Some Catholics hope new pope will remove Kansas City's bishop - KCTV5 News

Some Catholics hope new pope will remove Kansas City's bishop

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Some Catholics are hoping that the new pope will remove Bishop Robert Finn as leader of the Kansas City area diocese.

Finn has admitted to failing to report child abuse by Father Shawn Ratigan, who preyed on young girls in his parishes, including taking sexually explicit pictures of them. Finn was in his bishop's robes as he led a mass Thursday to celebrate Pope Francis' selection, and Finn publicly pledged his support for his new leader.

"I want Catholics to pray for the holy father. I want them to try to listen and wait," Finn said.

He declined to comment on the push to seek his removal.

Catholics United, a national group, is calling on the pontiff to remove Finn. Some national and area Catholics say Finn cannot lead area Catholics now that he admitted to a misdemeanor involving his actions with Ratigan.

Civil lawsuits are also pending against the church and Finn.

"It's hard to see morally how someone can maintain that position of authority and leadership with a misdemeanor hanging around their neck," said Jeff Weis, who has started a petition seeking Finn's removal. "There are so many people that can't begin the healing ... with him still present."

More than 100,000 have signed Weis' petition.

But many parishioners at Thursday's celebration said they remain firmly behind Finn.

"I think people may be too quick to judge without knowing all the facts," said Nancy Hanson.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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