Catholic League about Hell’s Bible’s attack on Bp. Finn

If Christmas or Easter are on the horizon, we can be sure that Hell’s Bible (and the Fishwrap) will find someone in the Church to bash.  Right now, that would be Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  Putting aside what you think about the issue of Bp. Finn’s need to resign or to remain in place, the New York Times should not have a free pass to spread inaccurate information.

From the Catholic League:

The Catholic Left has been trying to unseat Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn for well over a year. Their effort received another boost today from the New York Times. It deserves a response.

The Times says that Finn’s conviction of a misdemeanor “stemmed from his failure to report the Rev. Shawn Ratigan to the authorities after hundreds of pornographic pictures that Father Ratigan had taken of young girls were discovered on his laptop in December 2010.”

[NB] That statement is factually wrong. On October 15, 2011 the Times mentioned there was “a single photo of a young girl, nude from the waist down,” and “hundreds of photographs of children” showing “upskirt images and images focused on the crotch.”

Now anyone who takes such pictures is clearly disturbed. But it also needs to be said that crotch shots are not pornographic. Moreover, the diocese described the “single photo” of a naked girl to a police officer who served on the diocesan sexual review board, and he said it did not constitute pornography. So why would the Times say that “hundreds of pornographic pictures” were found two years ago this month? The record shows that it was not until after the diocese called the cops in May 2011 that porn pictures were found on Ratigan’s computer.

On February 23, 1998, a Times editorial railed against those who try to equate “nude photographs of children” with child pornography. So it is more than just a little hypocritical of the Times to now feign indignation over a single photo of a nude child.  [That was then and this is now.  Moreover, the Times types happily exalts all manner of filth in the entertainment industry and upholds the creators of that filth.]

Under Bishop Finn, the review board was contacted, the authorities were notified, and an independent investigation was ordered (the Graves Report). In short, Bishop Finn deserves better. The attack on him, coming exclusively from the Catholic Left, smacks of an agenda.

Contact our director of communications about Donohue’s remarks:
Jeff Field
Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: cl@catholicleague.org

Could the situation in Kansas City, with that sick priest, have been handled better?  Sure.  Does that justify the spread of false information?

Pray for  Bp. Finn, that he make the correct decisions.

Pray against Hell’s Bible and the Fishwrap, that they rapidly change their ways or go out of business.

Psalm 5 (RSV):

1 To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD; give heed to my groaning. 2 Hearken to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to thee do I pray. 3 O LORD, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch. 4 For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not sojourn with thee. 5 The boastful may not stand before thy eyes; thou hatest all evildoers. 6 Thou destroyest those who speak lies; the LORD abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men. 7 But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee. 8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of my enemies; make thy way straight before me. 9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre, they flatter with their tongue. 10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against thee. 11 But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee. 12 For thou dost bless the righteous, O LORD; thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield.

Catholic League about Hell’s Bible’s attack on Bp. Finn
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37 Responses to Catholic League about Hell’s Bible’s attack on Bp. Finn

  1. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, you said “Pray against Hell’s Bible and the Fishwrap, that they rapidly change their ways or go out of business.” Well in case you missed it due to your travels, the “Fishwrap” published an editorial Dec. 3 stating clearly their desire for female ordination. Now is the time for those in authority to take action against them for using the word “Catholic” in their corporate name.

    They said, “Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.”

    http://ncronline.org/news/people/editorial-ordination-women-would-correct-injustice

    [No, I saw it. It’s just plain stupid and heretical. However, I saw that they hijacked Newman in favor of their dopey argument. I might write about that.]

  2. Lisa Graas says:

    Remember when the Times decided to stop praising pedophilic movie producer Roman Polanski? Me neither.

    I support Bishop Finn. I think he did everything possible to protect children, given the information that came out as a result of the investigation. Efforts to remove Bishop Finn may be political given that it’s so clear that he did what any reasonable person would have done in the same situation.

    We can do more good in our prayers for Bishop Finn than in anything else we may do for him, so…let’s pray for him.

  3. Lisa Graas says:

    In reply to acardnal’s comment, I agree, but in the meantime the blogosphere should work together on that. I think that if I link to them, I will refer to them as “National [Not So Catholic] Reporter” or something to that effect. Father Z does well to refer to them as “Fishwrap.” Call them what you like, but don’t call them Catholic.

  4. LisaP. says:

    Sorry, much as I am not a fan of the Times I would consider the pictures as you describe them to be pornographic, because of their obvious purpose.

    I am happy to believe that there are good priests who simply don’t “get” evil of this kind and don’t see it when it’s in front of them, although I do think it’s sadly part of a shepherd’s job to know what a wolf looks like. I also understand that not everything evil is illegal, and this may well have fallen under this umbrella.

    I don’t know the case well enough to understand what the parish did in response to this discovery, did the Father have a very strong response simply not a legal one?

  5. LisaP. says:

    Is it accurate that these photographs were taken by Ratigan himself? Not culled off the Internet?

  6. Charles E Flynn says:

    New York Times Seeks Buyouts From 30 in Newsroom, by Christine Haughney, for the New York Times.

  7. Scott W. says:

    Indeed, I’m with LisaP. Yes, NYT is a cesspool of obfuscating inaccuracy. Yes, we desperately need more orthodox bishops. Yes, much of our current nightmare stems from the very liberalism that Bp. is opposed to. But I simply cannot throw my support for someone because pictures don’t quite manage to rise to a technical definition of pornography. Let this one go, folks. We are desperate for orthodox shepherds, but not that desperate.

    [Reread my comments at the top. The point here is that the NYT does not get a free pass to publish things are are not true. That’s the point. Could Bp. Finn have handled the situation better? Yes. I wrote that too. Right? But the NYT published something that wasn’t true. That is what the CL was pointing out.]

  8. Cathy says:

    @Lisa P, if I recall correctly, the photographs were discovered by someone hired to fix the computer of the priest in question, and his response was attempted suicide. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=10418. In the age of digital photography, it is quite possible to take a picture, then later to zoom in and crop a photo. In the cultural age where “art” and “free speech” and “educational purposes” constitute license over common sense, the legal determination in US courts of what constitutes pornography or pornographic images or pornographic literature is stretched.

  9. LisaP. says:

    Thank you, Cathy, for that reference.
    Obviously this is a situation more complex than the Times characterizes it as. I would say that the recharacterization is not as egregious as others I’ve seen, but I understand the idea that this is part of a pattern. Still, I don’t think the League serves its intentions well by parsing what is and is not pornography when clearly these pictures were intended to be used in an immoral manner and these children had been abused, thankfully without their knowledge. I don’t think it serves its intentions well with accusations of “the Times has done worse” — when I taught middle school, that was the preferred defense of every accused, it didn’t cut it then and doesn’t now. I understand the point that the paper is doing a poor job of reporting information and is doing so with an agenda. But I can tell you the League’s response has me thinking only one thing — if a child I knew had been photographed and the photo wound up being used by a priest in this way, the last thing I’d be worrying about is the NYTimes’ response to Roman Polanski or anyone else. Defend the bishop, accuse the NYT, but don’t do it on these terms. I would have preferred more of a “the situation was complicated, here’s why” response.

  10. dominic1955 says:

    I’ve long consigned most of “mainstream media” to the near equivalent of a mere propaganda organ like Pravda. Interestingly, an editorial in Pravda called Obama a communist. I guess they would know…Anyway, the NYT is a joke and they are happy to print any venomous nonsense to try to cut down someone who is their ideological opponent. Actual factual news reporting? Pfssh…that is soooo last century.

    Secondly, anyone can be an armchair general or armchair bishop with the aid of 20/20 hindsight. Folks who like to bellyache and complain about what someone in a place of authority “should have” or “could have” done in a murky situation in which they do not even have all the facts available to them either haven’t had the pleasure of holding an office or some position in which you have to make a judgment call and pull the trigger sometime or you’ve been mighty lucky to never have your pulls questioned. Might have Bp. Finn handled it better? Sure, but he’s HUMAN. No one is ever going to do everything 100% correct 100% of the time. Most of us luck out that our screw-ups never even have the possibility of pertaining to something that will get us dragged accross the coals in secularist media sources and amongst 5th Columnist traitors howling for blood.

    Too bad we didn’t have the Internet until fairly recently. Just think of all the people we consider saints these days that every Tom, Dick, and Harry could have gone over with a fine toothed comb on line! Every skeleton, struggle, misjudgment, poorly worded statement, etc. could have been trotted out before the honorable experts of the Cyber-Star Chamber. What fun!

  11. Correct me if I am wrong but the impression that I get is that the priest
    abusers of children tend to be very left wing in their political and theological leanings.

  12. Nancy D. says:

    Although there may be degrees of pornography, that which sexually objectifies the human person and thus demeans our inherent Dignity as human persons, is pornographic. That which is pornographic or demeans our inherent Dignity as human persons and thus violates respect for the personal and relational essence of the human person, created in The Image of God to reflect Love, is obscene.

  13. LisaP. says:

    Just to be clear, I don’t know at all if Bishop Finn could have done anything better. He and others may well have fought evil with every tooth they had and it doesn’t show in reports like it should. It is one of the lies of modern culture that we think we can know anything at all about a human being or situation from a news report. A friend of mine put it well, she said that whenever we read anything in the paper about something dear to us (a medical condition, a job, a place) we note how wrong they get it, but when we read about things dear to others we assume accuracy. We can’t know anything really important from a news report, even a good one.

    However, when someone does do a poor job of resisting evil, I will not accept “it wasn’t really that evil at that time” or “it wasn’t technically illegal” or “given the bureaucratic and managerial imperatives of the situation he did the best he could”. Even “he’s only human and there’s the fog of war” has its problems, because if you’re saying he made good decisions based on poor info that’s fine but if you’re saying he made bad decisions because he felt no clarity it’s different. No, I’ve never been a general or a bishop. I’ve been a teacher and a mother. And when I screw up, which I do, I do not want anyone telling me it wasn’t a screw up just because it was a hard situation. This is true for all of us when we sin, if I sin I expect to be sorry, to repent, to seek absolution, to try to repair the harm, and to face those who know I have sinned judging the sin. I don’t expect someone to make excuses for why it wasn’t really sinning. Again, I have no reason to believe the bishop hasn’t done exactly that. I’m saying it’s not any different for a bishop deciding whether to call the police about a priest than it is for a mother deciding whether to call the police when her child is abused by a daycare worker. The decision is easier, in fact, for the “general” because it is more abstract.

    The bishop may well have done not a single thing wrong here. But if he did do wrong, we can understand the sin, forgive the sin, pray he repents and God forgives, but we can’t excuse the sin, particularly as not really a sin.

    We just have to be clear. I know this is frustrating because the enemies of the Church will take any seeming wrong and use it to attack. And it seems ridiculous to have to assert in every one of these conversations that, yes, we consider abuse and covering abuse gravely sinful. But it has to be said, loudly and frequently, and Catholic representatives like the League can’t write things that sound in any way like we don’t believe that. It does us no good in that battle to be anything but extremely, extremely clear that we are members of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church abhors all sin. Period.

  14. dominic1955 says:

    True, but there is also the issue in which we have to deal with the government. The Church is merciful, the government usually isn’t or acts like a bull in a china shop when it tries to correct some injustice.

    Thus, does one really want to subject someone to possible destruction of reputation and/or abuse and violence in prison because of a misunderstanding or a heart warming Theology of the Body gloss on pornography? Any sexual acting out outside of marriage is sinful-but something we usually deal with privately. When one might have to bring the State into the matter, one should instinctively want to tread very lightly.

  15. dominic1955 says:

    LisaP.,

    What I said wasn’t directed at you , but since you bring it up how about this. IF Bp. Finn did something wrong, he can go to confession. He can be corrected by his peers, diocesan officials who were actually there, etc. etc. The secular media never does a good job of fraternal correction. It does no good, either way, to whip up a frenzy in the media or a bad taste/opinion in the mouth/mind of the average newspaper reader. Even more so, random people on comboxes if they want to do something constructive, can pray.

    We have to go on the defensive because we’ve let the cultural radicals and the other enemies of religion define the terms. No matter what we say, our enemies will not be satisfied. Let them with ear hear and them with eyes see. Otherwise its margaritas ante porcos.

  16. Athelstan says:

    I support Bishop Finn. I think he did everything possible to protect children, given the information that came out as a result of the investigation.

    I support Bishop Finn as well, but I don’t think he did everything possible.

    Is it the place of Bill Donohue to concede that point in taking on the distortions of the NYTimes? Some may say not. I will say, as someone who admires Bishop Finn a great deal, he has made our job of defending him from such attacks a little harder. It’s astonishing to me that he seemed to have learned how little margin bishops now have in handling these situations.

    There are all sorts of double standards in operation, both by the Times and the Catholic Left. The latter of which hardly said “boo” about far worse transgressions in these matters by its ecclesiastical heroes Rembert Weakland, Roger Mahoney, or Raymond Hunthausen (to name a few). If the same kind of prosecutorial and journalistic zeal unloaded on Finn had been directed at those prelates, the latter would have been on death row.

  17. Scott W. says:

    Reread my comments at the top. The point here is that the NYT does not get a free pass to publish things are are not true. That’s the point. Could Bp. Finn have handled the situation better? Yes. I wrote that too. Right? But the NYT published something that wasn’t true. That is what the CL was pointing out.

    Yes, I agree that the NYT does not get a free pass which I pretty much implied in the statement, “Yes, NYT is a cesspool of obfuscating inaccuracy.” They should always be called out for rank falsehoods. But sometimes the stopped clock is right. We simply can’t dodge the implications of what happened as it pertains to Bp. Finn’s continued role as bishop. Not only did he handle the scandal badly, he spent an exorbitant amount of diocesan money fighting off a misdemeanor charge.

    Anyone who knows me, knows I am full-blown Latin Mass-lovin’ Catholic reactionary, and I agree with you 99% of the time. But my tribal loyalty only goes so far, and Bp. Finn ‘s acts aren’t covered by it.

  18. LisaP. says:

    dominic, I’m happy to factor that in when someone is accused, absolutely, but again it can’t be part of *this* situation at the point where the photos had been discovered. Prudence protects the potentially innocent from undeserved consequences, not the self-deluded from earned but unanticipated consequences.

  19. LisaP. says:

    Sorry, dominic, cross-posting!
    margaritas, hah!
    I do agree we need to speak up when media malign or misrepresent. But I think we have to wisely choose the way we speak. We can defend the bishop on many grounds and we can accuse the NYT when it lies. But saying, “the NYT called it pornography when it really wasn’t” when any mom or dad reading that description wouldn’t doubt at all what it was and be horrified, that’s not helpful, or even right.
    Means, end, is all! :)

  20. dominic1955 says:

    Well, seems to me that was the point of the NYT sloppy use of the term. Some words or phrases bring on more visceral reactions than others. The guy in question might have been a total creepy pervert and only had Anne Geddes picture books sitting around. Maybe that was enough to do it for him. However, you don’t write he had art pic books of cute sleeping babies is you want to elicit a visceral and (usually) illogical reaction. You say he had “child pornography” because whether it was something legitimately OK that can be used wrongly or something that barely skirts the legal definition of “pornography” and has a much more obvious bad use, it sounds much more purient. That phrase conjures up ideas of much worse things than creepy clothed shots or questionable nudes. The NYT type people want “regular folks” to think clerics are creepy child molesters and perverts. So, they should be called on such emo-prop. Bishop Finn should probably have just turned everything over to be investigated considering what happened before but it is not at all the same thing as some faux-prelate satan worshiper protecting one of his fellow child molester ring members.

    I also think that these situations could be handled much more coherently if sex abuse w/ someone under 18 wasn’t treated as the only sin that cries to heaven. It is abhorent, but methinks its a overblown smokescreen for those who support other forms of sodomy and depravity as legitimate lifestyle choices which were once things no decent person mentioned in public. All the while, one of these days those same people will be advocating for its acceptance as a legitimate lifestyle choice.

    Basically, the measuring stick shouldn’t be what Mr. and Mrs. Newspapersubscriber’s gut reaction is, because telling from whom they probably voted for, what kinds of opinions they hold etc. ad naseaum, they probably aren’t the best at wielding cool reasoning. Having kids gives them no authority to decide this case, nor should the rabble be the judge, jury and executioner with useful idiot “journalists” egging them on.

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  22. Cincinnati Priest says:

    I think the thread is going down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding what exactly is or isn’t pornographic. I have not seen the photos (nor do I care to out of some lurid interest). But no one is arguing that they are inappropriate.

    However, commenters here should note the actual timeline. That is the key thing. Catholic League summarizes it at
    http://www.catholicleague.org/assessing-bishop-finns-guilt-2/
    and other places on their website.

    Bishop Finn did in fact act quickly. Police were contacted almost immediately (a detail Hells’ Bible deliberately omits). Fr. Ratigan became suicidal and it is possible that Bishop Finn didn’t remove him immediately in order to avoid him taking his life. There are certain things he would not be able to tell the press out of respect for confidentiality for a priest son — things that did not endanger anyone.

    In fact, by most (objective) readings of the story [i.e. not Hell’s Bible’s], Finn’s actions never endangered children in any way.

    I am not sure that what +Finn did was best, nor am I convinced that he did anything wrong.

    The point is that, sadly, even some of the readers of this blog are falling into the anti-clerical script the media love to propagate: bishop=irresponsible, callous one who covers things up. We don’t want to be unwilling abettors to theis anti-Catholicism, even as we hold our shepherds up to high standards.

    We do not *KNOW* that Finn did anything wrong, so should assume the best and give him the benefit of the doubt until evidence contradicts that.

    It is very easy for someone who is not a pastor, let alone ordinary of a diocese, to say someone has not “done enough” or “acted quickly enough.” Even as a pastor of a medium sized parish, I can tell you that response to crisis situations is much more difficult to do in a timely fashion than most of the lay faithful realize.

  23. Cosmos says:

    I agree with everyone who thinks this statement is walking far, far, far too fine a line.

    A parent or grandparent having a naked picture of their kid is obviouly not wrong, but it would be deeply distrurbing to discover the same image in the hands of a third-party. And it is not merely “inappropriate” to collect those “non-pornogrpahic,” “crotch” pictures; it is deranged.

    The fact that they only later found legally legally pornographic images could prove an interesting twist in a mystery novel, but it is not a winning argument anywhere else. The NYTimes might be misleading on some level, but Donohue is barking up the wrong tree here.

  24. dominic1955 says:

    Thank you, that’s what I am trying to get at. Knowing Bp. Finn to some degree I know he’s not going to “cover up” child molestation and it is frustrating to see people so quick to want to sacrifice someone on the liberal handwringing-altar of “Its for the children!” God forbid we sink to this level for any reason or on any issue. Let cooler heads prevail, let the worldlings say what calumny and detraction they are going to say regardless.

    Also, I am always very weary of demands of “acting quickly enough”. Some may say its common sense or the choice it obvious but reality demands weighing options. It is not like watching a movie in which you know who the killer is from your audience POV and you as viewer know that if only the cop would blow that guy away right now the whole thing would be over. We all should have grave reservations about any organization or society that can react with immediacy, haven’t their been enough dystopias in our books and movies of the last century or so for even the man on the street to know that this is a bad idea? When we want to trade freedom and liberty for security, we get neither. If we want to set up systems to run degenerates under the bus as quickly as possible, do not acted shocked the day said system is turned on you.

  25. wmeyer says:

    The NYT has for years been publishing things which are not true, and failing to publish things which are true. Granted, they have often merely indulged in misstatements which were less than glaring, but the article in question represents evolution in their writing, not revolution.

  26. wmeyer says:

    Anyway, the NYT is a joke and they are happy to print any venomous nonsense to try to cut down someone who is their ideological opponent. Actual factual news reporting? Pfssh…that is soooo last century.

    And in an age when many think that the phrase “true fact” actually has application.

  27. boko fittleworth says:

    This is a terrible and self-defeating effort by the Catholic League. The proper defense of Bp. Finn, which I’ve read more than once on this blog, is to point out what he did and when he did it. Bp. Finn did act in a timely manner to protect kids. But any time you find yourself arguing that “crotch shots aren’t pornography” you’re gonna lose and you’re embarrassing the rest of us. The CL blew this one.

  28. frjim4321 says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but the impression that I get is that the priest
    abusers of children tend to be very left wing in their political and theological leanings.

    Consider yourself corrected and it’s a bit of a rabbit hole.

    Back on topic, it does not seem that the person with law enforcement experience on the board was acting in an official capacity and thus the necessary threshold for a mandatory report was not reached. In fact the ordinary in question was indeed found guilty of a misdemeanor by a court of law.

    Agreeing with Lisa, Donahue once again makes himself look ridiculous by arguing that up-skirt pictures of little girls are “not pornographic.” I am sure that Donahue would apply the term much more widely when criticizing popular media that is not to his liking.

    It seems to me that the credibility of the church is very much damaged when prelates who enable the sexual abuse of children are not held to account. Although we don’t yet know if the cause is meritorious it has been reported that one family has made a complaint about this priest for an offense which took place between the time that the bishop was told of the pictures and the time that the report to officials was made. The failure to report put other children in danger. It would seem that is the reason for the guilty verdict.

  29. JKnott says:

    Dear Father Cincinnati Priest
    Excellent comment in every single respect! THANK YOU!!!!!

  30. frjim4321 says:

    We do not *KNOW* that Finn did anything wrong, so should assume the best and give him the benefit of the doubt until evidence contradicts that. C.P.

    Ah, C.P., there’s that little fact about him being found guilty by a court of law.

  31. AnAmericanMother says:

    frjim,
    I’ve been practicing law almost 40 years now. You stick to your business, and I’ll stick to mine.
    The bishop was not “found guilty by a court of law” except in the most hyper-technical sense (entry of judgment on a plea of guilty). He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. That is almost completely inconsequential, and given the hue and cry and the obvious campaign against him, almost any lawyer would have advised even a completely innocent client to take the plea (which will probably be expunged on First Offender in about 12 months, although I have no knowledge of the terms of the plea).
    In other words, the stick you just grabbed to beat Bishop Finn with is a banana peel. Drop it and back slowly away.

  32. lydia says:

    Fr.Jim, O.J. was found innocent in a court of law. I’m happy to have a bull dog like Donahue deflecting all the garbage thrown at the Church by the secular left.

  33. Imrahil says:

    On the one hand, the distinction between pornographic and not pornographic seems … in the view of how the pictures were described… odd.

    On the other hand, this is a slippery slope and you cannot trust modern collective consciousness to draw exact lines. That is to say, once we run the line of saying what is now legally not pornography is pornography still, give it a couple of years and a picture of a beautiful girl of 17 or 19 in a summer skirt, personal acquaintance of the owner of the picture who is, let’s say, 7 years older than her, is counted as something illegal too. We wouldn’t want that.

    If we could trust modern collective consciousness to draw exact lines, it would be something different.

    That said, pointing to inconsistencies in the enemy’s attacks is nearly always good.

  34. JKnott says:

    Ah, frjim4321, but there is that little fact about Jesus being found guilt by a court of law and others.

    And our blessed Lord said to his disciples., “If they hated Me, they will hate you.”
    Yes, and there are all those thousands of Catholic priests, political prisoners of Marxist and Nazi , not to mention the French Revolution and other socialist ideologies who have been found “guilty” and slaughtered. Ah, yes. from Church Militant to Beatific Vision.

    Bishop Finn, Blessed are you when they persecute you for Jesus sake.

  35. ByzCath08 says:

    I work in law enforcement, having spent approximately 4 years on child pornography cases and am also a member of my eparchy safe environments board. If you look at the facts in the case, the diocese approached one of their review board members with the fact that 1 image was found and asked for his professional opinion. I can tell you that in most cases, 1 image of any type would not be enough to arrest and indict someone on, let alone a borderline image. The review board member was correct in his statement given the facts that were presented. The diocese had the priest undergo an evaluation & placed restrictions on him. The priest broke those restrictions and the diocese examined the computer again. At that time, they found more evidence of his crime and turned it over to the police.

    While the existence of sexually suggestive pictures is a big red flag, it is not criminal in nature. I believe that Bishop Finn’s actions of having an evaluation take place and placing restrictions on the priest were appropriate with the limited facts that have been released. And when the priest violated those restrictions and more disturbing evidence was found, the immediate contacting of the police was also appropriate.

    And for the record, I do not agree with the actions of the prosecutor in the case. She went overboard, plain & simple.

  36. dominic1955 says:

    Being found guilty in a court of law and doing something wrong are two different things and you know it.

    There is a lot of bad “vibes” in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, it was an ecclesial hell on earth-the new “model” diocese of a “priestless” church not that long ago and a headquarters for heresy and dissent.

  37. Gladiatrix says:

    Er, wouldn’t the Catholic League be better advised to take this up with paper’s ombudsman? This is after all part of the ombudsman’s function. I don’t see the point of issuing statements that no-one at the paper will read, and that no-one at the paper will act on.