Child Pornography Suit Filed Against Kansas City Dioceses
Last week, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, where Father Shawn Ratigan was arrested in May for taking "lewd and lacivious" photographs of a now nine year old girl. Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese admitted that although he knew about Ratiga's misconduct for approximately six months, he did not report the priest to law enforcement officials, according to the New York Times.
Approximately three years ago, Bishop Finn settled in a sexual abuse suit, with 47 plaintiffs, against the church for $10 million. In the settlement, the Bishop agreed to immediately report suspected cases of pedophilia. Michael Hunter, the president of the Kansas City chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), stated "There were 19 nonmonetary agreements that the diocese signed on to, and they were things like reporting immediately to the police. And they didn't do it. That's really what sickens us as much as the abuse."
Bishop Finn, who is affiliated with Opus Dei, generated criticism from priests and parishioners in the diocese after he cut the funding for the Office of Peace and Justice, which aimed to alleviate poverty and promote human rights, and founded the Respect for Life Office, which focuses on banning stem cell research.
Media Resources: New York Times 8/14/11; SNAP 8/11/11