Bishop Robert Finn is head of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He is also the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic cleric to be convicted in a decades-long child sexual abuse scandal.
In September of 2012, a judge found Bishop Finn guilty on one misdemeanor charge after he failed to report a priest who had taken or possessed hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls. Even though Finn was found guilty in a court of law, he remains the Bishop of the Kansas City – St. Joseph Diocese. Now, many members of our community feel he is unfit to lead and should resign. He is currently the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic cleric to be convicted in a decades-long child sexual abuse scandal.
This isn’t a new problem. Only three years ago, Bishop Finn settled lawsuits with 47 plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases for $10 million and agreed to a long list of preventive measures, among them to immediately report anyone suspected of being a pedophile to law enforcement authorities.
I’m from Kansas City, MO - born and raised Catholic in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. As a Catholic, I believe in forgiveness. But I also believe that forgiveness and change can exist together and that’s why I feel it’s necessary for Bishop Finn to immediately resign. The spiritual, emotional, and moral pain that this issue has caused to Finn’s fellow clergymen, diocesan employees, volunteers, parishioners and faithful must begin to come to an end.
Begin the healing by resigning.