War of words ensues following Bishop Finn’s resignation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In a letter to his parishioners, a Kansas City priest defends Bishop Robert Finn and lashes out at the Jackson County prosecutor for charging him with failing to report a priest who had child pornography.

Father Gregory Lockwood at Christ the King Parish wrote a two page letter about Bishop Finn's resignation.

In it, he says the resignation is no cause for celebration, calling out fellow Catholics who support it and for saying "mean and vicious things."

He went on to question why, "there is no forbearance or forgiveness for this man who pled no contest to a politically motivated charge filed by an ambitious prosecutor..."

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker saw the letter and wrote her own to Christ the King Parish to address what she calls "misstatements."

“I run this office as a prosecutor,” she wrote, “not a politician; and seeks convictions for people who harm our community.

She went on to say Bishop Finn did not plead no contest, but a judge found him guilty of the charge against him.

Archbishop Joseph Naumman of the Kansas City in Kansas Diocese is currently overseeing the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, and provided FOX 4 with this statement.

"I am disheartened that some have chosen to respond to Bishop Finn’s resignation, not by moving forward, but to continue public attacks upon him and the Church. On the other hand, Father Gregory Lockwood and others have also passionately defended Bishop Finn. While everyone has a right to free expression, in my opinion it serves no good purpose at this point to rehash a story that has had so many tragic consequences. There is nothing to be gained by picking at old wounds and speaking uncharitably about one another.

My prayer is that when the new Bishop arrives he will find a Catholic community united and eager to work with him in making the love of Jesus more alive and tangible in our community."