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Bishop Finn removes vicar general from abuse-case oversight

June 23, 2011

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri has appointed a new priest to handle sex-abuse complaints.

The appointment of Father Joseph Powers as vicar for clergy removes the responsibility for abuse cases from the diocesan vicar general, Msgr. Robert Murphy, who faced intense criticism for his performance on that issue.

The appointment was announced on the same day that sex-abuse victims filed a lawsuit, charging that the diocese failed to comply with the terms of a settlement requiring disclosure of all sex-abuse complaints. The criticism of the Kansas City diocese has centered on the failure to report complaints against Father Shawn Ratigan, who now faces criminal charges for child pornography.


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