More Civil Suits Filed Against KC Catholic Diocese Involving Proven Predator Priest

Statement by SNAP leader Abott Durocher of Kansas City 314-616-5054, [email protected]
These two new civil lawsuits are believed to be the sixth and seventh civil lawsuit involving Fr. Shawn F. Ratigan.  Ratigan’s crimes led to the first-ever criminal prosecution of Bishop Robert Finn, the first US Catholic bishop found guilty of failing to report suspected child sex crimes to law enforcement.  

The suits are believed to be among only a handful to use a little-known and rarely-used 2007 Missouri state law that makes it illegal to take pictures of people with their underwear showing without their consent (regardless of t heir age). That’s because while Ratigan took many photos that were child porn, he took many more that were illegal, hurtful and inappropriate but that didn't technically meet the legal definition of child porn.

In both cases, families were hurt and betrayed and deserve justice. We in SNAP urge every single family that was hurt by Ratigan, in any way to come forward and get help. Even though Ratigan is in prison and Bishop Finn has been prosecuted, it's possible that there are other Catholic employees who helped conceal Ratigan's crimes who might still be prosecuted.

So it's important that people with information about clergy sex crimes call police. It’s also important to remember that Ratigan kept on hurting kids even when he was allegedly being monitored by church employees. We see this again and again across the country: suspected and suspended sex offender clerics supposedly being “supervised” by fellow clerics. It’s a cheap but ineffective response.

Today we renew our call to Bishop Finn to put every one of his proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics in remote, secure, independent treatment centers so kids will be safer. Most of these predator priests are not defrocked and are still on the payroll.

Bishop Finn can – and should - control them. We hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes by Kansas City clerics will come forward. Staying silent is tempting. In the short run, it’s easy. But it helps no one. And in the long run, it’s unhealthy for everyone.

Stepping up helps to expose and prevent wrongdoing. It also protects kids and brings healing. Hard though it may be at first, it’s the right thing to do.(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 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.

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Contact:  David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected]), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, [email protected])

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