The local Roman Catholic diocese has attracted worldwide attention for its problems with child abuse, particularly for Bishop Robert Finn who is the first and only U.S. bishop to be convicted of failing to report suspected abuse.
Later this month, the Diocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection will release its second annual public report on abuse in the parishes. The report is one of several big steps the Diocese has taken in recent years to address abuse, but some say these steps aren’t enough.
Leaving nearly 8 months preparation time for prosecution and defense, a Jackson County Circuit Judge has set a late September trial date for the Bishop of Kansas City and St. Joseph and the diocese as an entity. The case will be a first of its kind in the nation.
Recent events in Kansas City have raised a new public furor about abuse by Catholic priests, but no one really knows how long the problem has been going on. According to the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, nearly 16,000 abuse victims have spoken out nationwide since 1950.
The quest for discovery of evidence in an alleged priestly abuse case in Kansas City is turning more complicated. A Jackson County Circuit Judge has ordered a third party to turn over records. And its executive director says he will not.