National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Kansas City, Mo.

'M.A.S.H.' actor talks death penalty at Kansas City Catholic school

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Actor and activist Mike Farrell, best known for his role as Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series "M.A.S.H.", spoke against the death penalty Tuesday at Notre Dame de Sion, an all-girls Catholic high school here.

Farrell spoke to about 45 students, mostly sophomores, on the importance of human dignity and its relevance to abolishing the death penalty.

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.

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