How Could A Bishop Hide A Child Abuser?

I simply don’t understand how this keeps happening.  My inbox is full, every day, of cases where schools, employers, youth organizations, and churches ignore all the evidence in front of their eyes and fail to act to protect children.  The most recent story is appalling.  In 2012, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City was convicted – not just accused, but convicted – of failing to report child abuse.  He apparently found a priest in his diocese in possession of child pornography on his computer.  Did he report this to police?  No.  Did he call child services to aid the children depicted in the images of child sexual assault?  No.  He sent the priest to a therapist and told him to stay away from children.  I’m sure that is a comfort to all the children the priest abused by trafficking in the images of their sexual assault.

I must admit, all the lessons, speeches, training, documents, studies etc over the last few years have apparently aided children very little.  When a Bishop, after all the church scandals of the past couple decades, all the coaching scandals, the teacher scandals, still fails to call the authorities when he catches a priest abusing children by trafficking in the horror of their abuse, well, we have all failed.  We are failing these children.  As I have said in this space before, I have had to view the images of children being abused.  It is indescribably awful.  There is absolutely no excuse for this failure by the Bishop.  None.  And the fact that the Church waited nearly three years to act on the Bishop’s contribution to the abuse of children, and even now has allowed the Bishop to resign, is disgusting.  The news account I link to at the end of this post doesn’t say, but I sincerely hope the Bishop went to jail.  Sadly, I doubt it.  The conviction was probably a misdemeanor.  What is the violation of the public trust worth?  What is the violation of human decency worth?  What are the children Bishop Finn disregarded in their most urgent time of need worth?  Apparently nothing.  At least, nothing to Bishop Finn and the Catholic Church.


One thought on “How Could A Bishop Hide A Child Abuser?

  1. Liz

    Beyond frustrating. Sadly, children are not a high priority in society. There is too much concern over protecting the offender than their victim. We need to stop looking the other way, stop assuming that just because of one’s religion, socioeconomic status, and gender, they simply could not commit heinous crimes again our children, and start funding agencies who help these kids. Also, there needs to be conversations happening. Many people don’t talk about it because it’s “uncomfortable” for them, and yes, it is an uncomfortable subject but a serious and common problem that is swept under the rug. I can’t wait to finish school this year so that I too can help victims and be their advocate. Thank you for shedding light on this important topic.


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