Fair or Foul: Catholic priests speak truth to power in Finn survey

2012-12-03T16:00:00Z Fair or Foul: Catholic priests speak truth to power in Finn survey stltoday.com

FAIR: To the priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese who were courageous enough in a private survey commissioned by the diocese itself to say they have lost confidence in their leader, Bishop Robert W. Finn. The survey of 40 priests was conducted by Church Development. The New York Times reported Monday that it had obtained 32 of the responses and that the priests in half of those expressed serious doubt about whether Bishop Finn should continue as their leader. Several of those priests suggested that he resign. The priests were identified by name and by the churches they lead.

According to the Times, several priests in Kansas City have written to Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. representative, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, calling for Bishop Finn’s resignation. Bishop Finn, 59, is the first U.S. bishop convicted of failing to report criminal sexual activity by a priest. Bishop Finn is a St. Louis native who was ordained in the St. Louis Archdiocese. He was found guilty in September of covering up for the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, who has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.

— Deborah Peterson

Deborah Peterson is a member of the Post-Dispatch editorial board.

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