VOTF National Statement — Civil Authorities Hold Bishop Accountable with Finn Conviction; Something Church Unwilling to Do

NEWTON, Mass., Sept. 7, 2012 – Bishop Robert Finn, pastoral leader of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., yesterday became the first bishop, and the highest Roman Catholic Church official, to be convicted in criminal court in America for his role in the Church’s decades-long clergy sexual abuse scandal. Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® decries the fact that our Church, as moral authority, was unwilling to hold Bishop Finn accountable and left it to civil authorities to do so.

VOTF has long felt that our Church will never be healed of the deep wounds clergy sexual abuse causes until the Church reveals secrets that helped spread the scandal, secrets like those Bishop Finn kept. The Church must bolster its child protection guidelines to provide the means and methods of holding bishops accountable if they cover up abuse, placing the institution of the Church above the welfare of children.

VOTF also feels that, as painful as a jury trial for Finn and prosecution of the diocese would have been, the Church would have been better served if the public had been allowed to hear testimony from those harmed by the bishop’s actions.

Finally Voice of the Faithful®, as it has done repeatedly in the past, calls on the Vatican and the bishops to hold accountable those among them who knowingly fail to remove clerics who abuse children and will be looking for the Vatican and United States Conference of Catholic bishops to act regarding Bishop Finn, at least in terms of fraternal correction.

Voice of the Faithful: Voice of the Faithful is a worldwide movement of concerned mainstream Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at https://www.votf.org.

Contact: Nick Ingala, 781-559-3360 Office, 617-291-3495 Cell, nickingala@votf.org