Lincoln, Neb., Feb 5, 2016 / 11:29 am
Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln defended his decision to allow Bishop Robert Finn, former bishop of Kansas City, Mo., to take a position as chaplain of a community of religious sisters in the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb. saying that justice for his past negligence “has been served.”
“The Church in Lincoln is committed to serving and protecting our people,” Bishop Conley said in a Feb. 4 column in the Lincoln Journal-Star. “We will do that without further punishing those who have already met the demands of justice.”
In September 2012, Bishop Finn was convicted on a misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected child abuse after he and his diocese did not disclose that lewd images of children had been found on a laptop belonging to Fr. Shawn Ratigan, a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City, in December 2010.
Bishop Finn was sentenced to two years’ probation for failing to report suspected abuse and he retired from his position as bishop in April 2015.
“Because of serious acts of negligence under his leadership, Bishop Finn faced serious penalties,” Bishop Conley said.
“He faced a criminal court, and served the sentence he was given. He resigned his leadership position in the Church. He also accepted responsibility for his actions, and he has expressed sincere regret to those whom his negligence may have harmed,” he added.
In December 2015, Bishop Conley announced that he was inviting Bishop Finn to serve as a chaplain for a community of religious sisters who are long-time friends of his and who reside in the Diocese of Lincoln.
Allowing Bishop Finn to serve as chaplain for a community of religious sisters will in no way place him in “a position of authority, administration, or oversight.”