Todd Graves, Catholics and a whitewash
Everyone keeps waiting for Bishop Robert W. Finn to do the right thing and resign after his abysmal handling of sex crimes in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
Not going to happen.
Now Finn has taken the next, usual step for people who want to avoid taking responsibility for their actions: He is appointing others to make “independent” reviews of how he and others in the diocese have acted.
In this case the lead item is that former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves will investigate how the diocese has been handling sexual misconduct by priests with children in their care, at churches and at Catholic schools.
The Star reports that Graves specifically will look at a case that’s already in the court system, in which a priest has been charged with possessing child pornography. And Graves is supposed to point to how the diocese can improve its ethics code regarding sexual misconduct.
Bottom line: Graves is the person in charge of making sure this isn’t another whitewash by the diocese to avoid making substantive changes in its policies.
But I’d still like to be a fly on the wall when Graves starts asking difficult questions of top local Catholic officials - especially Finn.
And if Graves calls for Finn to resign or at least be punished in some way, then we’ll have a better idea of whether this was really an “independent” investigation by Graves.