National Catholic Reporter

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Kansas City, Mo.

Missouri priest's lawyers want SNAP held in contempt of court

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Lawyers defending a Missouri Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse have requested that the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests be held in contempt for allegedly not fulfilling a court order to turn over a range of internal documents and correspondence.

SNAP, the leading advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims, replied to the request Monday afternoon, claiming it has "attempted in good faith" to comply with the order.

Questions raised over Kansas City bishop's 'boys will be boys' comment

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When the computer systems manager of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese told her bishop, Robert Finn, that she had found lewd images of children on a priest's laptop, he replied, "Sometimes boys will be boys," according to sworn testimony that appears in court documents filed Thursday.

Lawsuit alleges Finn, KC diocese, placed child in harm's way

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Bishop Robert W. Finn's five-month delay in reporting to police a priest in possession of child pornography directly led to the abuse of a ten-year old girl, and qualifies as conspiracy to commit fraud, a lawsuit filed today alleges.

The suit, brought on behalf of the girl by her parents, says that Finn's delay in reporting diocesan priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan directly placed the girl in harm's way when her parents invited the priest into their home on several occasions, not knowing of his predilection toward taking lewd photographs of children.

During those occasions, the lawsuit says, the mother and father noticed Ratigan using his cell phone "under the dinner table," which, the family later learned, he was using to take sexually explicit photos.

The family is now concerned, the lawsuit says, that those photos "may have been distributed...over the internet."

The home visits came after Ratigan had been removed from parish ministry, but neither the parish nor accompanying school had been notified that lewd photos had been found on the priest's computer.

Peace activists make 'strategic withdrawal'

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Don’t call it surrender. It’s a “strategic withdrawal,” longtime peace activist Rachel MacNair told supporters Sept. 1.

Following a decision to end what appeared to be a lengthy and costly legal battle to push for a citywide vote on construction of a major new nuclear weapons facility, MacNair told fellow activists: “Let us do be clear on this. We are now in better shape than we’ve ever been before.”

Bishop admits failure in priest's child pornography case

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One day after newspapers across the nation featured front page articles about a U.S. bishops' sponsored study on the causes of the clergy sex abuse scandal, which blamed much of the crisis on the sexual revolution of the 1960s, another clergy abuse news story was on the front page of The Kansas City Star: A local priest had been arrested for possession of child pornography.

52 arrested protesting nuclear weapons plant

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Fifty-two peace activists, most connected to Catholic Worker houses throughout the nation, were arrested here May 2 after blocking the gate to the construction site of what will be the nation’s first nuclear weapons production facility to be built in 33 years.

The acts of civil disobedience came 78 years and one day from the founding of the first Catholic Worker community by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, and were the culmination of a three-day “faith and resistance” retreat hosted by two Catholic Worker communities, which drew some 150 to this city.

The new facility, expected to cost $1.2 billion over the next two decades, is to replace an existing plant here. Health concerns at the current complex were stoked last month when the administrator of the General Services Administration confirmed that detectable levels of an unidentified carcinogen were found at that site.

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July 4-17, 2014

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