Cops & Crime
12:44 am
Wed August 20, 2008

Bishop Apologizes For Clergy Sex Abuse

During a hastily called meeting with reporters, the Catholic bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese says it happened, it shouldn't have and he's making amends.

Bishop Robert Finn acknowledges the $10 million settlement of lawsuits against a dozen present and former clergy accused of sexual abuse. Forty-seven people, most of whom were boys and girls at the time, filed suit in Jackson County Missouri Circuit Court claiming abuse beginning as far back as fifty years. The diocese was accused of negligence. Now all are settled.

Bishop Finn will recommend to the Vatican the clergymen be stripped of priestly powers. The Bishop calls for respect for victims and touts a program he says encourages whistleblowers. In his words, "I am here to apologize and to pledge that we will do everything that we can and we have been doing for the last five years in a very focused way to see that this will never happen again."

Bishop Finn promises education and training to avoid a repeat of the abuses.