Bishop who didn’t report abuse in KC-St. Joseph Diocese has new post in Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Roman Catholic bishop who was convicted in Missouri of not reporting suspected child abuse has become chaplain at a convent in Nebraska.

Bishop Emeritus Robert Finn is spiritual adviser to the nuns at the School Sisters of Christ the King convent in Lincoln.

Finn was found guilty in 2012 of one misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected abuse and was given two years’ probation, making him the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of taking no action over abuse allegations.

Lincoln Diocese spokesman J.D. Flynn said Friday the 62-year-old Finn resigned as bishop for the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese in Missouri but retains the religious title of bishop emeritus.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Finn succeeds Monsignor Myron Pleskac, who died Jan. 2.

A spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued this statement:

“A disgraced Missouri Catholic bishop has quietly moved to Nebraska where he works as a chaplain for nuns. This is an outrage. It shows how little has changed in the church hierarchy: clerics who commit or conceal child sex crimes are still being coddled, moved elsewhere and getting second chances instead of being fired.

Last year, Bishop Robert Finn resigned as head of the Kansas City diocese. He was convicted of refusing to report child sex crimes to police. But he now works at the School Sisters of Christ the King in the Lincoln, Nebraska with the approval of Lincoln Bishop James Conley.

Shame on both of Finn and Conley. Ignoring wrongdoing encourages wrongdoing.

If Missouri laws were less predator-friendly, Finn might be in jail. In Kansas City, he knowingly and repeatedly put kids in harms’ way and deceived parishioners. He certainly should not be in ministry. He ought to be defrocked.”