Thursday, August 25, 2011

KMBC: Bishop Robert Finn subpoenaed by Jackson County grand jury

Bishop Finn has some explaining to do.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Bishop Finn may have some explaining to do to a grand jury.
  • Bishop Finn may have some explaining to do to a grand jury.
Big news in the Rev. Shawn Ratigan child-porn case. A Jackson County grand jury has subpoenaed Bishop Robert Finn, according to KMBC Channel 9's Micheal Mahoney. However, Mahoney doesn't know when, or even if, Finn will appear before grand jurors.

We don't know exactly what grand jurors are looking into in the case. Could they be reviewing why it took the Catholic diocese five months to report Ratigan to authorities? Or maybe they're considering Ratigan's placement at an Independence mission house that allowed him to allegedly victimize a 12-year-old girl on Easter Sunday — the same girl whom he allegedly took naked pictures of when she was 6 years old. Or maybe jurors want Bishop Finn to explain how a priest shortage is a good reason for keeping around someone suspected of taking child-porn pics of little girls. We just don't know yet.

The Star reports that although the purpose of the probe isn't clear, "a similar panel in U.S. District Court has appeared to focus on Ratigan’s conduct. The Star’s sources suggested that authorities now are concerned with how the Catholic hierarchy handled Ratigan’s alleged misdeeds."

Also from the Star, the diocese's spokeswoman Rebecca Summers showed that she just doesn't get it with this statement.

"We’ve been cooperating with law enforcement since May 12, when Monsignor (Robert) Murphy picked up the phone and telephoned the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department to discuss this with them," Summers said. "We’ve been cooperating with them since then and have fully allowed ourselves to be interviewed and made ourselves available to the detectives."

Except the diocese knew about questionable photos on Ratigan's laptop back in December. And a year earlier, the principal at St. Patrick School wrote a memo warning the diocese that teachers and parents were concerned about Ratigan's "inappropriate behavior with children."

Saying you were cooperating with law enforcement since May 12 rings pretty hollow.

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