Posts Tagged ‘criminal law’

Months after a high-ranking assistant to a Roman-Catholic archbishop was convicted of child-endangerment and sentenced to prison for three to six years, a sitting bishop by the name of Finn was convicted in Kansas City of shielding a pedophile priest. However, whereas the staffer had been sentenced to prison, the sitting bishop was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation. The New York Times reported the verdict as a “watershed moment” in the priest sexual abuse scandal, but the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests issued a statement indicating, “Only jail time would have made a real difference here.” Indeed, the judge had dropped two charges against the diocese itself. Moreover, it is not clear that Finn truly accepted responsibility for his role in shielding a pedophile. “I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt that these events have caused,” he said just before being sentenced. Well, events did not cause the hurt; such a statement is actually rather strange—pointing perhaps to a certain underlying psychology. Finn himself caused the hurt by enabling a pedophile priest to continue to rape children. Perhaps it is true that only time to reflect in prison could help Finn to confront himself and his conduct as something more than “events.” That such a man could remain as a bishop indicates, moreover, a systemic corruption in his church that ought to be of grave concern to Catholics who would otherwise consider donating their time and money to their church.

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