no end in sight. And, yet, this Opus Dei Groupie seems to have no trouble in perpetuating this controlled fraud, despite pledging to cultivate a conscience and dismantle the lethal moral crisis fueled by the Roman Catholic bishops operating in America.
Like American banks, Finn and his colleagues maintain the attitude that
they are too big to fail. And even though they preach that nobody can
engage in illicit conduct with impunity, they ignore the individual
dishonesty and morality of their cronies in order to aid and abet sexual
predators as a matter of policy. The end result is anomie among believers: the breakdown of institutional standards and values that once were the
hallmarks of shared ideals and the commonweal.
With this in mind, we are reminded of St. Paul:
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider
the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)
We have learned that it is never too late to look back, particularly at the recurrent intensified crises perpetrated on the public by these confidence men.And if the American bishops are unable to cultivate a conscience in the matter of child protection, we can move beyond their cynicism and enforce the rule of law. We can thank the Jackson County prosecutor, Jean Peters-Baker, for pursuing this course, seeking the indictment of Finn; and we await the outcome of another grand jury in Clay County.
Bishop Finn’s Credibility
We do have a concern about Bishop Finn’s credibility with regard to curriculum vitae. His on-line biography states that he received a master's degree in 1979 from the Angelicum as a student at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. We find this information confusing, because Finn was enrolled at Kenrick Seminary at that time and we attended some of the some classes together, sharing the same teacher.
As you know, Bishop Gaydos, Finn is a link the chain that strangles the religious community and the public-at-large in Missouri. You promoted his career as his former vocation director. He was moulded to protect, promote, and expand a corrupt system. We have experienced crisis upon crisis, for more than 40 years now, involving the sexual molestation of children by Roman Catholic priests in Missouri with a rehearsed response of stone-cold silence and the attitude that the church is eternal and these moments will pass from time and fade in the twilight of our memories.
“For a bishop to be indicted is absolutely extraordinary,” according the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and author of “Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Finn, nonetheless, exhibits all the signs of a temperamental, cruel, and unreliable dandy. He professes innocence under indictment, having previously outraged the public by acknowledging that he knew of the Rev. Sean Ratigan photos last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. This occurred despite the requirements of state law.
Bishop Finn has reacted to the crimes against children as if he is the subject
“We will persevere in the many good works that are the hallmark of [our] heritage,” according to the mealy-mouthed statement issued by his office,
absent of apology, sadness, or humility. “With deep faith, we will weather this storm and never cease to fulfill our mission, even in moments of adversity.”
We have documentation of this arc in time in the archives of the Diocese
of Jefferson City and St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary.
In fact, we can document one the most infamous players in the pedophile priest scandal, who honed his skills right here in the foothills of Ozarks: Bernard Cardinal Law. What emerges is a multi-generational management system across the spectrum that spans from Law and John Cardinal Carberry of St. Louis directly to Finn. Finn’s motto for this timeline of events seems to be: “Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne” (Let them grumble.).
Bishops usually think that they are permitted to do whatever pleases them, because of the magnitude with which they view the last vestiges of absolute power. Therefore it is good for these bishops, in our opinion, to submit themselves to the decrees of government and the courts from time to time, lest otherwise they kick over the traces (to use an equestrian analogy) and continue to do as they please.
The Insidious Consequences of Pedophile Crimes
We would like to remind Finn of Law’s remarks regarding the pedophile
“Once again I want to acknowledge publicly my responsibility for decisions which I now see were clearly wrong.
“While I would hope that it would be understood that I never intended
to place a priest in a position where I felt he would be a risk to children,
the fact of the matter remains that I did assign priests who had committed
“Apology in and of itself is not sufficient. I hope that the efforts that have already been made and which are in process in this Archdiocese to insure the protection of children as we move forward will serve as a motive to accept my apology.”
A Montage of Abuse
of St. Thomas Aquinas yearbooks record the history of collusion by the confidence men who worked with Anthony J. O’Connell throughout his tenure as rector and faculty member at the high school seminary in Hannibal. The leadership of the Diocese of Jefferson City is complicit in the hucksterism used to protect predatory clergymen; and we now fully realize the extent to which you and Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe to protect these ordained sexual predators and the secrecy of events that destroyed an institution and those who cherished it.
We have a rogue’s gallery of bad actors with the images captured on film by O’Connell and his camera. The number of players, who bounced to national and international infamy as result of the scandal and those lurking in the shadows locally, willing harbor the story, is significant.
But this photo archive is only the gloss and ephemera of the crimes perpetrated by a gang of recalcitrant priests who controlled and operated a bait-and-switch scheme: the education of youth and the development of their spiritual lives in exchange for private titillations and access to youngsters for depraved gratification.
of Springfield-Cape Girardeau (1973-1984).
Cardinal Law, Bishop Finn, and Culpability
Just as Finn has declined all culpability in the ensuing scandal in his diocese, Law has declined responsibility for the clergy abuse scandal in Boston time and again: in 1993 during the James R. Porter scandal; in 2002 as the cover-up festered anew; and, then, after he was transferred to Rome where was named by the Vatican as Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome and where he continues to serve as one of seven members of the powerful of the Congregation of Bishops, which promotes church leaders worldwide.
But for our purposes today, we would like to publish the photographic
record of Law’s relationship with O’Connell, Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe,
and St. Thomas. These personal connections are part of the core foundation of his career.
Law was a frequent visitor to St. Thomas (just as he exerted a powerful influence on the Pontifical College Josephinum as a member of its board of trustees). As a result, these data are key factors in and of themselves.
in the St. Thomas yearbook, The Anchor, along with his compromising photography of seminarians. The amalgam of snapshots in The Anchor,
of course, is designed to mask the reality of the situation: a wink and
a nod for the insiders.
by the local church powerbrokers: Manus P. Daly, John H. Fischer,
David G. Buescher, John Whiteley, James P. McNally, Gary Pool, Hugh
Behan, and more.
Anniversary: Cardinal Law joined Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe to
mark the 25th Anniversary of the establishement of the Diocese
of Jefferson City. O'Connell duly recorded the event.
Source: The Anchor, 1982, p. 119.
We know that Law also mixed with known predators at St. Thomas. Fischer, for example, shared victims with O’Connell. O’Connell’s record of Fischer’s activities is particularly macabre, especially the images of Fischer embracing students.
Daly, too, shared victims with Fischer, according to public records.
as we see these pedophile priests age badly, turn gray, and going to fat
in the pages of The Anchor. The longevity of their careers is remarkable. Your own reckless collusion with McAuliffe is damning.
The message of cult also creeps into the pages of The Anchor as O’Connell’s tenure continued. Bishop McAuliffe became “Mac.” And “Mac” was referred to as the “father of our family.” It follows the line of enculturation established by Msgr. Louis W. McCorkle and the Rev. Gerald Kaiser in the late 1960s to separate children from their families as they became “Little Gods” protected by the faculty, the clergy, and the Church.
Around these core leaders the fringe players include priests from around
the diocese (including Lou Dorn, John Whiteley, Frank Westhoff, and Charles Patterson) and students (such as McNally, Pool, and Cox) who were moulded as successors. And we would like to know how someone like the Rev. Patrick Dolan arrived as a faculty member.
is a question that remains unanswered. Most of these priests had no connection of the students: they were not their pastors; they had no affiliation with the seminary. Nor do we know why they were to relinquish parish duties to hang out with the seminary students. Obviously, they had not business at St. Thomas, and, yet, they became fixtures with O’Connell’s support and approval.
This stained-glass collage is camouflage for O’Connell’s
sexualized images of young boys. Source: The Anchor,
1982, p. 19.
Embedded in the montage below are these images of students that
O’Connell collected as trophies and/or mementos.
Source: The Anchor, 1982, p. 18.
At the center of the montage
below are these images of
students at play. Source:
The Anchor, 1982, p. 18.
Crafting a montage to resemble a stained-glass window is a clever
attempt at hiding O’Connell’s trophy photographs of half-clothed
boys and embracing students. Source: The Anchor, 1982, p. 18.
What appears to be the record of Halloween party is a montage
designed to conceal some of O’Connell’s trophy images. Source:
The Anchor, 1982, p. 34.