Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bishop Finn is Opus Dei.. 40+ victims file “unprecedented” new lawsuits against pedophile priests in Kansas City

Updated October 6, 2011

Bishop Finn is a member of the Opus Dei and there are now 40 new lawsuits aginst his pedophile priests.

Read our related blog JP2 Army

Third lawsuit filed against KC priest

The Kansas City Star

The parents of a Missouri girl filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that a Kansas City priest now facing state and federal child pornography charges took sexually explicit pictures of their daughter.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of a minor girl by her parents, identified as Mother Doe 186 and Father Doe 186, alleges that the Rev. Shawn Ratigan used the child to produce pornographic pictures, then distributed them over the Internet.

According to the lawsuit, officials with the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese spent months trying to hide the evidence and protect Ratigan.

The civil suit names Ratigan, the diocese and Bishop Robert Finn as defendants and is the third lawsuit to be filed against the priest. It seeks unspecified damages, including expenses incurred for the girl’s medical treatment.

“As we see so often, this case appears to be one of top officials concerned about reputation over safety of children,” said Jeff Anderson, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit. “We applaud the courage of this family for taking action to make this problem known in order to protect children in the future.”

The diocese issued a statement in response to the lawsuit: “While the diocese has noted many inaccurate statements in the civil complaint, it intends to place these false statements into the hands of the court. The fundamental concern of the diocese is for the child and her family. The actions attributed to Shawn Ratigan betrayed their trust and violated the dignity of their daughter.”

Ratigan’s attorney, John P. O’Connor, could not be reached for a response.

According to the lawsuit, the family met Ratigan when he officiated at the funeral Mass of the girl’s great-grandfather at St. Mary Catholic Church in St. Joseph in 2006. After that, Ratigan appeared at Cathedral of St. Joseph School, where the girl was a student, and often visited the family at their home. The visits occurred from 2006 to 2011, the lawsuit says.

In 2008, the lawsuit alleges, Ratigan took photographs and visual images of the girl in her bathing suit, focusing on her vaginal area and buttocks. Around 2009, Ratigan photographed the girl while she was sleeping and fully clothed, the lawsuit says. Those photos indicate that Ratigan moved the girl in order to pose her in a sexually suggestive manner, the lawsuit alleges.

Ratigan then uploaded the sexually explicit photos to his computer and sent them out over the Internet, according to the lawsuit.

Authorities found pictures of the girl, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe 186, and numerous other girls on a computer at St. Mary Parish in St. Joseph and on compact discs found during a search of Ratigan family members’ homes after his arrest in May, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit alleges that instead of notifying police about disturbing photographs found on Ratigan’s laptop computer in December, the diocese “aided and abetted” Ratigan by covering up his behavior, copying and distributing the photos he created and collaborating to destroy the evidence.

The lawsuit cites a federal child pornography statute known as Masha’s Law, which was enacted in 2006 and gives child pornography victims the right to sue anyone who produces, downloads, distributes or possesses sexually explicit images of them.

The law was named after a girl from Russia who was adopted at age 5 by a man who sexually abused her and made recordings of it. Victims can recover damages of no less than $150,000.

To reach Judy L. Thomas, call 816-234-4334 or send email to
Posted on Thu, Sep. 22, 2011 10:48 PM

Showing 1-10 of 13 comments

Finn covered his ears. After something got through that he didn't want to hear, he played dumb and lost. He did so many things wrong, one after the other, that it can't just be a kind of naivete.

This case should lead not only to lawsuits and criminal prosecutions but to disbarments.

Carl Kent
Bishop Finn did his grand jury testimony, surrounded by his FOUR lawyers, undoubtedly
paid for by parishioner contributions.

Catholics must believe that Jesus would have needed four highly paid lawyers to help Him tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Some day, we'll get to see how close
Bishop Finn and his four lawyers came to telling the simple truth about how Finn left a known pedophile around children.
o *

So you have registered under a new name Patrick O'Malley? The same comment is posted on the Pitch story on this lawsuit.
What is wrong with the Bishop having lawyers accompany him to a grand jury session? If so many of you Catholic haters have your way, he is a target of the grand jury and needs to know his rights. Do you think a prosecutor is going to tell him? Have you ever been before a grand jury? It can be more than a little unnerving. This is especially true if you are a potential target. How do you know he had four lawyers. Were you there? Do you know what each lawyer's role was. I would imagine at least one is representing the diocese in civil suits and one or two are criminal experts just for the grand jury.

This is all part of a carefully orchestrated plan by SNAP. I am not saying Fr. Ratigan is not guilty but SNAP is bent on bringing down the Catholic Church.

SNAP is an organization that is deeply entrenched in the dishonest and duplicitous tactics of famed radical Saul Alinsky. SNAP has displayed time and time again that it cannot be trusted. The group is serial in its dishonesty and relentless in its venom for the Church.

Where are the stories in the Star about the recent and incontrovertible evidence that hundreds - and maybe thousands - of claims of abuse against Catholic priests are entirely false?


Carl Kent
SNAP consists of thousands of children that were raped in the Catholic church. Only Catholics would fight such a group. You now know for a fact that thousands of Catholic pedophile priests were guilty, so you can't use that excuse when you go before God on your judgment day. Think up a better excuse to outsmart God, as He sits surrounded by children raped in His church. You have eternity to think of one.

I take it you don't know too many Catholics. You are right we will all be held accountable for our actions... pedophiles and rapists... all of us... so will the people who lied in an attempt to damage the Church His son started... His mystical body and bride.

Judy Block-Jones
This is horrifically sad... So many adults within the diocese knew about these child porn pictures on Ratigan's computer way back in December and none of them called the police. WHY? It is clear they had no concerns for these children.. how is that even possible?

Crimes have been committed, and all those responsible need to be held accountable just like any other human being, so that kids can be protected today.

We just can't stop thinking about these innocent children and their heart broken parents. Their lives have been changed forever.

Anyone who has knowledge or has been harmed in this diocese please contact law enforcement, do not report diocese officials.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511.

"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.
This is just a cut and paste of your post 17 hours ago on the St. Joseph News Press website. Can't you even come up with something original?

Carl Kent
It is original. Its just repeated for a different audience. Remember, statments like yours, that fight against victims of child rape, will be on your final exam on your judgment day.
God reads blog comments now.


40+ victims file “unprecedented” new lawsuit

40+ victims file “unprecedented” new lawsuit

They charge KC’s bishop with “breach of contract”

He breaks 2008 agreement & endangers kids, they say

Suit seeks “continuing supervision” of diocese, not money

Finn pledged to report child sex abuse suspicions to police

But he clearly hid evidence & reports about Ratigan for a year

And for seven months, he kept twice-accused predator priest in parish

Holding signs and childhood photos, about ten clergy sex abuse victims will disclose an unprecedented new, 12 page civil lawsuit charging KC’s Catholic bishop with “breach of contract” lawsuit against the diocese, by:

-- refusing, four months, to report allegations and suspicions about a priest (Fr. Shawn Ratigan) to police,
-- withholding evidence of possible child porn from law enforcement for five months,
-- keeping another sued and credibly accused priest (Fr. Michael Tierney) in a parish for six months, and
-- failing to defrock four suspended and accused child molesting clerics.

The suit seeks no money, but asks a judge to:

--force the bishop to go to arbitration, as he agreed to do in 2008, and
--provide continuing supervision of the diocese to make sure it honors 19 non-economic abuse prevention and healing steps that victims fought for and won when they settled their lawsuits against the diocese three years ago.

SNAP believes this is the first such lawsuit ever in which a group of victims seeks to force Catholic officials to honor promises they made during a settlement.

TODAY, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2:00 p.m.

Outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic church, 3333 Broadway (corner of 34th) in Kansas City, MO

Ten members of a victims’ self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a KC man who is the organization’s long time KC director and at several individuals who were part of a landmark 2008 child sex abuse settlement against the diocese (and are part of the new suit)

In 2008, 47 victims resolved their clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against the KC MO diocese. As part of that deal, they insisted that Bishop Robert Finn and other top church officials commit to 19 non-economic reform steps. Now, in an unprecedented move, 44 of those victims are charging that Finn and his colleagues have broken six sections of the agreement, a total of roughly 20 times, in part by keeping two priests in ministry (Fr. James Tierney and Fr. Shawn Ratigan) despite credible allegations against them and by not reporting suspicions and knowledge of child sex crimes promptly to police and prosecutors.

The suit also says the bishop hasn’t honored his pledge to defrock four suspended or credibly accused clerics.

The 19 non-economic steps were a written contract, the suit maintains, with a provision that assured arbitration if any dispute about implementation arose. Months ago, the victims asked for arbitration but the diocese has refused.

Increasingly, victims are pushing for and winning similar abuse prevention agreements. That’s because victims now realize that most dioceses – with extensive wealth and insurance – aren’t reforming just because they settle civil lawsuits. So more and more often, as part of settlement discussions, victims are devising and fighting for specific commitments by church officials to prevent and reform how they deal with abuse cases in the future.

According to a Boston-based research group, at least 22 KC Catholic clerics stand accused, often several times, of molesting kids. Yet not one of them (nor a single complicit church colleague or supervisor) faces or has ever faced criminal prosecution (with the recent exception of Ratigan who is jailed on child porn charges).

The News conference is being held outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help church because in June, a special mass was held there to "promote unity" in the diocese. That event, SNAP contends, only served to intimidate others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups from coming forward and exposing wrongdoing.
The victims’ attorneys are Rebecca Randles of Kansas City MO and Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN.

David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003,, Mike Hunter 913 634 6490,

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