Slap on the hand for Bishop Finn
The Kansas City Star
Robert Finn has been a bad bishop, Clay County authorities said Tuesday, and apparently Finn agrees. Unfortunately, the county isn’t willing to go the extra mile to actually punish Finn for being a bad bishop.
As The Star reported today, Finn won’t be charged with anything in Clay County related to how he handled child pornography issue involving one of his priests.
Instead, Finn will enter a diversion program with the Clay County prosecutor. That’s a fancy way of saying the county’s going to let Finn off the hook.
Jackson County authorities did not handle Finn with kid gloves. Instead, they charged him with a crime, making him the highest Catholic official involved in such a mess.
Part of the diversion agreement almost sounds like a joke. As a colleague noted, it essentially will require Finn, the bishop, to confess to Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White to stay in line with what the program requires.
From The Star:
“Finn’s agreement with Clay County requires him to meet face-to-face each month with White for the next five years to discuss any allegations of child sex abuse levied against clergy or diocesan staff within the diocese’s Clay County facilities. Finn also is to describe what steps the diocese has taken to address the allegations. White would then decide whether to encourage police to investigate any allegations.”
On Tuesday, Finn issued the predictable pablum about making this move to protect the children, when it’s all about protecting his power, his authority and his job.
“The children of our community must be our first priority,” Finn said. “Each deserves no more and no less.”
White could and should have been tougher on Finn who is, after all, the top authority in the diocese, the one held ultimately responsible for protecting the children.