Almost everyone loves Pope Francis, but not among his admirers are two groups known as SNAP and Bishop-Accountabity.org, two of the most hate-filled activist outlets in the nation.
SNAP has condemned the pope for doing “nothing—literally nothing—that protects a single child, exposes a single predator or prevents a single cover up.” Not a single example, anywhere in the world, was cited of the pope’s alleged delinquency.
Morever, Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org condemned the pope for his “tired and defensive rhetoric,” saying the pope’s rigorous, and wholly justified, account of the Catholic Church’s reaction to sexual abuse is “breathtaking.” He cited one bishop, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, “who was convicted in 2012 of failing to report suspected child abuse,” as an example of the pope’s alleged intransigence.
What McKiernan did not tell AP was that the case did not involve child sexual abuse: no child was ever abused, or touched, by a disturbed priest, Shawn Ratigan. Nor did the case involve child porn: it involved crotch-shot pictures of children (one showed a girl’s genitals, determined by the police to be of a “non-sexual” nature).
The short of it is that the review board was contacted, the authorities were notified, and an independent investigation was ordered (the Graves Report). It was later discovered that more disturbing photos were found on Ratigan’s computer, and Bishop Finn was found guilty of one misdemeanor for failing to report suspected child abuse. Had Finn elected to do nothing, no one would have known about Ratigan, because there was no complainant. This is why the pope has not acted against Finn—what happened was a far cry from what McKiernan was saying.