Vatican removes Bishop Finn after years of attacks for upholding Catholic identity

KANSAS CITY, MO, April 21, 2015 ( -- After years as the American media’s object of blame in the Church’s sexual abuse scandal, and criticism from the left for his efforts to promote Church doctrine and traditions, the head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been removed by the Vatican from his position.

Bishop Robert Finn “has become less able to fulfill his office,” according to the Vatican, which announced April 21 that Pope Francis has accepted the bishop’s resignation.

Bishop Finn’s exit is “in conformity with canon 401, paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law,” the Vatican said, which indicates that he would have been “earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.”

“It has been an honor and joy for me to serve here among so many good people of faith,” Bishop Finn said in a statement on his diocese’s website. “Please begin already to pray for whomever God may call to be the next Bishop of Kansas City - St. Joseph.”

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head of the archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, as apostolic administrator temporarily until Bishop Finn’s successor is named.

Archbishop Naumann said he “prays that the coming weeks and months will be a time of grace and healing for the Diocese.”

Finn will remain a bishop, but not have a diocese. The diocesan statement did not indicate what he will do now.

A grand jury found Bishop Finn guilty of a misdemeanor in 2012 for failing to report a priest, Fr. Shawn Ratigan, to the police after the diocese discovered that he had sexual images of minors on his computer.

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No, not because he's upholding anything traditional. He seriously erred in how he managed the problem of child abuse. He is a convicted criminal on probation.