Kansas City parish bans parishioner for violating agreement to stay away from kids

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 70-year-old man has been banned from a Kansas City Northland parish because diocese leaders say he has violated an agreement to stay away from children, according to a letter sent to Saint Patrick school families.

The 70-year-old man is a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1357 N.E. 42nd Terrace in Kansas City, North. The letter to parishioners indicates the man was being monitored by the diocese. FOX 4 is not identifying the man and has redacted his name from the letter linked here.

Ratigan in court

Ratigan in court. He received 50 years in federal prison, no chance for parole.

St. Patrick Catholic Church is a faith community that continues to struggle with anxiety after the pornography conviction of former priest Shawn Ratigan, followed by the conviction of then-Bishop Robert Finn for failing to report suspected child abuse.

 

For the complete (but redacted) letter to school families sent on December 20, 2016, click here.

It said, in part:

“Today I must share difficult news with you…. a St. Patrick’s parishioner, has been asked and has agreed not to return to the parish, and not to visit any other property owned or operated by the Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph, its parishes or schools. This decision was made following careful consideration by our parish, school and diocesan leaders, including the Office of child and Youth Protection.

In the course of (the parishioner’s) involvement at St. Patrick’s, concerns were raised about his interactions with children. the parish staff has been working with him to establish clear and appropriate boundaries, including a written agreement for safe boundaries. Sadly, this proved to be ineffective.

Because the safety of children is a top priority for our parish and Diocese, inappropriate interaction with minors cannot and will not be tolerated. To be clear, although safe boundaries were violated, there have been no reports or allegations of criminal behavior by (the parishioner.)”

The letter from Fr. Robert H. Stewart continues with him asking for prayers for the banned parishioner and asking people to avoid gossip or speculation.

A second letter was sent to parishioners, school families and staff on Friday, Jan. 6. In it, Fr. Robert Stewart addresses the anxiety he knows many still feel.

“It is important for me to pause and continue to listen to you in order to develop a thoughtful and comprehensive plan to address all the needs of this community regarding these deep wounds,” he said. “As your parish leader, my hope is to increase confidence and trust within our faith community. This can only occur when we each feel safe.”

Click here to read that letter in its entirety.