Pope Accepts Bishop Finn’s Resignation

Pope Accepts Bishop Finn’s Resignation April 22, 2015
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by thierry ehrmann https://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by thierry ehrmann https://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/

The Roman Catholic Church in America is under attack from many directions.

First, it is the target of everyone who opposes traditional Christian teaching and morality.

Second, it is the target of those who want to destroy Christianity’s influence in Western culture because they hate religion.

Third, it is the target of both extreme left Christians and extreme right Christians who have joined forces with those who want to destroy Christianity’s influence in Western culture. I am speaking specifically of those liberal Christians who have aligned themselves with atheists against other Christians and those conservative Christians who have gone the way of deifying militarism and corporatism.

Fourth, it is under both direct attack and attempts to co-opt it by corporatist influences who want to silence any voice that might criticize their actions on moral grounds.

If you will notice, all of these attackers combine on one point: They want to destroy the prophetic and moral voice of the Catholic Church in American society, and indeed in all of Western society. They do this because the Catholic Church’s teachings call them and all of society to something better than the exploited and degraded version of humanity that they want.

Sadly, there is a fifth and a sixth line of attack against the moral and prophetic voice of the Church. That line of attack comes from within the Church itself.

Fifth, the Church is under attack from within by Catholics who have aligned themselves with political and social forces outside the Church. They attack the Church in the areas where its teachings disagree with the teachings of those social and political forces. These people are aligned  on both the secular political left and the secular political right.

Sixth, the Church is under attack from those of her own clergy who, for their own reasons, are ripping off their priesthood.

As always in any competitive circumstance, these attackers from within are far more damaging that all the attacks from without combined. However, the single most damaging attack against the Church’s prophetic and moral voice has come, not from without, not from the pews, not even from the priests behind the altar.

It has come from the Church’s own bishops. This damage has accrued because of the wide scale, deliberate, long-term and totally indefensible practice of allowing priests to molest children in the parishes entrusted to them and doing nothing to stop them.

The Vatican has not been as remiss in dealing with this as the press would have us believe. Pope Benedict XVI removed over 400 priests during one 2-year time span for sexually abusing children. He also removed a Cardinal for personal sexual misconduct. I think the reason this is largely ignored by his critics is that they didn’t like him for other reasons and were not fair enough to tell the truth.

Pope Francis has moved this up a notch. He has removed a Bishop in Paraguay,  another bishop in Argentina, the Papal Envoy to the Dominican Republic, bishops in Ireland for either committing child sex abuse of sheltering abusing priests. He has also removed Bishop Peter Tebartz-van Elst for high living.

Now he has accepted Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation resignation Bishop Finn was convicted of failing to report a priest who had taken pornographic photos of little girls in his parish.

These are important steps for the Vatican. These bishops have done great damage to the moral and prophetic voice of the Catholic Church at a perilous time for Christianity. The laity is justified in demanding a change in this dynamic. In fact, the laity’s refusal to accept this behavior is a critical incentive for change.

At the same time, it is just as important for the laity to stand behind the bishops when they are trying to lead in the right way. We need the Vatican to pull those who go astray. We also need to support those who stay the course and follow Christ in the face of public criticism.

We live in times when the Church is under attack. Whenever one of our religious leaders takes a firm stand on Church teaching, he is immediately smeared and slandered. It is up to us, the people in the pews, to stand with him and support him.

It’s easy to get caught up in anger because of the betrayals of some bishops and forget how hard the others work and what good men they truly are. If you have a bishop who follows the faith and teaches the truth, take a moment to let him know that you appreciate him.

We are in a time when Christians who follow the Gospels are attacked constantly. Don’t peck your bishop apart over trivialities. Support him as best you can and follow his leadership.

 

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10 responses to “Pope Accepts Bishop Finn’s Resignation”

  1. It’s a quandary. If we accept our bishops as above reproach, it leaves the door open to accepting ourselves as above reproach, when admitting and accepting our sins is paramount to our Christian identity. Satan is the Prince of lies.

  2. Some do not realize how often rumor and gossip mongers spread stories to destroy people they don’t like or disagree with. Consequently an administrator has to try to get rid of rotten apples, but not act on slanderous unprovens. and destroy an innocent man’s reputation forever. In some such situations it can be a tremendously difficult balancing act. for an administrator–especially when “innocent until proven guilty” has become “guilty until proven innocent.’

  3. Glad to see one more of the Catholic clergy removed so he can’t continue to deceive and harm those who were supposed to trust his leadership.

  4. I strongly encourage people to fully research the truth about the Bishop Finn case before judging. His resignation was a victory for the enemies of truth and Catholic teachers of truth. I spent a lot of time researching this and I am shocked at the deceptions. We are leading from fear not faith. There are liberal activists out there stooping to new lows to attack our faithful teachers. I say this as a liberal, mother and journalist.

    • With respect and not knowing details, peggy-o, I have to ask—if this man wasn’t guilty of what he was accused of, (I know, bad sentence) why did he resign? I know this is a late posting, and Rebecca won’t be back for a week, but I needed to ask.

  5. Sorry for the very late reply. First Finn pled innocent and was convicted of a statute that did not even apply to this case according to a MO prosecutor and legal scholars. A priest I know and trust said those who informed the pope were not familiar with the situation and had not even conferred with the official observers. I’m sure he resigned out of obedience and to sacrifice for the good of the diocese. He may be guilty of a naivety of his leaders but once he had the facts he acted right away.

  6. Hi sorry for the very late reply. First Finn pled innocent and was convicted of a statute that didn’t even apply to this case according to a MO prosecutor and legal scholars. A holy priest close to the case said those who encouraged the pope were not familiar with the situation and did not even confer with the official observers sent to KC. I’m sure he resigned out of obedience and to sacrifice for the good of the diocese. He may be guilty of naivety and trusting poor leaders but once he had the facts he acted right away. There’s a lot of lying going on these days.

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