Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn – defrocked and dismissed, yet?
Chants of “Throw The Bum Out” filled the Kansas City hallways…
Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn became the first
United States bishop criminally charged on allegations of sheltering an abusive clergyman.
He acknowledged that he, and other diocese officials ,knew for five months about hundreds of “disturbing” photos of children found on a priest’s computer and did not report the egregious and illegal transgressions.
New York Times:
Kansas City Bishop Convicted of Shielding Pedophile Priest
By JOHN ELIGON and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Roman Catholic bishop was found guilty on Thursday of failing to report suspected child abuse, becoming the first American bishop in the decades-long sexual abuse scandal to be convicted of shielding a pedophile priest.
In a hastily announced bench trial that lasted a little over an hour, a judge found the bishop, Robert W. Finn, guilty on one misdemeanor charge and not guilty on a second charge, for failing to report a priest who had taken hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls. The counts each carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but Bishop Finn was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation.
The verdict is a watershed moment in the priest sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the church since the 1980s. Bishops have been eager to turn the page on this era and have put in place extensive abuse prevention policies, which include reporting suspected abusers to law enforcement authorities. But the Kansas City case has served as a wake-up call to Catholics that the policies cannot be effective if the bishops do not follow them.
It was an abrupt ending to a case that has consumed the church in Kansas City and threatened to turn into a sensational, first-ever trial of a sitting prelate. The case had been scheduled for a jury trial later this month, but on Wednesday the prosecution said it would be decided in one afternoon by Judge John M. Torrence in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Before being sentenced, Bishop Finn, 59, his jaw quivering, rose in court and said: “I am pleased and grateful that the prosecution and the courts have allowed this matter to be completed. The protection of children is paramount.”
He added, “I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt that these events have caused.”
The church managed to avoid a lengthy, highly public jury trial like the one earlier this year in Philadelphia, where a high-ranking assistant to the archbishop was convicted of child endangerment and sentenced to prison for three to six years.”