After years as the American media’s object of blame in the Church’s sexual abuse scandal, and criticism from the left for his efforts to promote Church doctrine and traditions, the head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been removed by the Vatican from his position.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, has defended Finn throughout the ordeal. In a press release today, Donohue offered the following point-by-point of the facts surrounding the case:
- In 2010, a computer technician found disturbing crotch-shot photos of girls fully clothed on Ratigan’s computer; there was one naked photo of a non-sexual nature.
- Even though there was no complainant, a police officer and an attorney were contacted by diocesan officials. They both agreed that the single naked photo did not constitute pornography.
- After Ratigan attempted suicide, he was evaluated by a psychiatrist—at the request of Finn. Ratigan was diagnosed as depressed, but was not a pedophile.
- Finn put restrictions on Ratigan, which he broke. The diocese then contacted the authorities, though it had no legal mandate to do so.
- Finn ordered an independent investigation, even though there was no complainant.
- When it was found that Ratigan was again using a computer, an examination revealed hundreds of offensive photos.
- The Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Murphy, then called the cops (Finn was out of town).
- A week later Ratigan was arrested.
“Though no child was ever touched or abused by Ratigan, it is clear that he never belonged in the priesthood,” said Donohue. “But Bishop Finn did not take a cavalier attitude toward his misconduct. If he had, Ratigan’s problem would have been ignored altogether, counting on the fact that no one ever called his office saying Ratigan had abused his child.”