First US Catholic Bishop Criminally Convicted of Failing to Report Sex Abuse Resigns

CathedralpictureThe first US Catholic bishop to have been criminally convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse has resigned his position as bishop of the Diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City, Missouri.

Bishop Robert Finn’s letter of resignation to Pope Francis was accepted and announced by the Vatican today.
Calls for Finn’s resignation have increased since his criminal conviction in September 2012 for failing to report a former diocesan priest, Shawn Ratigan, who was found to be producing child pornography. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “Because of that incident, Finn served a two-year suspended sentence in Jackson County, Mo., and struck a deal later that year with a Clay County, Mo., judge to avoid a similar charge by entering a diversion compliance agreement that included regular meetings with the county prosecutor for five years.”

A Vatican commission known as the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors had been meeting concerning Finn’s status and it is believed that the Commission was influential in obtaining Finn’s resignation from office at the relatively young age of 63 (bishops are required to tender their resignation to the Pope upon the 75th birthday).

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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