The bishop, a staunch theological conservative was already a polarizing figure in his diocese. Since the Ratigan case came to light, there have been widespread calls for him to resign.
SNAP national director David Clohessy wrote to the bishop, pleading him to warn Kansas City parishoners about another priest also under Finn's direction:
November 7, 2008
Dear Bishop Finn:
Please help us protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. Please honor your now-two-month old pledge and warn others about Fr. Thomas Reardon.
And please, until you have done more to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded in Kansas City, withdraw your efforts to elevate yourself within the USCCB and focus instead on being a shepherd to your local flock.
Reardon, as you know, is accused of sexually assaulting dozens of children. When dozens of clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuits were settled, you pledged to write state licensing agencies to warn them about Reardon, who has worked as a drug and alcohol counselor.
As best we can tell, this either hasn’t happened or happened in secrecy. Neither is acceptable.
Father Ratigan was the priest for a local elementary school. The school's principal had written Finn and shared her concerns.
Father Shawn Ratigan was a busy priest:
“Father allows students to climb on him, grab his leg/s and reach into his pockets for candy. When they climb/jump on him, he may swing them up over his head or spin them around.”
At a faculty meeting, “the teachers agreed to intervene” when they saw those behaviors.
•The physical education teacher reported that at a school basketball game, “Father was sitting very close to a first-grade girl, who had wrapped both of her hands and arms around his arm and was trying to cuddle up to him.”
•When the first-grade Brownie Girl Scouts planted flowers at Ratigan’s house, parents said they were concerned about what they found.
“ ‘It’s very kid-friendly,’ one mother said. ‘There is a big fish tank in the living room and stuffed animals all over the furniture.’ There is a giant stuffed animal on the bed in the guest-room and the kitchen hand towels are shaped to look like doll clothes.”
A parent said she found “a pair of girls’ panties inside one of the planters in Father’s backyard.”
During a Brownie visit to Ratigan’s house, the mother of one girl said her husband became incensed “when he saw Father rubbing circles on his daughter’s back.”
I'd just like some of those church higher-ups for covering up and transferring abusive priests be held accountable. A year in jail and a large fine would be an appropriate start.