Two More LGBT Catholic School Teachers Are Fired, and Robert Finn Is Still a Bishop

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 12:11 pm

The purging of LGBTs from the ranks of Catholic school teachers continues. This week’s edition comes to us from Affton, Missouri, where Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro were fired from their teaching posts at Cor Jesu Academy, an all girls school in a suburb of St. Louis in South St. Louis county. The concern is that LGBTs like Reichert and Gambaro aren’t good role models of how a Catholic is supposed to live, and so they were fired.

This might be more believable if the convicted protector of a child-porn producing priest, Robert Finn, wasn’t a bishop down the road in Kansas City.

 

Francis Takes Action to Rein in Vatican Bankers — Will Pedophile-Enabling Bishops Be Next?

By: Saturday June 7, 2014 10:01 am

On the way home from his trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis gave a press conference that hinted about some big future shakeups. The first came out on Thursday, as Francis has put the old guard of Italians who ran the Vatican’s financial operations out and brought in folks with considerable financial expertise who understand — and support — international financial transparency rules. At the same time, Timothy Dolan, the Bishop of Wall Street, tried to dial back some of Francis’ pointed comments about exploitative capitalism (with some help from Larry Kudlow), but experts in Catholic ethics and social teachings took Dolan’s work apart in short order.

Could action on that other scandal be next? Let us pray . . .

The Click of the Camera Should Haunt KC Bishop Robert Finn

By: Saturday February 22, 2014 10:14 am

Bishop Robert Finn, head of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri, has not had a good week as two big stories have put him back in the headlines, and not in a good way. Back in October 2011, Finn was charged with failing to report suspicions that one of his priests was creating child pornography, and in May 2012 he was found guilty and given a sentence that amounts to probation and supervision. Meanwhile, he remains bishop.

But that may change, as these two big stories collide . . .

The Difference Between Boy Scout Executives and Catholic Bishops

By: Saturday October 20, 2012 9:00 am

With the release of the “perversion files” compiled by the Boy Scouts of America, one of the talking points of the Catholic hierarchy and their defenders has gained more support. “See, child sexual abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem.” As Archbishop Timothy Dolan correctly noted last year, abusers are found in the ranks of not only priests but also teachers, coaches, family members, and yes, boy scout troop leaders. But the release of the Boy Scout files also undercuts those same talking points, too. As Archbishop Dolan incorrectly noted, the attention — and the lawsuits — aren’t restricted to the Catholic church.

Both organizations were clearly worried about institutional reputation, and the records in both the church and the scouts show how they worked to cover up, hide, and otherwise keep things out of the media and the courtroom. Both groups need to be, and increasingly are being, held accountable for this failure. But there is a significant difference between the two groups. One tried to weed these abusers out of their leadership; the other shifted these abusers around.

Meet the (formerly) Rev. William Cramer . . .

Bishop Robert Finn’s Next Problem Is Himself

By: Saturday September 15, 2012 10:00 am

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Robert Finn, was convicted nine days ago of failing to report suspicions of child abuse, but the diocesan website is silent with regard to the trial, let alone the verdict. Maybe that’s because of some other documents on the website, published with Finn’s signature, seem to imply that Finn ought to be removed from his position as bishop.

But there are only two people who can remove him — Finn himself and Pope Benedict. I’m not holding my breath waiting for either to act.

A Single Earthshaking Word from a Philadelphia Courtroom

By: Saturday June 23, 2012 9:07 am

Forty-five times the word “Guilty” rang out over the head of Jerry Sandusky, but that’s nothing compared with the single “Guilty” spoken in the Philadelphia courtroom where Monsignor William Lynn was on trial for child endangerment. He didn’t abuse anyone, but moved a priest known to be a danger into another parish, where that priest continued his abusive ways.

That’s the verdict that ought to send shockwaves around the country. Whether you are a bishop, university administrator, or anyone else in a supervisory role, it’s better to face the music for the misdeeds of an underling than to try to sweep them under the rug and pretend nothing ever happened.

Choosing Between Two Visions of Institutional Loyalty at Penn State

By: Saturday November 12, 2011 9:00 am

Institutions faced with allegations of criminal misconduct like the rape of children have a choice. The president of Penn State, following the model used by the bishops of the Roman Catholic church, backed his athletic director and VP for finance unconditionally when they were indicted. But the Board of Trustees took a different path, demanding openness to wherever the investigations by prosecutors takes them. That kind of institutional loyalty will, in the long run, help Penn State come to grips with what has happened in their midst — much more so than attempts to cover up, make excuses, and otherwise keep silent.

I’ve been a campus pastor, and my heart goes out to the campus pastors at Penn State. But one of them has a much tougher assignment than the others: Father Matthew Laffey. The Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia is facing a remarkably similar criminal indictment of Monsignor William Lynn, the former assistant to the former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Lynn faces trial next March on charges that he protected priests he knew to be pedophiles, with the knowledge and support of his boss, the Cardinal. It doesn’t help matters for Father Matthew that Penn State’s Catholic campus ministry is in the middle of constructing the Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center. (That’s Mrs. JoPa.)

Good luck with all that, Father Matthew.

RC Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City Indicted for Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse

By: Saturday October 15, 2011 9:21 am

Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Finn has been indicted on charges of failing to report child abuse by one on his priests.

I’m a Lutheran pastor, and I’ve taught clergy and lay leaders in a variety of denominations — including Roman Catholics — about child abuse and the need to file a report when you have reason to believe that abuse has taken place. When a bishop or any other church official fails to report suspicions of abuse, that’s a crime.

It’s about time a bishop faced a judge for failing to report allegations of child abuse.

No, let me restate that. It’s *well past time* for a bishop to be indicted for trying to sweep things under the ecclesiastical carpet and pretend there’s no problem here. Even so, this indictment is better late than never.

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