What do you mean 'we,' Kemo Sabe?

Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, who failed to take action against a priest with serious child pornography and boundary violation allegations lodged against him, had a letter read out in all parishes last Sunday. It begins:

These past few weeks all of us have endured the consequences of our human failure. The destructive sins of a few and the serious lapses in communication have caused us shame, anger, and confusion.There are victims that are hurting, and others who have been left vulnerable by our processes. As you know, in the past two weeks, one priest was arrested and we removed another from ministry. They are the first sitting pastors to be removed in our Diocese in more than 20 years.These are sobering realities, particularly for those who knew and trusted them. We are assessing what went wrong and applying our analysis as we move forward. This past week, I met with our Independent Review Board chairman and discussed the objectivity of our decision processes. I have also met with parishioners, our priests and Chancery staff, as well as the media. These meetings and discussions will continue.As bishop, I take full responsibility for these failures and sincerely apologize to you for them. Clearly, we have to do more. Please know that we have --- and will continue to cooperate with all local authorities regarding these matters.

The Kansas City Star has a roundup of the growing dissatisfaction with Finn among the faithful, though it's highly unlikely he'll step down. Most unsettling of all may be the decision by a man, Jim McConnell, training to be ordained a deacon in the diocese, not to pursue that vocation. McConnell wrote this to his parish, in a note also signed by his wife:

Dear Holy Family Parish:After a great deal of soul searching, prayer and reflection, I have decided not to accept the call to Holy Orders that I have received.Because of the recent disclosure of failures within the diocese to protect the people of St. Patrick Parish from harm, I cannot promise respect or obedience that is a part of the diaconate ordination. To me this breakdown in the system that was put in place to protect God's children is inexcusable.It is with great sadness that I must inform you that I will not be able to serve Holy Family Parish as your deacon. Holy Family has been my spiritual home for over 30 years, and I have received great love and support during many joy filled and sometimes very difficult events in my life. Cindy and I will continue to support Holy Family in what ever way we can and wish to express our appreciation and love to all of you.Jim and Cindy McConnell

H/T to Catholic World News

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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