Resign now, Bishop Finn
The Kansas City Star
Bishop Robert Finn should have resigned months ago. He didn’t. He resisted calls by other Catholics to leave as the leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese.
But now there’s no need for Finn to stay. He must go.
His words, as generally recounted by one of his employees in a sworn deposition earlier this month, damn him further in the child sexual abuse cases roiling the diocese.
“Sometimes priests do things they shouldn’t,” Finn reportedly said to the diocese’s computer director when told of lewd images of a child, found on a priest’s computer.
Then this: “Sometimes, boys will be boys.”
That phrase will resonate around the KC area today and in coming days, because it goes to the heart of how some Finn critics have always thought of top Catholic officials: They want to protect the abusers (priests) at the expense of the abused (the children).
But late Thursday, this story took a bizarre turn when the employee, through a lawyer, attempted to take back her sworn testimony, saying the “boys will be boys” phrase she attributed to Finn was not uttered in that way.
Left unsaid: Exactly what Finn did say.
Even before today’s events, Finn should have resigned.
Finn is essentially accused of not stepping in and doing his duty to protect children from the priests who worked for him and the diocese.
If Finn’s mindset was as reported earlier in the employee’s deposition, he is not going to be respected as someone who can be trusted to handle that crucial duty of making sure children are not abused in the future.
The new report today also brings up another old issue: Why didn’t Bishop Finn insist on seeing the pictures that were so upsetting to the people who were reporting to him? Couldn’t they have forced him to decide more quickly exactly what actions to take with the priest in question?