The devil has been winning some major battles in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. First, the devil caused Fr. Shawn Rattigan to sin by possessing child pornography and possibly taking inappropriate photographs of children. Bishop Finn and the diocese then sinned by not fully protecting the children that they are supposed to protect by not turning over the information promptly to the proper authorities. The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is now in turmoil because of those sins.
The people in the diocese are hurting. They feel like they have been betrayed by Bishop Finn. I have heard rumblings of people asking whether or not they can allow their teen to receive the sacrament of confirmation from "that man." Others have asked if the confirmation would even be valid. [it would be--the validity of a sacrament does not rely on the holiness of the priest] People are mad and angry at the man who is supposed to lead them. They do not trust him and having trust is at the core of good leadership.
|Bishop Robert Finn|
Bishop Finn immediately came out after Fr. Rattigan was arrested and stated that mistakes had been made. He stated, "Things must change. I also have to change." He employed the law firm of Graves, Bartle, Marcus and Garret, LLC to conduct an investigation and to recommend changes to the policies and procedure of the diocese. He apologized for the mistakes that the did make.
For healing to start, it is now up to the community of the diocese to forgive Bishop Finn and the other leaders of the diocese for the mistakes they made. And Bishop Finn does not deny that mistakes were made. I get frustrated reading how some organizations, such as the Catholic League, have tried to down play the mistakes and make it sound as if everything that the diocese was okay. I spent several hours reading the Graves report. [I have several thoughts that I'll bring up in another post] The report comes to the conclusion that the leaders of the diocese erred. So don't down play it. Just like we should not rationalize our sins, we should not rationalize the mistakes of the diocese. Let them admit their errors so that they can learn and grow from them just as we learn and grow from our mistakes.
We must forgive and start to move on. I'm not saying forget. We must ensure that changes are made so that mistakes do not happen again. But don't let the devil win. Don't let him shake your faith. I know forgiveness isn't easy. Especially when you are mad. When you are angry and when you feel betrayed. But we must forgive in order to let go and to heal. We must forgive in order to defeat the devil. Yes, Bishop Finn made big mistakes but so are we when we do not forgive.