UPDATE: A reader points out, correctly, that I’ve misread the story. This is a story about prosecutors in A DIFFERENT COUNTY choosing not to seek an indictment against Bishop Finn. He remains under indictment in Jackson County. I apologize for the error, and have made corrections below and in the headline. It may be the case that prosecutors in Clay County whiffed, but the fact remains, Bp Finn is still under indictment in Jackson County, where he was originally indicted.

News from Kansas City: no trial for Catholic bishop Robert Finn on misdemeanor charges that he covered up for an alleged pervert priest:

Bishop Robert Finn today avoided facing a criminal misdemeanor indictment in his handling of a priest facing child pornography charges by agreeing to enter into a diversion program with the Clay County prosecutor.

Authorities have pledged not to prosecute Finn, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, if he lives up to the terms of a five-year diversion agreement.


Finn’s agreement with Clay County requires him to meet face-to-face each month with White for the next five years to discuss any allegations of child sex abuse levied against clergy or diocesan staff within the diocese’s Clay County facilities. Finn also is to describe what steps the diocese has taken to address the allegations. White would then decide whether to encourage police to investigate any allegations.

Shorter Bishop Finn: OK, you guys got me. I know what I promised in 2008, but this time I mean it.

A few days ago, the nun who is served as the diocese’s official Victim’s Advocate blasted the bishop and the system:

“Whoever is responsible within the church hierarchy needs to say to Bishop Finn, you’re not going to be bishop in Kansas City,” she said.

That suggestion by members of the hierarchy, Christensen said, should come about in order to help the Kansas City diocese try to heal.

“[Finn] didn’t do what should have been done, and, quite frankly, he’s lost credibility with a lot of people,” she said. “A lot of people no longer trust him. How are we going to heal our church in that situation? How do we heal in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph?”

[Post updated after clarification]