Bishop Finn: guilty.

A judge has convicted Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph on one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspicion of child endangerment, making him the highest-ranking U.S. church official -- and the first U.S. bishop -- to be convicted in the sexual-abuse crisis. More from the Kansas City Star:

The charges stemmed from the churchs handling of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, on whose laptop a diocesan vendor found hundreds of lewd photos of young girls in December 2010. Finn's second-in-command at the diocese, Monsignor Robert Murphy, did not report the photographs to police for five months.

(...)

Finn and the diocese had been scheduled to start a jury trial in less than three weeks, but in a surprising move Wednesday, the matter was reset for trial in front of Torrence only. Lawyers limited the case to a narrow range of facts, which were expressed in 69 paragraphs submitted to Torrence at the hearing. Torrence listened to about 25 minutes of summary from attorneys then took a half-hour break before finding Finn guilty based on those facts.

Those facts included an acknowledgement from Finn that he is a mandated child abuse reporter under Missouri law. The stipulation also contained a long recitation of the now-familiar facts of the case with a few new insights.

Read the rest here.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

Also by this author
An illiberal mandate.

Please email comments to letters@commonwealmagazine.org and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads

Politics
Religion
Culture
Culture
Books
Books
Collections