MO - Bishop & His Lawyer Say Fr. Ratigan Pix Are Not Child Porn
By David Clohessy
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
August 1, 2012
In a recent court filing, lawyers for KC Catholic Bishop Robert Finn make the stunningly callous and outrageous claim that photos taken by Fr. Shawn Ratigan are not child porn.
This is no paraphrase. This is precisely what church lawyers say: "the photographs at issue are not child pornography." (The actual document is below. See especially page 9)
Repeatedly, these attorneys stress that the photos were not "obscene" and depict "no sexual contact."
We are astounded by the insensitivity and pure offensiveness of this claim and what it may mean, if successful, in other child porn cases across Missouri.
Fr. Ratigan took and kept close-up photographs of the genitals of a young girl. No one disputes this. Perhaps if "Fr. Ratigan" was instead "Dr. Ratigan" and was a pediatrician diagnosing a disease, then these photos would not be pornographic. But Fr. Ratigan is not a pediatrician. He is an allegedly celibate, holy Catholic priest, and one that – according to other staff and parents at the school – repeatedly violated personal space and boundaries and at whose home a pair of young girl's underwear was found in the garden.
We are sickened by this tactic. Sickened, but not surprised.
We hope that the judge sees this filing as what it is; a desperate and callous legal maneuver based solely on technicalities to try to make the crimes committed by Fr. Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn seem less horrific than they truly are.