The temporary leader of the embattled Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese appeals for healing in a set of interviews Monday.
“Healing, forgiveness, mercy. I think all those things we always need, but I think they are particularly important now, Archbishop Joseph Nauman said in a TV interview with KMBC.
Archbishop Naumann was named the temporary administrators after the sudden resignation last week of Bishop Robert Finn.
Fin was under fire in his own diocese. He was convicted for not promptly reporting the sexual abuse problems of a former priest, Shwn Ratigan.
Ratigan, now defrocked, is serving a 50 year term in federal prison.
Finn is the only US Catholic officials to ever have been convicted.
Naumann repeated his announcement that, as a temporary administrator, his plan is “Not to make decisions that are going to obligate the new Bishop to what I might think is a great idea. So it’s not a time to innovate or start new programs”.
One of the diocese leading critics under the Finn administration has been the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). SNAP called upon Naumann to use his time to point out other priest abuses and increase prevention.
Naumann says he believes the reforms, implemented by Finn after a critical report of the sex abuse problem and Finn’s role, are appropriate.
One of Finn’s critics, Sister Jeanne Christenson of Or Sisters of Mercy, hopes Pope Francis and the Catholic Church select a new bishop who understand what the diocese has gone through.
“And we absolutely need a bishop, as Bishop Naumann said, who can provide healing and maintain vigilance to protect children,” she said.
Finn’s official duties as Bishop are not finished.
The Diocese says Finn is scheduled to ordain seven new priest at an ordination ceremony on May 23 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Kansas City