Father Robert W. Finn was convicted of failing to report child sexual abuse since he did not report a priest, Reverend Shawn Ratigan, who had hundreds of lewd pictures of young girls, many of them taken with a personal camera. As a bishop, he is the highest-ranked US cleric ever convicted of covering up child abuse; he is one of two bishops in the world convicted of covering up child sexual abuse. He has been sentenced to two years’ probation, and his criminal record will be expunged if he completes his probation successfully.
…Really? That’s it? That’s all we get? Am I wrong for wishing that there would be jail time? I want people to know that covering up child sexual abuse will never be acceptable, that if they do it they will pay fines and go to jail. I want the disincentives to be so intense that they– if not basic human sympathy– will make people realize that covering up child sexual abuse is not acceptable.
But I suppose we take what we can get, and I am grateful for it. I hope this will be the first of many more prosecutions in the future.