Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn has agreed to meet on a monthly basis with Clay County prosecutor Daniel White to discuss any potential cases involving the sexual abuse of minors; this will be ongoing for five years. In return, he will not face prosecution on a misdemeanor regarding the behavior of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who was under his employ.
Still to be settled are the misdemeanor charges brought by the prosecutor in neighboring Jackson County.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on this today:
In an ideal world, there would have been no charges whatsoever: there was no complainant and no violation of law. Quite unlike the Penn State situation, where alleged victims have come forward, no one has come forward in this case. Prosecutors have to be careful not to set the bar too low, because otherwise they will need an army of attorneys to police cases of suspected molestation that occur in public, as well as private, institutions.
The Catholic haters are already fuming. David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says, “Nothing deters white collar crime like jail time, and nothing exposes a cover-up like a trial. But neither is happening.” But there was no crime and there was no cover-up: the Diocese contacted the authorities after Fr. Ratigan violated its own strictures; it even asked for an independent investigation.
Not only was there no cover-up, the only reason anyone knows anything about this case is because the Diocese voluntarily decided to call the cops. This is quite unlike the situation where Clohessy refused to call the police in the 1990s when he learned that his own brother was a child molester. It is Clohessy who belongs in jail—he has never paid for his cover-up, yet he has the audacity to point fingers at Bishop Finn, an innocent man.
Contact Clohessy: SNAPclohessy@aol.com