Singing Nuns defend Embattled Bishop

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Do you remember there is an album of Advent music available?  The wonderful Benedictine Nuns in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph provide it.

Here are a few little samples.

The UK link is HERE.

These same sisters are defending Bp. Robert Finn, who has been so aggressively attacked by the Fishwrap (HQ is in KC, MO).

At LifeSite:

Missouri nuns defend Finn: ‘Our bishop is a man who inspires faith’

Hundreds of thousands of Americans know and love what would otherwise be an unknown band of traditional Benedictine nuns living in rural Missouri. Thanks to their glorious singing, which has topped the music charts time and time again, the contemplative Benedictines of Mary are famous. Their ‘Lent at Ephesus’ album spent 20 weeks at the top of the Classical Album chart this year.

These contemplative nuns are today speaking out in defense of their bishop, Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO, currently the number one target of the liberal media in America and unwilling to be defended by brother clergy in the country.

“Our Bishop is a man who inspires faith, holiness, and a great zeal for the things of God,” said Mother Cecilia, the young vibrant prioress for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews.com.

After praying that someone’s voice would be heard in his defense, Mother Cecilia embraced this unexpected opportunity to speak out on behalf of Bishop Finn, who has been singled out over several years for censuring in the Church’s sex abuse scandal, even leading to a Vatican investigation.

“It breaks my heart that so many people only know about him what they hear from the blaring voices of the media and news outlets which have carried a prejudice against him from the beginning,” Mother Cecilia said. “Our community was shown the tenderness of Holy Mother Church through Bishop Finn.”

Since assuming leadership in 2005, Bishop Finn has taken steps to refocus the diocese’s direction, including changes to staff and programs, and ensuring the diocesan newspaper operates faithfully. These changes have angered liberal Catholics opposed to the Church’s orthodoxy.

“Ten years ago, Bishop Finn was thrown into the midst of a diocese known far and wide for being a hotbed of heterodoxy and dissent,” Mother Cecilia said. “He made necessary and important changes right from the start, and those who were displeased have never forgotten nor forgiven.”

Mother Cecilia has heard many stories from the pre-Finn days, the most poignant being one in which a Kansas City woman described her horror when during his homily, a priest smashed the high altar with a hammer.

“Amidst energies, money and agendas that are directed toward secular and even sinful ‘progress,’ there is a striking lack of sympathy for the spiritual suffering that countless Catholics had been enduring for the previous two generations, where everything they held sacred was torn to pieces before their eyes,” she said.

These spiritually disenfranchised souls had no voice, no media outlets, no financial resources, no advocate. But they prayed. And Bishop Finn was the answer to their prayers.” [So are blogs, by the way… but I digress….]

During his time in the diocese, Bishop Finn has fostered explosive growth in vocations to the priesthood and diaconate, opened the cause for canonization of a religious sister, and overseen the building of two new churches, all of which is passed over in media coverage in favor of critics calling for his removal.

“Our Bishop has endured and suffered so much throughout these years,” said Mother Cecilia. She explained that shortly after his arrival, one local paper distributed a scathing eight-page issue dedicated exclusively to biasing the faithful against their new shepherd, placing it in numerous churches throughout the diocese.

“I continue to be amazed and inspired by his humility, charity, and patient resignation amidst so many relentless attacks,” said Mother Cecilia.

Bishop Finn clearly understands the Church’s primary role is to sanctify her individual members, she said, likely the reason he’s drawn the ire of Church foes.

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.

It was the first case of its kind with a U.S. Catholic bishop. He was placed on probation and agreed to regular visits with the county attorney to discuss any abuse allegations made against the diocese. At the hearing where Bishop Finn was found guilty, the bishop received a “suspension in sentencing,” whereby when his probation was completed, he would have no record. The two-year probation has been completed.

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 Missouri attorney Michael Quinlan, who said the statute under which Bishop Finn was charged, in fact, doesn’t even apply to the circumstances of the case.

Regardless, his critics were further emboldened. [Especially during the last few months.]

The Church has faced strong criticism for its handling of clergy sex abuse since the scandal broke in 2002, and the narrative has continued through Pope Francis’ establishment of a commission on the matter.

The Vatican sent a Canadian archbishop to the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese in September for an apostolic visit, assumed to be an assessment of the leadership of Bishop Finn. The result of the visit remains to be seen.

[…]

You really should read the rest there.

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11 Responses to Singing Nuns defend Embattled Bishop

  1. andia says:

    My heart breaks for him. many, many prayers for him.

  2. iamlucky13 says:

    I’m confused. How does this statement:

    “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.

    Co-exist with this statement:

    “Bishop Finn submitted to a one day bench trial and was indicted and found guilty of a misdemeanor for not reporting suspected child abuse.”

  3. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    If this account is accurate, a certain Cardinal’s dragging Bishop Finn’s name through the mud on “Sixty Minutes” seems pretty despicable.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/missouri-nuns-defend-finn-our-bishop-is-a-man-who-inspires-faith

    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.

    It was the first case of its kind with a U.S. Catholic bishop. He was placed on probation and agreed to regular visits with the county attorney to discuss any abuse allegations made against the diocese. At the hearing where Bishop Finn was found guilty, the bishop received a “suspension in sentencing,” whereby when his probation was completed, he would have no record. The two-year probation has been completed.

    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 Missouri attorney Michael Quinlan, who said the statute under which Bishop Finn was charged, in fact, doesn’t even apply to the circumstances of the case.

  4. disco says:

    I was positively disgusted when my own bishop gleefully told Norah O’Donnell of 60 minutes that Bishop Finn wouldn’t even be allowed to teach Sunday school in the Archdiocese of Boston.

  5. TomG says:

    Disco: Please don’t tell me you mean Cardinal O’Malley.

  6. JesusFreak84 says:

    I remember reading about this, and the Vicar General seemed FAR more responsible for all of this than ++Finn, yet the former was never charged, or even looked at. The Bishop’s taken the fall for all of it.

  7. Magash says:

    Bishop Finn took the fall because, as a good shepherd and a real man, he realize that as with captain of a ship, the responsibility rested with him, even if it was not his fault. That’s what real leaders do. How they behave, not the behavior we see so much in politics and business int he U.S. in this age.
    That a brother bishop, and Cardinal, who should know better, would throw him under the bus, is a travesty. To do so in such a public manner borders on calumny, in its real sense as a mortal sin against Bishop Finn. The Bishop is, I am sure, too much a gentleman too publicly call him on it. Hopefully another bishop will, with charity and in the spirit of fraternal correction.

  8. ghp95134 says:

    TomG sez Disco: Please don’t tell me you mean Cardinal O’Malley.

    I’m not Disco …. but that is exactly who he means.

  9. Mojoron says:

    The KC Star is always hungry for scandal when it comes to Catholic priests. There has been much to have scandal about, to say the least. Former Bishop Hart of the Diocese of Wyoming, who was a priest in my parish when I was a tyke, has been brutally attacked because of an event with a teenager who eventually took his own life. I know both parties very well and love them both. I frankly don’t know who to believe, but the family is totally screwed up because of the death, and rarely go to church. The mother died a broken woman, she worked at the parish as a secretary for thirty years. I wish there was a way to end these crises.

  10. The Cobbler says:

    What the good fellow with the Commander Keen avatar said.

  11. Maeana says:

    Bishop Finn is a bishop that any diocese would be truly blessed to have. He has had sharks looking for the tiniest drop of blood to attack, and with this case, they found it. I’ve read the facts of the case, and am honestly not sure what he should have done differently. I’m quite sure that Satan is seeing the good being done in the Kansas City diocese (numerous vocations, traditional orders, new churches), and is doing his best to destroy that good. Thank goodness for the voices speaking out for him.