More than 40 victims of sexual abuse by priests are suing to force the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese to report abuse suspicions and follow other terms of a 2008 settlement.
The 12-page lawsuit filed Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court accuses the diocese and Bishop Robert Finn of breach of contract. As part of a $10 million settlement reached three years ago, the diocese vowed to train priests on sexual abuse and report any suspicions that children were being placed in danger.
The lawsuit claims that didn't happen and officials refused for months to report allegations and suspicions about the Rev. Shawn Ratigan. He has pleaded not guilty to several child pornography charges.
The plaintiffs say they are suing to prevent future victims. They say the diocese is refusing to submit to required arbitration.
The diocese says it has a process for responding to reports of misconduct or inappropriate behavior.
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