The left-wing jihad against Bp. Robert Finn examined

Some of the most vicious attacks I have ever seen on a Catholic bishop from the catholic and the secular left, have been launched at His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Lately, the Kansas City Star has been calling for the resignation of Bp. Finn.  As far as I can tell, good analysis of the attacks on Finn has been offered by the blog SERVIAM.

Here is an lesson for the readers about how to turn the sock inside out.

My emphases:

Mi-Ai Parrish Should Resign

by RJS | 6th September 2011

The Kansas City Star last week called for the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn.

Again.

The first time was right after the Fr. Ratigan case broke and there was general chaos and confusion and the Star was doing its best (or worst) to avoid all of the facts getting in the way of their desire to rid themselves of someone who is against every liberal moral and political agenda they support.  Now SOME of the facts are beginning to emerge.  An independent report is critical of Bishop Finn in some areas and supportive in others.  The Star latches on to the critical items, mis-reports the supportive ones, ignores other facts of the case and again calls for the bishop’s resignation.

I’m sorry, but since when does the Star have any business calling for the resignation of a Catholic bishop?  Is it now a Catholic publication?  (As much ink as their crusade has cost them, they might as well be.)  The Catholic Church is a private organization representing a whopping 15% of Kansas Citians.  Ironically, that’s about the same as the market penetration of the once proud Kansas City Star.  There was a time when well over 50% of KC households received the Star and it was the voice of the city.  It’s now dropped to circulation levels not seen in decades.  The editorial board has no credibility and doesn’t even try to hide their biases.  The bias and “baggage” of the reporters assigned to cover the Diocese is well-known and the subject of blog conversations among former Star staffers (of which there are hundreds these days).  The newspaper is a shell of its former self, is no longer a credible voice in the community, is dumping people onto unemployment roles, is overcharging for ads no one reads (though they are selling them for less than they did 30 years ago) and has failed in its responsibility to and has hurt the interests of the community and shareholders of which I represent the former.

Therefore, I call for the resignation of the President and Publisher, Mi-Ai Parrish and do so with greater standing than her publication has to call for the resignation of a Catholic bishop.

In fairness, it should be pointed out that Mi-Ai Parrish is new on the job and was not directly responsible for the decline of the Star over the past two decades.  Coincidentally, the vast majority of the recent lawsuits against the Diocese concern allegations that allegedly occurred long before Bishop Finn arrived in KC.  But since that does not concern the Star, her lack of tenure here does not concern me.

Then again, I should be careful… If she resigns I might get stuck with Judy Thomas as publisher.  After all, if history, and knowledge of those in the appointment process is any indication, it’s a good bet that were Bishop Finn to resign, his replacement would make Bishop Finn look like a new-age, pro-abortion socialist.

On the last note, there is no chance whatsoever that I will ever be Bp. Finn’s successor.

WDTPRS Kudos to Serviam.

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9 Responses to The left-wing jihad against Bp. Robert Finn examined

  1. xavier217 says:

    Reference your note on the last note: more’s the pity.

  2. The Egyptian says:

    That piece almost draws blood, samurai wordsmanship, slices right to the bone, love it.

  3. Glen M says:

    I wish Bishop Finn would bring his crozier down on the NcR.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Sadly, when I was working in his diocese in various capacities, for twenty months, 2009 and 2010, several of the nuns and priests I worked with in RCIA and other teaching were totally against this great bishop. These liberals included nuns from different orders and even monk-priests, some of whom would agree with the rag Star’s view. The majority of Catholics and many priests love Bishop Finn and support him, but there is still the undercurrent of protest and dislike. Father Z, you would not want to be bishop in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese. God bless you and Bishop Finn.

  5. Kerry says:

    Hmm…”liberal moral(s)”. Who knew there were such things?

  6. irishgirl says:

    Way to go, RJS and Serviam!
    Yeah, I wish that Bishop Finn would bring his crosier down on NcR, too! And exorcise the property while he’s at it!

  7. Athelstan says:

    Speaking as one of those former Kansas City Star staffers, I cannot dispute the characterizations of the newspaper’s current difficulties. And yet…I am concerned that it’s a distraction to delve too deeply into that. It’s really beside the point, and weakens the case against the Star’s conduct here.

    Once upon a time – up until the late 90′s – the Star was a fairly prosperous, moderately liberal Midwestern major daily that dominated its local market. It had a monopoly over much of the news and advertising markets, and it took relentless advantage of that situation, by way of large and regular ad rate increases, ambitious expansion, and its general editorial conduct. It got away with it, but it triggered a great deal of resentment – resentment which many people were able to put into effect once the internet began destroying those monopolies (fewer and fewer subscriptions, diversion of advertising dollars, etc.) over the last decade. The paper is a shell of its former self, like many of its counterparts around the country.

    The Star was also a fairly moderate paper as major dailies went – a relative standard to be sure. On fiscal and foreign policy issues it could be rather conservative; they even endorsed Bob Dole in ’96; they had a few quite conservative figures, such as Rich Hood and Jerry Heaster. On social issues, however, they have always been a rather liberal lot, with the very few religious people in the newsroom being mostly of a very liberal sort, like Bill Tammeus. The Star first made its bones as a critical voice against the Catholic Church with Judy Thomas’s big multi-part 1999 expose on the wave of AIDS in the pristhood – and Thomas has been front and center in pretty much all of the critical reportage (including l’affaire Ratigan) by the Star ever since, with an ample rolodex of disaffected liberal Catholics in the diocese for her sourcing. The Star also gained a growing reputation as a gay-friendly workplace, and this accelerated this move to the left. Remarkably, this trend has accelerated as the Star has suffered from the general collapse of American newspapers in the internet age, which I find curious – I would think that the last thing you want to do is to alienate a large chunk of your shrinking readership and advertising base (in what is a fairly conservative Midwestern metro area) with intense partisanship on political and religious issues. But there it is.

    But Thomas’s dubious use of sources and figures in her reportage on Ratigangate and related stories, and the arrogance of the editorial in attempting to dictate to the Church who her shepherds should and should not be, should be more than sufficient fodder for Serviam’s criticism of the Star and its conduct here. Objectively, I think that those, like myself, who have been very big fans of the strong voice that Bishop Finn has been for orthodoxy and tradition in his reorganization of the diocese can and should concede that his handling of these two cases has been lacking in certain respects and his sensitivity to sex abuse issues surprisingly low in view of the sordid history that preceded his elevation, as even the new internal investigation has shown. I get what Serviam is up to here – showing the hypocrisy of the Star by highlighting its own failures to serve its constituencies. But I think it best to stick to zeroing in the remarkable errors and bias in the Star’s reportage, and the deep flaws in its editorial treatment of Bishop Finn.

    We all know, I think, why Bishop Finn draws so much fire. He undertook an overhaul of his diocese almost unprecedented in recent memory, an overhaul which had an unmistakeably conservative and even traditional stamp – and he did it in a city that is home to the nation’s most outspokenly liberal and dissenting “Catholic” publication. He was going to be in the cross hairs no matter what, and when these revelations made him vulnerable, they sprang to the attack in a way they never really did with the likes of (say) Weakland, Clark, Lynch, Favalora or Mahoney, prelates guilty of much worse and more systemic behavior in enabling sexual transgressions by their clergy. We can learn some important lessons from this, one of which is: tradition-minded bishops will be cut no slack, and be held to a higher standard. You can’t be too vigilant or too careful when it comes to issues like these. It is a lesson His Excellency has had to learn the very hard way.

  8. Cantor says:

    Whether or not the newspaper in question is a decent one really shouldn’t be the point here. For that matter, neither should the ethical and moral standings of the Bishop, which appear to be praiseworthy.

    The key issue is whether representatives of the Catholic Church performed adequately in their responsibility to protect God’s children. This is, for the time being at least, Satan’s single most devastating assault on the Church in generations. And in this case it seems that the Church leaders failed. Whether or not that should lead to their termination is, of course, an internal matter. But those outside are entitled to their opinions and to make their statements. The Church is the target in this case because it helped paint the target on itself.

    It is a shame that the computer technician involved didn’t notify police immediately and remove the onus of investigation from the Diocese. Yet before the chancery even knew anything, four outsiders (the technician, his two brothers and his wife) knew. This would not remain quiet.

    And just how many pictures of little girls on the priest’s computer is acceptable before one begins to wonder? The standard in the military was that anything that might give even “the appearance of impropriety” was wrong, whether in reality it was or not. Should not the standard be at least as high for a Priest?

    Once the diocese had the computer, it is amazing that they did not immediately transfer it to law enforcement. Any decent attorney should be able to have it thrown out of a trial for lack of chain of custody documentation. And the idea of copying contents of the disk to an external device and subsequently to a CD without forensic study is crazy. Perhaps it was done with the best of intentions but it amounts to evidence tampering.

    Perhaps it is time for American dioceses to follow the military in yet another way, the establishment of status standards. Much like the “DEFCON” process, each diocese could rate its Child Protection status as 5 (absolute quiet), 4 (chatter), 3 (concern), 2 (problem) and 1 (crisis). As a minimum each diocese should contact its primary local law enforcement each Monday at noon to pass along that status. Anything beyond a “5″ should require explanatory documentation. The Church cannot survive many more such events. Look at what’s happening in Ireland if there’s any question.

    Reading the entire report on the Kansas City situation is near sickening. There were so many places where the right thing could have been done but was not. The Church might have had to make the sad announcement that another of their own had fallen, but far better that way than to hide behind bureaucratic foolhardiness if not downright deliberate deceit.

  9. MARKNTINA641 says:

    We left the Star earler this year.We wrote them and told them why we cancelled our subscription. We were tired of them bashing the chruch and Bishop Finn.Just had enough!