Kansas City bishop charged with sheltering abusive clergyman

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"The taboo against acknowledging that bishops are responsible in these matters has been challenged," McKiernan said.

Finn acknowledged earlier this year that a parish principal had raised concerns in May 2010 that the Rev. Shawn Ratigan was behaving inappropriately around children, but that he didn't read the principal's written report until this spring.

Ratigan was charged in May with three state child pornography counts, and in June with 13 federal counts of producing, possessing and attempting to produce child porn. He has pleaded not guilty and remains jailed.

After receiving the principal's concerns in 2010, Monsignor Robert Murphy, the diocese's vicar general, spoke with Ratigan about setting boundaries with children. He then gave Finn a verbal summary of the concerns and his meeting with the priest.

Last December, a computer technician found on Ratigan's laptop hundreds of what he called "disturbing" images of children, most of them fully clothed with the focus on their crotch areas, and a series of pictures of a 2- to 3-year-old girl with her genitals exposed.

Diocese officials reported the photos to Murphy, who did not report them to authorities and instead called a police captain who is a member of the diocese's independent review board and described a single photo of a nude child that was not sexual in nature.

Without viewing the photo, the captain said he was advised that although such a picture might meet the definition of child pornography, it probably wouldn't be investigated or prosecuted. It was not until this May that Murphy told police Ratigan's laptop had contained hundreds of photos.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, on suggested Friday that other individuals should be charged along with Finn.

"Charging only Finn might allow some to assume that he's the root of the crisis," Clohessy said. "He's not. If Finn died tomorrow, there will remain a very unhealthy, secretive church hierarchy in Kansas City. That's the bigger issue."

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