Saturday, September 8, 2012

Finn Guilty as Sin

As I had suspected, the spin is being put on Bishop Finn's conviction.  The Catholic League's Bill Donohue and others are doing a grave disservice to the Church by making excuses for the inexcusable.

For the truth - the truth presented in court - Read this document

It is the stipulation of testimony in this case.

It contains the facts that both sides agreed to.  It shows, without a doubt, that Bishop Finn is not fit to be running a diocese.

It shows that the photos in question were clearly pornographic and that Bishop Finn was not at all concerned for the victims involved, and that he was angry that the police were contacted at all - much less six months after the photographs were discovered.  It shows that Bishop Finn knew that Fr. Ratigan continued to ignore the restraints placed upon him, and that he knew Fr. Ratigan continued to be a threat to children (on Easter Sunday Fr. Ratigan visited a family of parishioners and "was caught taking photographs, under the table, up their daughter’s skirt, according to a federal indictment"), that Bishop Finn knew that Fr. Ratigan continued to contact children, and continued to approach children on Facebook.  Bishop Finn gave Fr. Ratigan access to children at the retreat house where Fr. Ratigan was stationed, for crying out loud!  Bishop Finn warned no one about this man.

Today the New York Times gives a brief summary of the story.  And U.S. Catholic points out that Bishop Finn violated canon law as well as civil law, qualifying him for removal due to dereliction of duty.  They call, quite simply, for his ouster or resignation.

Finn's resignation, especially if he initiated it himself, would be the best thing for the church in the U.S. and for his diocese. Finally we would have a bishop who would, instead of expressing "regret . . . for the hurt these events have caused," would instead admit that he made a mistake that fatally undermines his ministry as a bishop.

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