Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kansas City Priest Charged With Child Pornography

Kansas City Priest Shawn Francis Ratigan was arrested Wednesday on child pornography charges. Ratigan was charged with three counts of possessing child porn and is being held on $200,000 bond. Authorities allege that Father Ratigan took photos of young girls in and around the churches and schools that he worked. He was at St Patrick's in Kansas City North for about a year, and at St Mary's in St Joseph, MO before that.

Back in December, a computer repair technician discovered suspect images on his laptop and alerted church officials. At that time Bishop Robert Finn contacted a Kansas City Police officer and described "a single image of a young naked girl...nothing of a sexual nature" and asked if it was pornography. The officer replied that is was not, but never saw the image or was told that there were others. This information is according to Kansas City Police Captain Steve Young.

The day after the discovery of the images, Father Ratigan attempted suicide and was hospitalized for psychiatric care. Finn also restricted Ratigan's actions, including ordering him to stay away from children and events where children might be present. In March, Bishop Finn discovered that Ratigan had attended a child's birthday party and a St Patrick's Day parade. Soon after, a higher church official had contacted police to provide them with the images that were originally found on Ratigan's computer. KCPD conducted an investigation and uncovered more pictures.

As Parishiners learned of Father Ratigan's arrest, their concern spread. Some wanted to know why it took so long to turn over eveidence to the Police. Poor judgement on the behalf of church officials once again causes embarrassment for a Catholic church that continues to not learn from it's past mistakes. What is it about the priesthood that attracts men who like to engage in deviant sexual behavior and those who will cover up the acts?

Father Ratigan will likely get his punishment at the hands of other convicts in prison. Even cold blooded killers don't like child abusers, especially hypocritical ones. It's no wonder religion is on the decline in this country with stories like Father Ratigan's and this nut.

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