MO- Will KC Catholic diocese declare bankruptcy? SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, March 14, 2014

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, [email protected]) 

Some KC Catholics fear Bishop Robert Finn will soon seek bankruptcy protection for the diocese. We think he will and we predicted it a year ago: 

Chapter 11 enables a bishop to protect what he cares about most: his own reputation, comfort and secrets. It stops depositions and discovery in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. So it means top Catholic officials won't have to put their hands on a Bible, swear to be honest, and answer tough questions about their roles in concealing heinous crimes against kids.

And if there's one Catholic official who wants to avoid this, it's Bishop Finn. What's known now about the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case is awful. But we believe that if a Ratigan case would go to trial, or Finn and other church staff were deposed about their actions, even more shocking facts would come to light. And we believe Finn will do everything he possibly can to prevent this from happening. 

Chapter 11 also enables Catholic officials to change the subject from “Which priests and bishops put kids in harms' way” to “How are we going to divide up church funds?” The names and reckless, callous and deceitful actions of those who intimidated victims, stonewalled police, threatened whistleblowers, discredited witnesses, and deceived parishioners will not be revealed.

Church officials claim they aren't pondering Chapter 11. But if they'll deceive police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public about predator priests, they'll likely deceive people about their impending legal maneuvers.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Mike Hunter of Kansas City (913 634 6490, [email protected]),Abott Durocher of Kansas City (314-616-5054, [email protected])

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