Bishop Robert Finn, the chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' "Task Force for the Life and Dignity of the Human Person", has been indicted for failing to report child abuse, despite his pledge to report such activity in settlement of a $10 million legal settlement with abuse victims in Kansas City. The Task Force includes the Bishops' Office of Child Protection. The Task Force is a sponsor of the annual Walk for Life, that protests the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion every year in January.
According to the New York Times, the indictment of the bishop, Robert W. Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph by a county grand jury was announced on Friday. Each was charged with one misdemeanor count involving a priest accused of taking pornographic photographs of girls as recently as this year.
The priest accused of taking the lewd photos, Father Ratigan, was a frequent presence in a Catholic elementary school next to his parish. The principal there sent a letter to the diocese in May 2010 complaining about Father Ratigan’s behavior with children. Then, last December, a computer technician discovered the photos on the priest’s laptop and turned the computer in to the diocese. Bishop Finn acknowledged that he knew of the photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. During that time, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, is said to have continued to attend church events with children, and took lewd photographs of another young girl.