Last week a judge agreed with the finding of an arbitrator that Bishop Finn violated a 2008 agreement mandating that suspected child abuse be reported immediately to the authorities. The Kansas City Star says it is “still waiting for the bishop and the Catholic Diocese to do the right thing,” by which it means he should resign. The Star has been waiting for a long time: this is its sixth call for Finn’s resignation in three years. They must be slow learners—few seem to care what it says.
Here are some fast facts that the Star doesn’t want the public to know:
- In 2010 a computer technician finds disturbing crotch-shot photos of girls fully clothed on the computer of a priest; there is one naked photo of a non-sexual nature
- A police officer and an attorney are contacted by diocesan officials
- After the priest attempts suicide, he is sent for psychiatric analysis: it is determined that he is depressed, but he is not a pedophile
- When it is learned that restrictions placed on the priest are violated, the diocese contacts the authorities—even though it had no legal mandate to do so
- Bishop Finn orders an independent investigation of this matter even though there is no complainant
- Porn pictures are later found and Bishop Finn is then found guilty of one misdemeanor for not reporting suspected child abuse
The Star doesn’t want the facts to come out: In 2011, it turned down $25,000 for a full-page ad I had written exposing all the players involved in their well-coordinated war on Bishop Finn, including the role played by the Star.
One more thing. The Star’s impotence is a function of its misplaced authority: it has no legitimate perch upon which to tell Catholics who their bishop should be.
Contact Steve Paul, editorial page editor: firstname.lastname@example.org