Friday, May 8, 2015


 Daniel, one of my commenters in another post uses the puritanism of Americana politics and legal scrupulosity to try to silence dialogue, common sense and understanding concerning what has happened in Kansas City--this is a tactic that can no longer work in the wild new world of blogdom. Please note that there is no hierarchy of crimes cited in his comments, all crimes are equal (similar to Protestant theology that all sins are equal), no distinction between mortal and venial. He also indicates that a priest has no right to voice his opinion on the matter, he should be silenced and stand down which I presume means removed or defrocked! The height of liberalism's arrogance. This is what he wrote:

"Bishop Finn pleaded guilty, like thousands of criminals do everyday, and when you do that, you forfeit any right to say, "Yeah, but."

It seems like it is the Rev. Lockwood who is trying to muddy the waters by dragging in politics, church politics, abortion, etc., none of which have anything to do with the case.

Having admitted guilt, former Bishop Finn should accept responsibility, make amends and ask the Rev. Lockwood to stand down."

I think this blogger's editorial below is quite excellent and shows how a secular agent of the state claiming the veneer of Catholicism is trying to intimidate a married Catholic priest (former Episcopal priest, became Catholic, with wife and children) who happens to be the Parochial Administrator (Pastor) of a parish by addressing directly his parishioners and evidently using tax payer monies to do so. It sounds like Communist Poland doesn't it?

This is from a blogger in Saint Louis and his blog is called :

Prosecutor Writes Letter to Fr. Lockwood's Parishioners

I guess this is America. 

The Jackson County Prosecutor has seen fit to write a letter directly to the parishioners of Christ the King Parish to counter the letter of the pastor, Fr. Gregory Lockwood, who wrote to them in support of Bishop Robert Finn.  

Just wrap your mind around this, people.  A pastor writes a letter to his flock, giving his opinion about a Church matter involving their bishop. First, SNAP wants him disciplined. Now, a county prosecutor uses the power of her office to attempt to refute him. Why?  Because the Church cannot be allowed to support a faithful bishop against the secular power, no matter the reason.

You see, Fr. Lockwood has committed Thoughtcrime, and after the Ministry of Truth has stated it wants him thrown down the memory hole, we now hear from the Ministry of Love with a not-so-subtle shot across the bow.

This letter, and Fr. Lockwood's original letter, can be read in full at the link above.  But here are some key excerpts with my commentary.  It begins this way:

"The recent letter sent out by your pastor laid out misinformation regarding State of Missouri v. Robert Finn.  This letter is to address some of those misstatements."

Where exactly is the Jackson County budget line to cover direct appeal letters from the Prosecutor to ordinary citizens in order to make sure everyone tows the party line?  And can we assume that Jackson County will provide Fr. Lockwood with the funds to reach every reader of the Kansas City Star in order to respond to this extraordinary letter?

Hello?  A governmental prosecutor is writing to citizens directly in order to rebuke someone who disagrees with her!  Is this OK with you?

But, Dear Reader, don't worry. She went to Catholic schools:

"I was raised in the Catholic faith and attended Catholic schools. My education was guided by Catholic nuns who ran a disciplined school in a four-room schoolhouse for grades one through eight..." 

And so on. It is so common a tactic as to be unremarkable that whenever someone dissents from the Church, holds the Church up to ridicule, disavows the Church, or persecutes the Church, they make sure to establish their pew-cred by citing their oh-so-Catholic education.  I say it again: if there is any greater indictment of Catholic education since the '60s than the ungrateful treatment by, and illogical thought of, its alumni, I don't know what it is.

Great.  So, she went to Catholic schools.  Check.  Loves those nuns. Check.

And, don't be fooled, she assures parishioners in this direct popular appeal to them, she is not motivated by politics:

"I run this office as a prosecutor, not a politician..." 

[...]"Having the courage to stand up to those in power and hold dangerous criminals accountable for their behavior is a necessary component of the position of prosecutor."  

Is that her description of Bishop Finn?  A dangerous criminal? Really?

And so, with a final appeal that someone please, please think of the children, she ends.

I'm glad this former Democratic State Representative who was previously endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America (what used to be known as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) took the time to assure parishioners she wasn't politically motivated and that the well-being of children is so important.

As for Fr. Lockwood, as you can imagine, he is under considerable fire for daring to speak his mind. He could use your prayers.  As you may know, he is a married priest ordained with Vatican permission, and has a family.  Without going into details, his family has had its share of difficulties that make him the last person who would be soft on sexual predators.  But that is beside the point of this letter which, regardless of the sincerity of the prosecutor in her claims, is in effect an effort to intimidate the Church and her pastors.

Hope you're OK with that.

My final comments: Isn't it interesting that the very judicial system and person who prosecutes a bishop for failing to report properly a priest who has committed a crime, is quite in favor of the wholesale slaughter of innocent children in the womb if the mother so chooses and the state so allows. 

Yes, abortion is very much linked to the hypocrisy of this so-called Catholic who in her own self-righteous way upholds one law that is meant to protect children and avows approval of other myriad of laws that protect the right of a woman to massacre her child in her womb.  Does anyone but me see a disconnect here?

Hypocrisy is hypocrisy no matter which way it is spelled even from a self-righteous, hypocritical so-called Catholic prosecutor.  Shouldn't the full force of Catholic Canon law be used against her if she is a supporter of abortion rights and thus complicit in abortions?


JBS said...

Whatever one thinks of Bishop Finn, it's easy enough to see that he was criminally negligent, but it's also easy enough to see that he wasn't deliberately protecting a child molester. As soon as he knew Ratigan was a molester, he reported it. The problem is that he should have reported it when he still only suspected this.

All of this should serve as a warning to spouses, neighbors and others who suspect child molestation: you must report your suspicions.

Anonymous said...

And Francis removes and publicly humiliates another bishop who actually believes and teaches the Catholic Faith while someone like Cardinal Danneels is specifically named by Francis as a representative to the upcoming synod on the family. Danneels, who was proven by the courts to have protected a priest who molested his own nephew. Is this merciful. And the newly appointed bishop in Chile, who literally had the mitre ripped from his head because he was accused of protecting a pedophile priest, appointed by and protected by Francis. Is this mercy. All true facts Father. Facts. Facts are not attacks, they are facts.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is not clear to me if Bishop Finn was the one who decided to tender his resignation given the divisiveness his tenure has generated exacerbated by this misdemeanor conviction, that some say was not applicable, but I will defer to legal council on that.

It is quite possible that Bishop Finn chose to resign and that if he hadn't he'd still be bishop today. But we don't know for sure. He is a man of scruples and right intentions despite the mistake of this particular misdemeanor criminal conviction.

JBS, even if Bishop Finn is in fact guilty of a misdemeanor crime as the law now confirms in his conviction, would not the better tact to take in his regard be a canonical judgement about the whole episode and rather than a resignation, a period of public penance and a forgiveness and reconciliation with his flock in the Diocese of Kansas City.

Why should political and religious pressure for a crime of this nature be the cause of the death penalty for this bishop? Where is the Church of Mercy in this regard and in one since I agree with the comment above that there is inconsistency with Pope Francis in applying this Mercy and standing up to secular powers and ideologues in the Church who wanted Finn crucified.

And what about a canonical process against public Catholic, such as this prosecutor, who support abortion rights and are pro-choice and yet still call themselves Catholic? Shouldn't the Church prosecute them in the way the Church can through Catholic tribunals?????

JusadBellum said...

Thus we see people straining out the gnat while swallowing the camel.

We accept politicians and other prominent politically correct folk knowingly accept egregious evil in their midst or get away with crimes that would send any of us to prison for life (like "forgetting to pay taxes for 4 years" but being allowed to "re-file" with an "oops").

We accept that a private person may hire another private person to kill a completely innocent, completely defenseless, completely harmless child... but then get in high dungeon when a Bishop who didn't know evil was done wasn't clairvoyant enough to "do something!" when every single immediate witness didn't do anything either and yet they skate.

Gnat....camel. It's about scapegoats and the human need to avoid responsibility by heaping all the responsibility on someone sufficiently removed from the situation. Someone "expendable".

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

There's much more to the Bishop Finn story than his conviction for failing to report sexual misconduct of a diocesan priest.
While I think that that fact alone justifies his removal, there is a history of other actions to be considered.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

How do you know for sure former PI that he was removed and didn't resign on his own. It is plausible.

What other civil criminal charges has he avoided that could have had him removed as a bishop?

What canonical charges could have been applicable which you imply you know? Come clean.

Keyser Soze said...

Dear Fr. K:

Instead of cryptically dropping hints, why don't you give us some specific "actions" that need to be considered. Considering the mess that Raymond Boland left that diocese in, many of us think Finn did an outstanding job.

As for the prosecutor, who would be surprised? Liberals and modernists are never gracious in victory and always bitter in defeat.

JusadBellum said...

The whole blaming of the bishop for "failure to report" is the issue: a dozen people closer to the situation knew more and sooner than the bishop did and ALL of them had the same "duty to report" as the bishop did.

That duty was to report this to the police NOT up the chain of command to the bishop.

So why is the bishop in hot water and NONE of the lay people actually involved in the case?

The Bishop could use canon law to remove the priest but no bishop can incarcerate a person. Only police can physically remove people from the public space. Ergo, if the prosecutor wants to "save the children" then she would want the police involved....and thus the 'duty to report' and consequent legal obligation to report lays at the feet of the laity involved who didn't call the police.

But I get it. The actual guilty parties must be held innocent so we can "get" a conservative bishop kicked out.

It's the same old typical passive aggressiveness we've come to expect from the 60's generation.

I for one would LOVE to see these folk actually debate the merits of their ecclesiology and theology in public.

These smarmy, smug, puffed up theologians with their Ph.Ds and titles are so used to living in an epistemological bubble, surrounded by their own cheerleaders and fawning supporters that they have no idea how flimsy their theories and praxis are. No idea that the reason their churches are empty are due to the sheep not recognizing the Shepherd in their voices and so wandering away....

This is our challenge - to simultaneously overcome the false brothers and wolves in pastoral clothing while also striving against the world, flesh, and devil to make disciples of all the nations.

What a glorious time to be faithful Catholics. We run towards the likelihood of the glory of white martyrdom and perhaps of red martyrdom too.

What glory to be on the "losing side of history" (the world) but on the winning side o the Lord and Judge of History.

Anonymous 2 said...

I post this comment with some trepidation because its purpose may be misunderstood. So, let me say at the outset that I do not have all the facts and I suggest no-one here has all the relevant facts. Instead, what we have are “narratives” (otherwise known as “spin”). This is, unfortunately, symptomatic of the world in which we live. Thus so-called liberals or progressives push their narrative about Bishop Finn and so-called conservatives or traditionalists push their own differing narrative. As these narratives are typically ideologically driven, the resignation of Bishop Finn becomes just another incident in the ideological war within the Church. This is a trap. I have little doubt that many in the first camp may have ulterior motives, and it is therefore proper to call them out on it. But I also have little doubt that many in the second camp may be unwilling to consider “inconvenient facts” that may be present in the situation.

In the absence of a completely objective and impartial source, the only sensible way forward is to make the best judgment possible in light of the competing narratives (to the extent those not privy to all the facts should be in the business of making judgments at all, that is). In that spirit, then, I offer the following article, which perhaps addresses the larger story at which Father Kavanaugh hints. It is from the National Catholic Reporter, and thus part of the first narrative camp. Also, I am in no position to evaluate its claims about questionable tactics by the lawyers representing the diocese. Sometimes the sorts of tactics described are justified, sometimes they are not. Again, it depends on the facts.

I apologize if this article has already been addressed on the blog. I may have missed that.