The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Monday, July 25, 2011

Childproof 16: Gaydos, Finn Flip Us the Bird


Page 16

Dear Bishop Gaydos: 

The current disarray in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., should surprise no one. You, Bishop Gaydos, are as much a player in this catastrophe as your colleague, Bishop Robert W. Finn.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reneged on their promise to the protect children, young people, and vulnerable adults during their semi-annual meeting in June in Bellevue, Wash.

Feigning helplessness, the USSCB “has no real authority or power to punish or coerce or chastise individual members who don’t go along with the majority, even when it’s an overwhelming majority,” according to Russell Shaw, the former communications director for the organization. “That’s a question largely in the hands of the Holy See at the present time, and probably can only be addressed in a comprehensive and permanent way by alterations in canon law itself.

Reprobates and a Network of Deceit

As for cooperating with the authorities, forget about it.  These men traffic in private tears of victims, bought and sold like indulgences.  Each is a bully with a chip on his shoulder, engaged in mummery, hiding behind that old straw dog:  canon law.  Shaw, the author of “Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church” (Ignatius Press, 2008) is blunt:  the bishops’ hands are tied and, therefore, not one U.S. bishop is able to dial 911 or inform the police that he has a child molester in his employ.  You only have to see the mug shot of the Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan to understand this method of deceit. 

Bad Actors: The Missouri leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is among the most
corrupt in the nation. In the last 15 years, 87 pedophile priests have
been identified:
enough to staff the full-time clergy roster of a medium-sized
diocese; support 22
ordination classes; or replenish parish assignments for
the next two decades, if not
after 2031.

A Gallery of Rogue Managers
In the last 15 years, the leaders of Missouri’s four dioceses (above) have shielded at least 96 child predators (St. Louis, 48; Springfield, 5; Kansas City, 21; and Jefferson City, 21): enough priests for 22 ordination classes or a full  clergy roster for a medium-sized diocese. 

Instead they have been strong-armed by the courts and prosecutors
to provide restitution in excess of $40 million (the annual budgets
for approximately 18 elementary schools for a single year; or
the 2011-2012 budget for Helias High School in Jefferson City 

$4.7 million for the next five years, excluding athletics) for
crimes against children, young people, and vulnerable adults.

There is no excuse for the strangle-hold in Missouri that entwines the four corporate entities governing the local church structure.  Sadly, each diocese is led by a rogue management team dedicated to unscrupulous tactics to suppress the truth.
These eight bishops are (above, top row, left to right) Raymond Cardinal Burke, formerly archbishop of St. Louis and now Prefect
of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
(or chief justice
of the Vatican Supreme Court); Justin Cardinal Rigali, formerly archbishop of St. Louis and now embroiled in an even more bitter child molestation scandal in Philadelphia; John R. Gaydos, bishop
of Jefferson City; Raymond J. Boland, retired bishop of Kansas City-St. Louis; (bottom row, left to right) Timothy M. Dolan, formerly auxiliary of St. Louis and now archbishop of New York; Robert W. Finn, Boland’s successor in Kansas City, Mo.; Robert J. Carlson, Rigali’s successor in St. Louis; and James Vann Johnston, the successor to Bernard Cardinal Law in Springfield-Cape Girardeau

In St. Louis, Carlson’s career has peeked because he is a willing accessory in the scandal.  As a priest and auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Carlson managed the crisis successfully for Archbishop John R. Roach and Archbishop Harry J. Flynn by transferring and shifting child predators skillfully from one place to another (a common practice in the Minnesota archdiocese is to assign pedophiles to chancery duties, usually working for the marriage tribunal).  He has been involved in this activity for more than 25 years.

Two of Archbishop Carlson’s Memoranda recommend shielding the Rev. Lee D.
Krautkremer and compromising the victim.  Carlson protected numerous pedophile
priests in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis including the notorious predators
the Rev. Thomas Adamson and the Rev. James Porter.

In a memorandum (8 November 1983) regarding, the Rev. Lee D. Krautkremer, Carlson and Roach are advised to transfer the pedophile priest to a parish near Minneapolis, because “he has absolutely no skeletons in his closet there.”  

Carlson’s recommendation (2 November 1983) cited in court documents is addressed to Roach:

“I offered to have the boy meet with Father Korf or myself if the family thought that would help. I also offered to have an evaluation if they want to check out how the boy was handling this. They will use their own resources for this.

“Father Krautkremer admits to having an affair with someone but could not remember who it was. He also told us he had a sexual relationship with two boys 12 years ago. Father Krautkremer has gone to see an attorney for legal counsel and (Korf) and I asked him to make an appointment with a doctor for an evaluation. I told Krautkremer I would hand this over to you ... I recommend he go through therapy and move to another part of the diocese.”

Carlson over-arching concern is that the parents of Krautkremer’s victim will seek independent medical advice, which could result in a police inquiry. 

Harry J. Flynn, archbishop
of St. Paul-Minneapolis
(ret.), expensed
settlements by raiding
a retirement fund
for clergy
Carlson’s action in these and other
pedophile priest cases led to a 2003
settlement and legal expense estimated
at $8.8 million.  Archbishop Flynn
$3.1 million from a priest
retirement fund
labeled “Clergy
Benefit Fund”; and $700,000 from
a fund earmarked for charity and
social services for settlement awards.

An insurance policy paid legal expenses
estimated at $5 million.  As the New
York Times
noted in its 2 May 2006
story entitled, Pensions in Peril Over
Church Exemptions

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis revealed in a rare public discussion of its accounts in 2003 that it had tapped into an 82-year-old pension fund for priests to help pay legal settlements and other costs involving sexual abuse claims, something the pension law would not allow a nonreligious organization to do. The archdiocese decided to use the money that way, it said, because it had set up another priests’
pension fund in 1969, reducing the importance of the older fund.

“James J. Keightley, former general counsel to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, said he thought more such problems would arise. There have been a significant number of plans that have gotten their I.R.S. ruling letters and have opted out of P.B.G.C. coverage,’ he said. Every plan that loses insurance protection is at risk.’  He . . . now practice[s] at the Washington firm of Keightley and Ashner [Harold J. Ashner, a former assistant general counsel for legislation and regulations at the pension agency].”

Carlson was ordained a bishop in 1984. Krautkremer resigned from all priesthood identification and activity in 2002.

Court documents and public reporting indicate that during the last 15 years the
bishops of the Missouri Catholic Conference have been obliged to award
the victims
of pedophile priests more than $40 million (est.) in restitution. 
This e
stimate is
enough to supplement the $4.7 million annual budget of
Helias High School,
Jefferson City, for five years, or the annual budgets
of 18 parish elementary
schools for a single year.

Rigali’s reputation is tarnished beyond repair, as it should be.  As head of the St. Louis archdiocese, he did not spare the child.  In fact, he purchased a boy’s ranch in Dittmer, Mo., from the Franciscans and turned it into a hide-a-way for pedophile priests.  Identified variously as RECON – and, euphemistically, the St. John Vianney Renewal Center – he allowed bishops nationwide to export their worst cases to rural Missouri to hide them from the police.

Rigali continued to protect pedophile priests when he was promoted to Philadelphia and inducted into the College of Cardinals in 2003 by Benedict XVI.  Rigali lied to a second grand jury in February about the scale of the scandal until this legal maneuver revealed that he was protecting as many as 37 sexual predators (in 2005 to another grand jury that 63 priests were implicated as child molesters).  Rather than expose the criminality of his predecessor, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, he protected the bottom line: cash flow and lifestyle frills such as Bevilacqua’s $5 million renovation his summer cottage, Villa St. Joseph-by-the-Sea ($9,200 for Schumacher fabric) and a newly-built 4,800-square-foot retirement home.


Charles J. Chaput
Archbishop of Philadelphia
Rigali is retiring, a disgraced priest, a disgraced human being.  His successor, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver is a dismal fundamentalist preacher who has scorned victims and their advocates as they continue their search for justice as barnacles on the ship Ecclesia. Chaput is particular favorite of Bernard Cardinal Law, who remains as one of seven members of the Congregation of Bishops in the Vatican signing off on promotions that are forwarded to the Pope.

The Luck of the Irish:  Raymond J. Boland
and Anthony J. O’Connell

The Roman Catholic Church in Missouri is represented by, perhaps, the most corrupt leadership in the United States today.
Protected by restrictive statute and state court relationships, the organization has been able to buy justice for pennies on the dollar for decades.  And it can be as simple as hiring an attorney to influence a judge, who happens to be the lawyer’s father, hoping the judge will not recuse himself or herself.

Consequently, the evolution of the pedophile priest scandal in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., is unremarkable.  Bishop Raymond J. Boland (retired, 2005) is typical of this management cohort that permitted this problem to persist:  shielding child molesters from the police and courts

As with the Anthony J. O’Connell case, Boland represents the systematic criminality and collusion of an accomplice, and now an avatar, still participating in these crimes. Boland is well aware of the extent the situation both on a personal level and at large.  He received information in 1994 from one of O’Connell’s own victims, but he refused to intervene despite a one-on-one, face-to-face plea for assistance to bring this serial predator to bay.

Enda Kenny
Prime Minister of Ireland
The Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act and U.S. Citizenship
Instead, Boland chose to stand by his
fellow countryman and Irish cleric,
hoping to remain above the fray and
avoiding contact with the Tar Baby.
He was more concerned about his
own reputation, position, and family
name since his brother, John K. Boland,
is bishop of Savannah, Ga. 

The Vatican recalled its ambassador to
Ireland on Monday, 25 July 2011, rather
than cooperate with the Irish government’s
investigation of the pedophile priest scandal
there, according to the New York Times

The Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, has denounced “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day,” the government’s sharpest-ever direct attack on the Roman Catholic leadership.  Kenny told Parliament last week:

“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation.’ ”

Kenny added that the Vatican had not listened “to evidence of humiliation and betrayal” with compassion, but had instead chosen “to parse and analyze it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.”   The Irish Parliament also passed a motion denouncing the Vatican’s role in “undermining child-protection frameworks.”

And so Boland retired in 2005 taking the secrets of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph with him.  Or so he thought.

Perhaps it is time to in invoked the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
of 1977 and consider the validity of Raymond Boland’s naturalized citizenship. The RICO suits failed to stick, deporting an undesirable like Boland should be standard practice.

Editorial cartoonist Tony Auth captures the character of Bishop Robert W. Finn in
this 2011 caricature.

Robert W. Finn:  Undermining Community Standards
Boland’s successor, Robert W. Finn, became his surrogate as coadjutor and assumed the role of accomplice, engaging in the same unscrupulous tactics to protect child predators employed the diocese. But their criminal cover-up now is being exposed as a massive effort to undermine community standards, bordering on the lunatic.

And Finn, like you Bishop Gaydos, has a chip on his shoulder.  His interest in the commonweal is non-existent.  He exhibits all the characteristics of a racketeering gangster.  Even though there is a distinction between the welfare of our children and the welfare of the Church, Finn prefers to flip us the bird.

Bishop Finn’s Credibility
Msgr. Robert Murphy
We have a major concern about Bishop Finn’s
credibility with regard to his curriculum vitae. 
His on-line biography purports that he was
awarded a master’s degree in theology in
1979 from the Angelicum as a student at
the Pontifical North American College
in Rome. 

We find this information confusing and disturbing,
because Finn was enrolled at Kenrick Seminary at
that time, and we sat together in the same classroom
for a number of different courses.  I was working on
an master’s of divinity degree (awarded by Kenrick),
as well as an M.A. in history from St. Louis University
(thesis:  Henry Edward Cardinal Manning and restoration
of the Catholicism in England).  But I doubt that Bishop
Finn could be in two places at the same time, especially
since we saw each other at breakfast, lunch,
and supper
on a regular basis.

Face Time: Finn’s Scandal Page
Mug Shot: Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan
So now we have Finn’s vicar
general, Msgr. Robert Murphy
caught up in the scandal and
forced to resign.  Murphy has
been a key player in the Kansas
City crisis.  Like O’Connell, he
is a key player in HR policy that

shielded and shuffled these predators.

According to Murphy’s webpage:  “I first felt called to the priesthood by watching a movie about a priest:  Going My Way starring Bing Crosby.  He was so positive and affirming that I wanted to be that kind of priest. 

And then he discovered Robert FrostThe defining issue of our times is two roads diverged in a yellow wood as Robert Frost wrote.  Can you take the road less traveled by:  the way of Christ and, as the poem ends:  And I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence, two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference.  Priests, above everything else, need to be men of prayer totally given to Jesus Christ and his message and his way of life.

Rev. Michael Tierney
We also have another priest, the Rev.
Shawn F. Ratigan
, arrested by the FBI
on child pornography charges.  Ratigan
is being held on $200,000 bond; he has
not guilty.

A third priest, the Rev. Michael Tierney,
was removed from active ministry
2 June 2011 due to multiple allegations

of child molestation.
The chaos of the
situation will continue as more damaging
information enters the public arena.  Then
there is the Rev. John R. Tulipana and the
2008 settlement of 40 cases for more
than $10 million settlement.

But you would never know that something is wrong in Kansas City by reading Finn’s Facebook page.  Finn’s reaction is to cry fiddle-faddle and move on as posted on YouTube.  His ability to excuse moral depravity is enough to make one’s head burst.  His well-tempered contempt can no longer be ignored.

Rev. John R. Tulipana
Finn’s irresponsible behavior borders on the
put on a show and say “Mea Culpa.”
The Rupert Murdoch approach is to shutter
The News of the
World and then, as an
afterthought, issue an apology and advertise
the fact as such on a global scale.

Finn staging of a “Solemn High Mass” to
pray  for priests in peril rather than extend
a helping hand to the children young people, and vulnerable adults at risk.  Like P.T. Barnum, Finn believes in the slogan: 
Never give a sucker an even break.  But you should not sneer or engage in a spectacle designed to conceal a crime.  Nor should pride and presumption add to your offense against children.

Finn’s character remains true to form from the days when I knew him at Kenrick Seminary (1977-1979).  Then his reputation was that of a hippy:  a stoner, sequestered in his room with his private stash and a good book.  He sported a John Lennon haircut, an open clerical collar, and a string of love beads, emulating a weak rebel without a cause.

Rev. Michael Roach
Finn was involved in a memorable Halloween
prank in 1978 at Kenrick Seminary.  He and
two other theologians
 after enjoying several
joints in Finn’s room, 
scampered through the
halls of Kenrick at midnight, dressed
Franciscan habits, flashing students they
encountered along the way.  The would-be
mendicants were not wearing undergarments,
which may or may not
reveal a secret of that
religious order.

In the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph,
one need look no further than the parishes
of St. Therese, North Kansas City and the 
Rev. Anthony Pileggi, JCL, Our Lady of Sorrows (you can read more about Pileggi and his
relationship with Finn at Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc. or Clerical Whispers).  Finn’s relationship with his former Kenrick professor, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, also should be noted.  If they demure as to personal knowledge of Finn, asked either pastor about their college days at Conception Abbey and an event at which a seminarian suffered a broken leg fending off a sexual advance from a student known as “Shirley McLane.”

Roach and Pileggi are quite familiar with their current boss’ history.  Access to power often destroys a youthful reputation and sins of the
past can become common place without notice as we age.  In Finn’s case, it is “l’eglise c’est moi.”

Summer Holiday:  Rev. Michael Roach (standing, center)
posed with his Kenrick classmates for this costume
photograph taken in 1978 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

As Finn’s former vocation director, you, Bishop Gaydos, understand that the correlation of Finn to Bernard Cardinal Law is a simple equation.  Finn is following the same play book.  We cannot help reminding folks that Law perfected his skills as the bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau before moving on to Boston.  In addition, Finn has turned to initiatives perfected by his St. Louis mentors:  Rigali, Burke, and Dolan.

Nor can we cannot help noticing that Law is responsible for promoting his crony, O’Connell, a friendship that dates to their shared interest in the enrollment numbers at St. Thomas Seminary when Law educated his high school seminarians in Hannibal.

We also must point out that James Vann Johnston, the new bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, is an O’Connell protégé recruited, nurtured, and ordained plucked from Knoxville to strengthen the web of deceit that infests the entire Catholic Church throughout the state of Missouri.  When he was consecrated as bishop, Vann Johnston dedicated a portion of his homily to O’Connell, calling the predator a guiding force in his life and a role model for the priesthood.

And we cannot help but notice that Finn and Timothy M. Dolan, the new archbishop of New York, are the protégés of Raymond Cardinal Burke and Justin Cardinal Rigali of St. Louis.  Burke is now Chief Justice of Vatican Supreme Court.  Rigali leads the archdiocese of Philadelphia.  Together they form a solid link to the past and a sordid commitment to protect pedophile priests.  Together they represent the future of the church management structure:  chips off the old block firmly entrenched, as the next generation dedicated to their particular brand of racketeering.

Unless you explain what happened to those molested and apologize for this terrible miscarriage of justice, the reputation of the Church will remain permanently tarnished with no hope for renewal.

Next Time: The Knights of Columbus Coddle Child Molesters?