ATTACK ON BISHOP FINN

2011 ANNUAL REPORT ON ANTI-CATHOLICISM

Beginning late October, we rallied behind Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn with vigor: we saturated the community with an ad that the Kansas City Star rejected for political reasons. Indeed, we hit virtually every Catholic church, school and lay organization in the area, along with other religious organizations, public and private schools and colleges, government officials, businesses and civic associations. We even contacted local bars, barber shops and beauty parlors. Here’s what happened. 

Last December, a police officer and an attorney were contacted by diocesan officials after a technician found photos of young girls on Rev. Shawn Ratigan’s computer. While none of the pictures were pornographic, they were nonetheless disturbing.

Following the discovery of his fetish, Ratigan attempted suicide. He was then sent for psychiatric analysis: he was said to be suffering from depression, but was not diagnosed as a pedophile. After he violated strictures regarding his movement last May, the diocese contacted the authorities, even though it had no legal mandate to do so. It was then that even more disturbing photos were found.

In other words, Bishop Finn did what no other leader of any religious, or secular, organization has done: he put all the cards on the table and brought in the police in a case where there was no complainant. More than that, he asked for an independent investigation by a former U.S. attorney, Todd P. Graves.

Graves and a team of attorneys, former prosecutors and FBI officials issued a report concluding that while some matters may have been handled better, Bishop Finn was guilty of no criminal wrongdoing (he had almost no role in this case). But that was not enough for the likes of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and their lawyers. They drove public opinion on this issue, resulting in an unprecedented indictment of a bishop—on a misdemeanor, no less. Subsequently, they have been on a rampage finding new “victims” to sue.

At the end of October, Bill Donohue submitted a full-page ad (costing $25,000) to be placed in the Kansas City Star exposing the shenanigans: it was turned down without explanation, even though the newspaper is in financial straits! The Star-SNAP alliance was indisputably cemented.

On November 15, Bishop Finn agreed to meet on a monthly basis with the Clay County prosecutor about any suspicious behavior of those in his employ; in return, charges have been dropped. Still to be settled are similar charges made by the Jackson County prosecutor.

Listed below in chronological order is our response to the attacks on Bishop Robert Finn:

October 21: BISHOP FINN DESERVES BETTER

We will have a lot to say about Bishop Finn and his accusers, but for now, we want to make it clear that we stand by him without reservation. Why? Not because he is a bishop, but because nothing he did deserves the kind of reaction against him that is emanating from many quarters. Shortly, we will lay out the details of our support for him. Keep in mind the following:

Many strange photos (crotch-focused) of young girls, fully clothed, were found on the laptop of a priest last December; one showed a girl naked. Though Bishop Finn never saw it, he was told of it. The result? The picture was described to a police officer the next day, and an attorney for the Diocese was shown the photo. It was determined that the photo, while disturbing, did not constitute child pornography. The priest learns that they’re on to him; he attempts suicide; he almost dies; he recovers; he is sent for treatment; he is not considered to be a pedophile, but is said to be suffering from depression; he is then placed in a spot away from children; he is subjected to restrictions. After violating the restrictions, the cops are called; more damaging photos are then found.

This account is quite different from what is being said in the media. To take one example, an editorial in the New York Times said that Finn “knew of the photos last December but did not turn them over to the police until May.” This makes it sound as if Finn knew about hundreds of photos of child pornography and did nothing about it. In fact, there was one photo, that was not sexual in nature, that was initially found. Moreover, a police officer and an attorney were notified immediately. Later, after the priest proved to be recalcitrant, the police were contacted.

October 31: KANSAS CITY STAR vs. CATHOLIC CHURCH

We recently contacted the Kansas City Star about running a full-page ad on October 30. The ad is a critical statement about the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and their attorney friend, Rebecca Randles. The ad was written because we strongly defend Bishop Finn against the politically motivated attacks on him.

Everything looked good to go: on October 25, we submitted the ad and gave them our credit card information to pay the $25,000 fee. On October 26, we received an e-mail saying, “The Publisher has respectfully declined and did not share the details as to why.”

We have done newspaper ads for decades, especially for the New York Times. It is common practice to fact-check an ad, asking for documentation to substantiate something in it, but never have we been turned down, much less without explanation.

We know what’s going on. The Kansas City Star has long been in bed with SNAP, just as SNAP is in bed with attorneys like Randles and her mentor, Jeffrey Anderson. All are decidedly anti-Catholic. To wit: on September 25, the Star ran a 2223-word front-page Sunday news story on SNAP. To say it was a puff piece would be an understatement. The Church has never been treated with such kid gloves.

We’ll start blanketing the Kansas City, Missouri area with copies of the ad that the Kansas City Star doesn’t want readers to see; no secular or religious organization will escape us. They can impose a gag rule on us in their newspaper, but they cannot control us. Our campaign against the Star and SNAP will be on-going.

November 1: SUICIDE OF THE KANSAS CITY STAR

Our news release on the decision by the Kansas City Star to reject the ad exposing the phony victims’ group, SNAP, and its attack on Bishop Finn, reached approximately 200 employees of the Star and about 300 media outlets in the Kansas City, Missouri area; another 1500 media outlets around the nation received it. All will continue to receive our releases on this subject.

Much of the chatter has focused on the wisdom of turning down $25,000. Consider the following: In June 2008: 10 percent of the Star’s workforce is cut; Sept. 2008: 65 employees accept buyouts or are laid off; Nov. 2008: 50 employees are let go; March 2009: 15 percent of the workforce is cut; Aug. 2009: More buyouts are offered; one-week unpaid furlough is instituted; Jan. 2010: another dozen are terminated; May 2010: another dozen get their pink slips; Sept. 2010: another dozen are booted; Jan. 2011: 20 others are shown the door.

Ten years ago, there were 1,869 employees at the Star; today there are 840. Given these data, turning down $25K must mean the Star is more concerned about getting Bishop Finn than it is the welfare of its own workers. Looks like the Star is suicidal.

The McClatchy Company owns the Star, and its advertising revenue is down 10 percent between the third quarter 2010 and the third quarter 2011. The Board of Directors will receive this release, as will the three major investors: John Paulson, Stephen C. Mildenhall and Andrew Feldstein. They are not going to be happy.

On October 18, the Kansas City Star ran this Lee Judge cartoon expressing the “progressive” hope for Bishop Finn’s indictment, thus adding a local spin to a staple of anti-Catholic bigotry.

November 2: KANSAS CITY STAR AND ANTI-CATHOLICISM

The SNAP-Star alliance against Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn is a natural: both are anti-Catholic. As evidence of SNAP’s bigotry, see our report on its July conference. As for the Star, consider its infamous 1999 “survey” of priests.

Twelve years ago, the Star did a survey of priests across the nation. They were asked such things as: identify your sexual orientation; discuss whether you have HIV or AIDS; assess how the Church is handling this issue; and explain whether the Church should change its teachings on celibacy and homosexuality. No other religious or secular institution was surveyed. In response, we sent our own survey to a random sample of Star employees, asking questions about their sexual orientation and disease status. At least we admitted that our “survey” was a joke—the Star actually thought itself serious.

The purpose of the Star’s survey was to report that HIV or AIDS was rampant among priests and that the Church’s response was heartless. Expecting that most would disagree with celibacy and the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, the end game would then be realized: this is how the Star expected to manipulate public opinion, putting pressure on the Church to change its teachings.

What a disappointment. Almost 100 percent (99.1) said they either did not have HIV or AIDS, or did not think they had it. Two-thirds said the Church was “caring and compassionate” about priests with HIV or AIDS, and only four percent were critical. Yet virtually all the remarks printed in the Star came from priests who were critical of the Church! Angered by the results, the Star showed even more contempt for privacy rights by combing the death certificates of deceased priests looking for dirt.

By any measure, the Star showed its bias, as well as its necromania.

November 3: KANSAS CITY STAR-SNAP ALLIANCE

Respectable newspapers are expected to be objective, and not become the voice box of activist organizations. This is not true of the Kansas City Star; its relationship with SNAP is incestuous.

To take the latest example, on November 1, Judge James Dale Youngs of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, dismissed a case brought by SNAP lawyer Rebecca Randles against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph; Randles never even bothered to respond to the motion to dismiss. But the real story here is why senior Star reporter Judy L. Thomas, who wrote about the initial lawsuit, never told readers about this development.

When this suit was initially filed on March 8, the Star ran a story by Thomas about it on p. 7. And guess who announced it? SNAP. So now that Randles and SNAP look foolish, or worse, why wasn’t this reported? By the way, Thomas made reference to this case several times in the intervening months. Moreover, in the past three months, Thomas cited SNAP ten times in her stories. So why the cover-up about the motion to dismiss the lawsuit?

The editorial board of the Star has similarly been compromised. On May 21, its editorial on the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case cited SNAP’s criticisms of the diocese. Ten days later, in another editorial, it once again favorably quoted SNAP. Perhaps most interesting was the editorial of June 4 that called for Bishop Robert Finn to resign: one day before, in a news story which named SNAP, it just happened to say that “Some Catholics will gather today and call for the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn….” How cute. First have some local “Catholics” call for the bishop to resign, and then let the brave souls at the newspaper follow suit.

The Star is nothing more than an echo chamber for SNAP.

November 3: KANSAS CITY STAR IS IMPLODING

The Star is in free fall: for the first time since before World War II, its daily circulation has fallen below 200,000 (the Sunday circulation is only about 300,000). Circulation numbers are of particular concern to newspaper advertisers—it determines the rates they are charged.

Because we believe in transparency, and because the Star purports to believe in truth in advertising, we are writing to the CEO’s of the Star’s biggest advertisers letting them know they may be paying too much for their ads. Those advertisers are: Target; Kohl’s; Best Buy; Macy’s; Dick’s Sporting Goods; Dillard’s; Wal-Mart; Cabela’s; Sears; Verizon; and Sprint.

We will also let the big advertisers know that the data will only get worse. To be specific, between the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, there are approximately 1.5 million Catholics in the Star’s immediate readership area. Once they learn that the Star refused to run our ad blowing the whistle on the enemies of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn, more will bail.

We are sharing the ad we wrote with all the CEO’s. After all, they need to know why the Star is imploding so they can make an informed decision on where to park their advertising dollars. And since the holiday season is fast approaching, what better time to reconsider their contract with the Star. Social justice demands no less.

November 4: MEET THE CHURCH-SUING LAWYERS

SNAP announces a lawsuit against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The diocese, headed by Bishop Finn, knows nothing about it. But attorney Rebecca Randles does: she coordinated the attack with SNAP. Virtually all the cases date back decades, and no one from the Kansas City Star questions any of it. This isn’t an anomaly—it’s the norm.

Randles got her start with Jeffrey Anderson, the most successful Church-shakedown lawyer in the nation. On June 2, they (and another attorney) sued Bishop Finn about a matter he had nothing to do with. Since then, Randles has been finding new “victims” at a record pace.

Randles and Anderson came together 20 years ago to represent David Clohessy (now SNAP’s director). After watching the movie “Nuts” in 1988 he suddenly “remembered” being molested by a priest decades ago. The lawsuit failed because the statute of limitations had expired.

Randles then made history when she was the first attorney to file suit against a priest in Missouri. It was another “repressed memory” suit where the accuser suddenly recalls being molested decades ago. After first winning, an appeals court threw it out—the clock had run out on such claims. She vowed to push for a new strategy: she argued that the “trigger” for such claims should start when alleged victims “remember” when they were abused. In 2006, her dream came true: the Missouri Supreme Court said that a guy who suddenly remembered being molested 30 years prior could sue. Ever since, the suits against the diocese have never stopped.

Both Anderson and Randles give generously to SNAP, and indeed Randles has been known to pressure her clients to fork over some of their settlement money to her friends. The Star knows all of this, yet it continues the cover-up.

November 7: KANSAS CITY STAR COVERS FOR SNAP

Recently, news broke that a former Penn State football coach, serving under head coach Joe Paterno, was allegedly sexually abusing young boys. Although Paterno immediately notified the Athletic Director, he did not call the cops. David Clohessy, SNAP’s director, is now calling for Paterno to be investigated. Yet when Clohessy learned in the 1990s that his brother Kevin, a priest, was a child molester, he covered it up.

The Kansas City Star is working with SNAP, and its lawyers, against Bishop Robert Finn. Only once, in a brief story in 2003, did it mention that Clohessy’s brother was charged with molestation; even then it never reported that he refused to call the cops. And in a big puff piece on him in September, it never mentioned this story. The cover up is sickening.

Nor does the Star ever bother to question the spurious lawsuits that SNAP lawyers have been bringing. Isn’t it more than just a little curious that the Catholic Church is being singled out for hundreds of “repressed memory” lawsuits? A Nexis search connecting “repressed memory” with “minister” yields 551 stories; “rabbi” yields 71; and though the nation’s teachers vastly outnumber priests, there were 1208 stories on “teachers” and 1855 on “priests.”

Between 2009 and 2010, there was a 42 percent increase in false accusations against priests. The data didn’t come as a surprise to California attorney Donald H. Steier. Last year, he testified that “One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse.” An independent newspaper would report such stories. The Star is not one of them—it’s in bed with SNAP. 

November 7: KC STAR OMITS STORY ON TOP EPISCOPAL BISHOP

On November 7, SNAP held a press conference in front of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to bring attention to a case involving an Episcopal priest, Bede Parry, who is being charged with molesting young boys while he was studying to be a Catholic priest. Parry was thrown out of the Benedictines of Conception Abbey in Missouri back in 1990; then he left for Las Vegas; eventually he became an Episcopal priest there. The person who knew about his record of abuse and still allowed him to join the clergy of the Episcopal Church was the Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori; today she is the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the U.S., located in New York City.

On November 8, the Kansas City Star, which has been relentless in its pursuit of clergy abuse by Catholic priests, said nothing about this case. Is this because it involves another religion? Or is it because it implicates a woman clergyperson, thus getting in the way of the narrative that Catholic bishops have some kind of special “old boy” network that inhibits them from being forthcoming? No matter, to think that the person who is the head of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. is named in a cover-up involving the sexual abuse of minors—and isn’t even mentioned in the Star—speaks volumes about its politically driven agenda against Bishop Finn.

It is important to note that at no time was Bede Parry a priest in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Nor is it true that the Diocese is named in the lawsuit.

November 10: KANSAS CITY PRESS CONFERENCE

The Catholic League press conference was held outside the Kansas City Star. Without solicitation—simply by word of mouth—a sizable crowd of local Catholics joined Bill Donohue, Vice President Bernadette Brady and staff members Alex Mejia and Don Lauer. All were there in support of Bishop Robert Finn and against the Star-SNAP alliance.  [Click here] to see photos.

October 25: TAKING AIM AT BISHOP FINN

This ad, written by Bill Donohue, was rejected by the Kansas City Star, without explanation. The close relationship between the newspaper and SNAP is disturbing, but to turn down $25,000 is still surprising. The Star can impose a gag rule on us, but it cannot control us. Indeed, this ad was printed in the Northeast News, a weekly suburban newspaper. We intend to let everyone in Kansas City, Missouri know about this matter. 

There is nothing wrong with asking legitimate questions about the way Bishop Robert Finn handled the Fr. Shawn Ratigan matter. But there is something wrong about not asking legitimate questions about the politics of those out to sink him. First, let’s recap what actually happened.

Last December, crotch-shot pictures of young girls, fully clothed, were found on Fr. Ratigan’s computer; there was one photo of a naked girl. The very next day, the Diocese contacted a police officer and described the naked picture; a Diocesan attorney was shown it. Because the photo was not sexual in nature, it was determined that it did not constitute child pornography. This explains why the Independent Review Board was not contacted—there was no specific allegation of child abuse.

When Fr. Ratigan discovered that the Diocese had learned of his fetish, he attempted suicide. When he recovered, he was immediately sent for psychiatric evaluation. It is important to note that Bishop Finn, who never saw any of the photos, did this precisely because he was considering the possibility of removing Fr. Ratigan from ministry. After evaluation (the priest was diagnosed as suffering from depression, but was not judged to be a pedophile), Fr. Ratigan was placed in a spot away from children and subjected to various restrictions. After he violated them, the Diocese called the cops. That’s when more disturbing photos were found. At the same time, Bishop Finn contacted an attorney to do an independent investigation into this matter.

Fair-minded persons may question whether the Diocese was too lenient, but unless there is reason to believe that a crime has been committed, there is no cause for contacting the authorities. Yet the Diocese—unlike the officials of other organizations faced with the same situation—contacted a police officer and a lawyer immediately. [Note: in 2007, a huge investigation by the Associated Press of teacher sexual misconduct revealed that Missouri school districts were guilty of “backroom deals” that allowed molesting teachers to “quietly move on.” So where is the dust-up about this? Where are the calls for grand jury probes?] Why, then, the attempt to get Bishop Finn?

What’s driving the anti-Finn campaign is politics. The major players are the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and attorneys Rebecca Randles and Jeffrey Anderson. Their goal is not justice. Nor is it child welfare. Their goal is to sabotage the Catholic Church.

Here’s how it works. Anderson, who is worth hundreds of millions, helps to fund SNAP. SNAP works with Randles, a protégé of Anderson, and together they find new “victims”—adults who just now seem to remember being groped decades ago. Indeed, upwards of 20 new lawsuits have been filed since Ratigan was nailed in May. SNAP, ever coy, then holds a press conference, making wild accusations. Importantly, no one in Finn’s office is prepared to comment because Randles has yet to file suit. In other words, SNAP and Randles ambush the Diocese, garnering a high media profile, and then press the authorities to indict Bishop Finn.

What is SNAP? It sells itself as a victims’ advocacy organization that represents those who have been abused by any authority. This is a lie. It concentrates almost exclusively on the Catholic Church. How do I know? For one, just check its website. More revealing, last July I asked trusted sources to register at a SNAP conference outside of Washington, D.C. The entire event was dedicated to discussing ways to undermine what they called the “evil institution,” namely the Catholic Church. No one from SNAP has contested a single comment attributed to the speakers as described in my report, “SNAP Exposed.”

Here’s how SNAP manipulates the media. At the meeting, attendees were instructed how to hold a press conference: “Display holy childhood photos”; Use “feeling words”; Say, “I was scared” or “I was suicidal”; “Be sad, not mad”; “If you don’t have compelling holy childhood photos, we can provide you with photos of other kids that can be held up for the cameras.” The unmistakable goal is to feign sorrow and stage the event.

SNAP’s director, David Clohessy, began his activist career by working for ACORN, the now discredited far-left wing organization. In 1988, while watching the movie, “Nuts,” he had a revelation: his memory exploded with tales of being molested by a priest 20 years earlier. Three years later, his attorney, Jeffrey Anderson, sued the local diocese; working with Anderson for the first time was Rebecca Randles. The time gap in both instances is striking.

Clohessy wants Bishop Finn behind bars for not moving fast enough on this matter. But when Clohessy was working for SNAP in the 1990s, he refused to contact the authorities when he learned of a man who was sexually abusing young men. That man was his brother, Kevin, a Catholic priest. Feeling conflicted, David wondered, “he’s my brother; he’s an abuser. Do I treat him like my brother? Do I treat him like an abuser?” He chose the former. “He [Kevin] told me he was getting help, getting treatment.” This is understandable. What is not understandable is his outrage at bishops when they voice the same sentiment about their brother priests. The duplicity is sickening.

Is SNAP really upset about child porn, or just when a priest is involved? Dr. Steve Taylor is a psychiatrist who is in prison for downloading child porn on his computer. He is not just an ordinary shrink with a sick appetite—he worked for SNAP for years. Before his conviction, Barbara Blaine, the founder of SNAP, intervened on his behalf and wrote to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners asking them to give consideration to Taylor’s alleged humanitarian work—she didn’t want him to lose his license. Had Taylor been a priest, her reaction would have been vengeful.

At the July SNAP conference, Blaine spoke about priests who believe they have been mistreated by the authorities and want to countersue. She said they may have “a legal right,” but they “don’t have a moral right to do so.” This is what SNAP means by justice. When lawsuits were flying in 2002, after revelations about the Boston scandal, many priests who claimed innocence decided to countersue. SNAP actually declared such lawsuits “brutal” and “un-Christian.”

This one-way street favored by SNAP also manifests itself in other ways. While it always protects the names of its accusers, it demands that we know the names of accused priests, including those who are dead. Moreover, it will not release the names of its donors. Yet they condemn the Catholic Church for lacking transparency.

In August, SNAP accused New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of covering up an alleged incident involving a teenage girl who said she was “inappropriately touched” by an 87-year-old priest. Dolan knew nothing about it until the cops were called. SNAP has yet to apologize. It also accused Dolan of “acting secretively” about a previous case where a priest was suspended. But Dolan was not in New York at the time—he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee. Moreover, at the SNAP conference, Dolan was accused of shielding 55 molesting priests. This is libelous. But it is what we have come to expect from these people—a SNAP official once spat in the Archbishop’s face.

SNAP is so anti-priest that its Kentucky chapter leader once lobbied state authorities to warn residents when Catholic priests who have been accused, but not convicted, of sexual abuse move into their neighborhood. Just priests. A few years ago, in California, a boy’s father alleged that his son had been abused by a priest in the 1990s. The case was dismissed. The alleged victim, now a grown man, said it never happened. When SNAP then learned that this innocent priest was appointed to a sex abuse panel, it went ballistic. In SNAP’s mind, once a priest is charged, he’s guilty, no matter what the verdict says.

The reason why SNAP wants to bring down Bishop Finn is because it always shoots for the top. In September, Clohessy admitted that his goal is to bring down the pope. “We’re not naïve,” he said. “We don’t think the pope will be hauled off in handcuffs next week or month. But by the same token, our long-term chances are excellent.” This kind of thinking explains why SNAP recently blasted the Vatican’s new guidelines on sex abuse the day before they were released.

SNAP is so hateful that it even endorses Gestapo-like tactics used against the Catholic Church. Last year, the world was stunned to learn of a Belgium police raid on Church facilities, looking for evidence of wrongdoing. The bishop was detained for over nine hours; the police even went so far as to drill into the tombs of two deceased cardinals looking for documents. And what did Barbara Blaine say? “If children are to be protected, the actions of Belgian law enforcement must become the norm, not the aberration.”

While fascistic means are acceptable to SNAP, it knows it can’t get away with that in the U.S. So it elects to work with those who are flooding the Diocese with lawsuits. This way it can drain its resources, tie up the courts and seek to turn the public against the Catholic Church.

Randles was one of the lawyers who was behind the bundled lawsuits that led to a 2008 settlement with the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Those lawsuits included claims dating back to just after World War II. Now she’s back, representing clients who just now seem to recall being abused many moons ago. The timing couldn’t be more convenient. The SNAP-led crowd is now claiming that the settlement, which held that the Diocese had to take steps to curb abuse, was violated. Their proposed remedy represents the fulfillment of their dreams: they want the Diocese to cede control of its operations.

Between 2009-2010 (the latest years for which data are available), there was a 42 percent increase in false allegations against priests. So-called repressed memory figures prominently in these bogus charges. A few years ago, researchers at Harvard Medical School studied this phenomenon and concluded that it has no scientific basis—it is purely a cultural invention. Harvard psychology professor Richard J. McNally also studied this subject. “The notion that the mind protects itself by banishing the most disturbing, terrifying events is psychiatric folklore.” He added, “The more traumatic and stressful something is, the less likely someone is to forget it.”

Randles is now charging that not only did the Diocese know what was happening, and did nothing about it, those in charge actually encouraged it. Here are some examples, all filed recently. In the case of Fr. Stephen Wise, the suit charges that “The Diocese ratified Wise’s sexual abuse of the plaintiff by encouraging him to commit the abuse and encouraging him to continue committing the abuse.” In the Fr. Michael Tierney case, the suit claims, “the sexual abuse of minors became a collective objective of the Diocese.” And in the Fr. Mark Honhart case, the suit also claims, “the sexual abuse of minors became a collective objective of the Diocese.”

In one sense, this kind of language is useful: it is positive proof of the anti-Catholic mindset. In their vision, the Catholic Church is the font of all evil, with the pope at command central. All of this might have been believable if it had been said by nativists 150 years ago, or by those in the asylum today, but to think that such malicious fiction is being trumpeted in 2011—by lawyers no less—is mind-boggling.

Clohessy recently wrote to the prosecutors of Clay County and Jackson County. “Jailing Finn, once his guilt has been determined or admitted, would be an unprecedented and effective step toward preventing future clergy sex crimes and cover ups, in Kansas City and elsewhere.” So Bishop Finn either admits his guilt or is found guilty. There is no other option. That’s exactly the way they think.

It is incorrect to assume that Randles and company are motivated mostly by money. No, their real goal is control—the control of the Catholic Church. Randles wants the Diocese to accept third-party supervision of these matters. She is asking for “continuing supervision,” explaining that she is “looking for a mechanism to enforce the provisions of the settlement agreement from this day forward, so that there is some form of continuing watch-dogging.” It doesn’t get much plainer than this.


Share

Written by Bill