Bill Donohue comments on how the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and BishopAccountability.org, are reacting to Pope Francis as he nears his first anniversary, which is one week from today:
Almost everyone loves Pope Francis, but not among his admirers are SNAP and BishopAccountability.org, two of the most hate-filled activist outlets in the nation.
SNAP condemns 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.
Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org condemns 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 cites 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 the Associated Press is 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 is a far cry from what McKiernan is saying.