Response To Guilty Plea: SNAP Reminds Kansas City That Fr. Ratigan Is Still A Priest
A response to yesterday's guilty plea . . . And a reminder from SNAP: "NOTE – Fr. Ratigan remains a priest. He’s only been suspended. He has not been defrocked."
Check the presser:
Catholic priest pleads guilty to child porn; SNAP responds
Statement by Mike Hunter of Kansas City, KC Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We hope Fr Shawn Ratigan’s guilty plea today will help deeply wounded families recover more quickly. While trials can be cathartic, they can sometimes cause more trauma for survivors and families.
We applaud these families for bravely cooperating with law enforcement to help get a dangerous Catholic cleric away from kids. Too often, victims’ parents stay trapped in fear, shame and self-blame. Wanting desperately to protect their loved ones from any more pain, they shun the legal process. Sadly, when this happens, predators go on to assault others. So again, we are grateful that these struggling families are acting responsibly by helping police and prosecutors pursue Fr. Ratigan and keep him away from kids, like Bishop Finn refused to do.
Nothing Fr. Ratigan or Bishop Finn can do will erase the terrible harm and betrayal they have inflicted on victims, families, and parishioners. Action can be taken to ensure other children are not hurt and other victims get healing. It is still important for other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to keep coming forward.
This is especially true because Fr. Ratigan, Bishop Finn and the diocese still face other criminal charges. So now is the time to stay vigilant and speak up, not get complacent. Law enforcement needs and deserves to know as much about these crimes and cover ups as they can. So please, if you saw, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups in the KC diocese, step forward right away.
For the sake of public safety, we hope that the judge gives Fr. Ratigan the longest sentence possible.
NOTE – Fr. Ratigan remains a priest. He’s only been suspended. He has not been defrocked.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)