinal Tim Dolan of New York, to take similar action.

They will also
--urge the judge and prosecutor to insist that KC's bishop hire independent agencies to provide new abuse prevention training ordered at yesterday's trial and --blast local Catholic diocesan officials for claiming, in a legal dispute, that a suspended, suspected pedophile priest, who faces at least six accusers, is “not a church employee.”

Friday, Sept. 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Outside the KC diocesan chancery office/headquarters, 20 W. 9th Street in downtown KC

Three-four members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and a Catholic lay reform organization called VOTF, Voice of the Faithful

Now that embattled KC Bishop Robert Finn has been found guilty of endangering kids and refusing to report suspected child sex crimes, SNAP and VOTF want Vatican officials to demote or discipline him to deter other church officials from acting recklessly, callously and deceitfully in other child sex cases. The groups feel that unless Pope Benedict and his staff take firm steps to show strong disapproval of Bishop Finn's crimes, similar crimes will continue to be repeated by others in the Catholic hierarchy.

Similarly, SNAP and VOTF want New York City's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in his role as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, to discipline and denounce Bishop Finn, and stop Finn from attending future meetings of the conference, including its next one in November.

Ten years ago, America's bishops pledged to “fraternally correct” their fellow bishops when they mishandled child sex cases. But virtually no bishop has ever actually done this, which perpetuates the long-standing, deeply-rooted clerical culture of self-protection, the groups maintain.

Both the prosecutor and the judge, at yesterday's trial, mandated that Finn and his staff undergo more training on child porn and child abuse prevention. The two organizations believe it's crucial that the diocese stop relying on “in-house” employees, paid by Finn, to run abuse programs. Instead, they want the judge and the prosecutor to demand that the bishop pay independent experts to lead this effort.

Finally, the groups will harshly criticize Bishop Finn and his lawyers for claiming that Fr. Michael Tierney, who faces six civil child sex abuse lawsuits, is not “a church employee.” The claim was exposed just this week in a court filing in a case called John Doe B.P. versus Tierney and the diocese.

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant