October 14th, 2011
03:04 PM ET

Kansas City bishop indicted on child endangerment charge

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Catholic Bishop Robert W. Finn and the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of child endangerment, the Jackson County prosecutor said Friday in Kansas City, Missouri.

The prosecution alleges that Finn failed to report suspected child abuse by one of his priests. The class A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000, said prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker.

"This case is about protecting children," she said.

The bishop and the diocese each entered a plea of not guilty Friday, she said.

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate KCTV.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. John


    October 18, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • .....

      GARBAGE ALERT – click the report abuse link this garbage isn't worth viewing. TROLL ALERT AGAIN!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  2. fernace

    I hope this teaches Catholic parents to never let their kids be alone with any clergy! This is hideous & really getting old! Get conrol of your selves Catholic priests! Step away from the kid! This is an epidemic & I think the only thing that will change things is mass protests of the Catholic congregants, such as a mass walk out, protests & picketing! Really, the congregation who continues to worship in a church where clergy have been accused of molesing children are guilty of acceptance by their silence! To those who feel like it's the same old story, I guarantee it isn't for the poor, defenseless kids who are continually being harmed! It kills their souls & many can never have normal relationships when they grow up, because of the shame, the fear, the secrecy & threats that go along with this crime!!

    October 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  3. The Beagle

    It's gotten to the point where this sort of thing isn't even news anymore.

    October 16, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  4. chief

    gotta love people who are apologist for peds

    October 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  5. Keith U

    Can Erin Burnett be objective on the news as a member of the "Council on Foreign Relations"? I would doubt it.

    October 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  6. Yuan Yi Peng (袁毅鹏)

    [ SOS ] Complaint about Human Rights Violations by IBM China on Centennial

    Please Google:

    Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China
    How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media
    IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial

    October 15, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  7. Reality

    While we are at it, lets review the vomit-inducing, pedophilia issues of other religions and throw in the Boy Scouts for good measure:

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_and_child_s-ex_abuse

    “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah's Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child abuse in their congregations. Details of the policy have been published in Jehovah's Witnesses' publications and press releases issued by their Office of Public Information.[1][2] Some details are found only in letters to elders which, while solely for internal use, have been made available on the Internet.”

    From: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1861760_1862212,00.html#ixzz0jg0lEyZj

    “Facing calls to curb child se-x abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and ped-ophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse. "

    Brad Hirschfield: When Priests And Rabbis Commit Se-xual Abuse

    Mar 29, 2010 ......


    “The words used by Pope Benedict and others in responding to the Church's ever-deepening se-xual abuse crises reflect a sickness that is not unique to the Catholic community. In fact, that sickness creeps into all religious communities of which I know, and leaves a trail of victims in its wake every time. I refer to the way in which religious leaders and the communities which they lead wear the mantle of victimhood to cover their naked moral failings."


    "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with s-exual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party.

    At one time the rabbi was so renowned he’d hoped to be named chief rabbi. Alas, that hope is all but dashed as he was charged several years ago with abusing boys at his yeshiva:

    Takana, a rabbinic forum established in 2003 to clamp down on s-exual misconduct by Orthodox educators, went public February 15 with allegations that Mordechai “Moti” Elon had taken advantage of his influence over male students and performed “acts at odds with sacred and moral values.”

    The panel later said that two people, whose complaints alleged acts from about 25 years ago, had been under 18 at the time. More recent alleged acts involved students of Elon who were 18 or older. Since its initial disclosure, the panel reports having received one more complaint of an alleged underage encounter…

    What is unusual about this case is that a splinter group of the Orthodox community is taking the position that the entire prosecution is an attempt to destroy rabbinic authority and the Orthodox movement. It calls for refusal to cooperate with state authorities (or to deal with the charge through a beyt din)."


    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered s-exual abuse as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oregonian.

    Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pe-dophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “pe-rversion files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts doc-umenting claims of se-xual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 YEAR PERIOD."

    October 15, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • .........

      do not read hit report abuse on all reality copy paste garbage

      October 15, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  8. Gary

    It's high time someone started holding these people accountable for their actions and for their inactions. There might be a lot of decent clergy members out there but as long as they continue to pass around and harbor criminals like this they'll only be seen as a religious branch of NAMBLA (or NAMGLA, as this case warrants). It's stuff like this that makes all people of religion (not just Catholics) ashamed of religious officials.

    I had someone joke that the only reason the church is against birth control and for pro-life is because they don't want to cut into their supply of children. It's getting more difficult to deny the logic of these jokes.

    October 15, 2011 at 7:14 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.