In a deal to avoid a second round of criminal charges, a Roman Catholic bishop in Kansas City has agreed to meet monthly with a county prosecutor to detail every suspicious episode involving abuse of a child in his diocese for the next five years.
Bishop Robert W. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was indicted in October by a grand jury in neighboring Jackson County for failure to report suspected child abuse by a priest he supervised. He is the first American bishop to face indictment on charges of mishandling an abuse case. [...]
But victims’ advocates criticized the deal because it essentially allows Bishop Finn to avoid prosecution and relies on him to volunteer information to the prosecutor.
“There’s no one else that they would make this kind of a deal with but a bishop,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor of public law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, who has written about the church and child abuse cases. “There’s always all this maneuvering to avoid having bishops testify in child sex abuse cases, or in any case.”