The Star continued with its lies against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph with a column by Barbara Shelly. Regarding the behavior of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, she writes of “hundreds of explicit images of children” found on the priest’s laptop last year. What she didn’t say is that none of the photos were pornographic. And while a police officer and an attorney were called immediately (the pictures were disturbing), no formal complaint with the authorities was made. That’s because no one calls the police about something that is not criminal. The Kansas City Star disturbs me. Should I call 911?
Shelly then says, “Not until five months later, when more disturbing images turned up, did officials alert the police.” Wrong again: no new photos triggered anything. What happened is that the cops were called even though there was no complainant and no crime had been committed; they were called because Ratigan violated an internal diocesan stricture limiting his movement. Had the Diocese acted like other institutions, no one would even know about this issue (it would have been handled internally the way the Star handles matters that are unethical, but not criminal).
Shelly is also wrong to say that this case involves child abuse: no, it involves the possibility that someone may have been abused. If Shelly were right, she would be able to identify the victim. She can’t.
Shelly is also wrong to make reference to Ratigan as a pedophile. In fact, he was officially diagnosed as suffering from depression, and was explicitly deemed not to be a pedophile. Moreover, most of the acts committed by miscreant priests were homosexual in nature, so once again Shelly fails to tell the truth. The lies just keep on coming, and we will correct every one of them.
Contact Shelly: firstname.lastname@example.org