Today Fishwrap offers up a fantasy editorial railing against Bp. Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Based on his conviction by a Kansas City court, Fishwrap demands Finn’s resignation or removal from office.
It would take too many words here to pull their editorial apart, so just go read it HERE.
I don’t remember seeing National catholic Reporter‘s editorials demanding the resignation of Archbp. Rembert Weakland or Card. Mahony. They were into some truly deep problems, but there was no high dudgeon from NCR about them.
Bp. Finn got what we can only describe as a hand-slapping by a court. He received suspended probation the record of which is then to be expunged from his record. If what Finn did was truly a massive crime, would the court have done this?
Based on this draconian sentence inflicted by the court, Fishwrap claims that Bp. Finn won’t even be able to blow a pitch pipe in a church because of his record… a record he won’t have.
Just to refresh your memory, from the Kansas City Star:
The verdicts came after a short nonjury trial in Jackson County Circuit Court. Judge John Torrence immediately sentenced Finn to two years’ of probation, then suspended the imposition of the sentence. That means that if Finn finishes the probation without incident and completes nine steps as part of his sentence, the bishop’s criminal record will be expunged.
In the present environment, this outcome for Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is the best that could have been hoped for. Even the all charges against the Diocese itself were dropped.
How thin does Fishwrap want the tripwire for bishops to be?
I can see it now. When bishops are finally elected by the laity, their principal job description will be to report whispered suspicions concerning priests to the police. Perhaps we will even have new statistics for bishops: Earned Reporting Average. They will have a red phone installed in their offices connecting directly to the DA’s mobile and a black phone hotline near to hand so that they can receive the daily stream of anonymous tips from people who have suspicions.
The NCR piece inflates what happened in Kansas City to the point where it is unrecognizable. The editorial seeks to group Finn together with the likes of Law, Bevilacqua, Mahony.
I didn’t see an editorial from NCR demanding that the LCWR meet with SNAP. Did you? Beat bishops and priests to pieces. Nuns get a pass.
Bottom line, for those who are distracted by other issues:
The editors hate Bp. Finn, bishop of the diocese where their offices are. They hate him with a personal hatred, unhinged animus. I think they are actually happy that the diocese had to spend piles of money on this, because, in the end, it hurt Bp. Finn. They are inflating what the court recognized as something so vaporous as to require that even the record of it be expunged, and they are dancing around it with pikes and torches.
The moderation queue is on, to filter comments that pursue tangents.
UPDATE: 13 Sept 1410 GMT:
I am receiving email from some people who are whining that I am not letting their comments (focused on the need for Bp. Finn to resign) through to public view.
I guess, however, that I have to explain what is going on here.
Bp. Finn’s removal by the Holy Father, or his resignation, or his remaining in place, is grist for some other post, but not this one. This entry is about the NCR more than it is about Bp. Finn’s future. NCR hates Bp. Finn and they will do anything to the facts to make him look bad. They don’t do this because they are interested in the truth. They do it because of their unhinged animus.