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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Go with God, Bishop Finn

To the joy, I've no doubt, of many a "progressive" catholic, and enemy of the Church's teachings, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, has resigned.
I do not personally know him nor do I know anyone, so far as I recall, whose ordinary he was. I have no special knowledge of his situation, or the case that was, ultimately, his downfall, or, rather, his "disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes," because who is to know what heights he has or yet may reach, precisely because of his "disgrace" so far as the media are concerned, for Heaven is NOT deaf, and worldly praise or success is nothing more than a footnote to our unnding stories.
 That said, this seemed to me to have the ring of truth when I read it last year:
Denigration of Bishop Finn intensified in 2010 after he learned from his vicar general that a diocesan priest had inappropriate pictures of young girls on his personal computer. The diocese immediately notified a ranking Kansas City police officer, and the pictures were provided to legal counsel as well. Both opined that the photos did not constitute child pornography as they did not contain sexual conduct or contact as defined by Missouri law.
The priest was immediately called and told to appear at the chancery the next day, but he did not. He was instead found unconscious in his garage after an attempted suicide. He remained unconscious for four days, and was not expected to live.
After recovering and undergoing psychiatric care, Bishop Finn removed the priest from pastoral duties, and said he was not allowed electronic devices or any interaction with children. When the priest breached those restrictions, the diocese turned him over to civil authorities. Detectives then discovered images of a pornographic nature at the priest's family's home, and he was charged that same day. 
Misdemeanor charges were filed against the bishop and the diocese. In order to spare the victims a drawn out jury trial and have the charges against the diocese dropped, which would have likely resulted in crippling insurance increases, Bishop Finn submitted to a one day bench trial and was indicted and found guilty of a misdemeanor for not reporting suspected child abuse.
.....Many see what took place as a political vendetta against the bishop for his orthodoxy and an obvious attempt to make him an example in the Church sex abuse scandal, as the specifics of his case do not involve him perpetrating or willfully facilitating abuse.
The independent investigation ordered by Bishop Finn did find fault with the diocese’s handling of some parts of the process, but the lapses do not amount to criminal conduct [according to attornies.]
And keeping in mind that even the Paper of Record, no friend to Christian orthodoxy, finds pleas for treatment rather than criminalization of users of child pornography a valid arguement to be made, the cries for Finn's head that have been going on since before the Ratigan case have always, to me, seemed agenda-driven.

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