Kansas City Bishop resigns

4 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, April 21 2015 Apr 21, 2015 Tuesday, April 21, 2015 10:27:00 AM CDT April 21, 2015 in News
By: Tiege Dooley-Panko, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and KSHB-TV Kansas City

KANSAS CITY - KSHB-TV in Kansas City reported Bishop Robert Finn will no longer lead the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese. Finn traveled to the the Vatican last week where he met with a cardinal and tendered his resignation.

The diocese released a statement Tuesday stating Pope Francis officially accepted Finn's resignation.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas will serve as interim leader of the diocese until a new bishop is selected.

KSBH reported Finn has been under scrutiny for several years after a conviction in 2012 in Jackson County Court of one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse. The trouble began when prosecutors charged Shawn Ratigan, a Kansas City priest, with producing child pornography.

Ratigan pleaded guilty in federal court in August 2012 to four counts of producing child pornography and one count of attempting to produce child pornography.

He served as a parish pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church and was later assigned by Bishop Finn to a group of Franciscan Sisters in Independence.

According to KSBH, Investigators found hundreds of lewd photos on Ratigan's computer of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Finn waited six months before notifying police.

Today's statement from the local diocese included a statement from Finn.

"It has been an honor and joy for me to serve here among so many good people of faith,'' Finn said. "Please begin already to pray for whomever God may call to be the next Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph."

The Vatican said Bishop Robert Finn had offered his resignation under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign early for illness or some "grave" reason that makes them unfit for office.

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