Kansas City, Mo., bishop indicted for failing to report abuse

The Roman Catholic bishop of Kansas City has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that he covered up child abuse, the New York Times reports. Robert Finn is the highest-ranking member of the American church to face criminal charges related to child abuse. Authorities say Finn knew that one of his priests, Rev. Shawn Ratigan, had lewd photos of young girls on his computer, but Finn did not report Ratigan to the authorities for five months.

According to the Kansas City Star, Finn re-assigned Ratigan to live in a mission house in Independence, Mo., after hearing complaints about his inappropriate behavior. Ratigan is accused of trying to take pornographic photos of a 12-year-old girl during his time there.

Finn is affiliated with Opus Dei, a powerful and controversial organization within Catholicism, according to the Times. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

According to Agence France-Press, the sexual abuse crisis has cost the American branch of the Catholic Church $3 billion since the first allegations surfaced in the 1980s, though few people have been jailed for their crimes. The U.S. Conference of Bishops established a review board that found that "4,392 Catholic priests and deacons sexually abused at least 10,677 American children between 1950 and 2002," the AFP reports.

Only 615 incidents were reported to civil authorities, with 252 clergymen convicted.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the grand jury that indicted Bishop Finn was a federal jury.

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