I Will Never Watch Another Woody Allen Movie Again

Sunday, February 2, AD 2014

Dylan Farrow


Dylan Farrow comes forward in a riveting open letter:

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore. When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

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39 Responses to I Will Never Watch Another Woody Allen Movie Again

  • For the sake of His sorrowful passion have Mercy on us and on the whole world.

    Fame honor and riches builds a huge pride. No room for humility. No room for decency.
    Another success story for Satan. Yes I will pray for him tonight.

  • I have no use for a man who sexually abuses a child. I have never watched a Woody Allen movie and I never shall. Oh let me guess. He is the quintessential liberal progressive Democrat!

  • That is one of the sick consequences of the diabolical, Freudian,
    Marxist counter-cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s. Allen
    was a popular, leading voice of that criminal movement, which
    destroyed the U.S. and which corrupted many American, Christian

  • He started branding humor for the dark enlightenment. The three stooges and the pink panther had more class than his forcing ‘funny’ on psycho-sexual freedoms.

    His daughter’s difficult letter should serve as a kind of scarlet letter for him and for his defenders, who further oppressed her innocence.

  • God bless this young woman for writing this letter. I hope it gives courage to other victims .

  • “I Will Never Watch Another Woody Allen Movie Again”

  • Imagine the reaction of the lame stream media had this freaking pervert been a Catholic Priest or even a Protestant Evangelical Minister. The more I think about this, the angrier I become. Time to pray the Serenity Prayer.

  • Mr. Primavera,

    You know, as well as I, that the powerful elite protect their own. Entertainment, politics, Big Labor, Big Business…how often are the people in these entities who commit crimes made to pay for the crimes they have committed?

    Rarely if ever. We live in a pop culture enviornment. I see the trash of it when I pay for the groceries for the family each payday. It permeates the checkout line. I( skip the Super Bowl entirely when my team isn’t playing because it is a pop culture event and not a football game anymore.

    Woody Allen and his ilk will meet their judgement, as will I.

  • Woody Allen did not believe that God was watching him. This is what becomes of atheism. The progressive secular humanist does not believe that God is watching him.

  • And I shall meet my judgment, Penguins Fan. I know darn well what I deserve. We all committed Deicide. We all murdered God’s only Son. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

  • Recall that Mr. Allen previously married the adopted daughter- Soon-Yi Previn – of his former lover Mia Farrow. (Ms. Previn was 35 years his junior.) Near literal incest. Social-relational incest to be sure. This is a twisted man.

  • To those who are willing automatically to assume that this is a credible and reliable complaint – uncorroborated and untested by cross-examination, I can only say, as Lord Meadowbank once said to a jury, “God keep my life out of your hands.”

  • He married his adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, so he could permanently “Be” with a child- if you understand what I mean. SHE WAS/IS HIS DAUGHTER! Marrying her does not stop him from being her father. That’s abuse in it’s continual form. Psychologically, spritually AND Physically.

    Even if he never gets prosecuted for abusing Dylan, her public letter is enough. God Bless her and give her His Peace. And God bring Allen and all unrepentant abusers to His justice.

  • This complaint is aligned with a long-term pattern of behavior. We do not need to make assumptions here. He was a hollywood darling and protected for years with connections to the media establishment. He was even on the cover of Time magazine. It is time he was “outed” by his own family. He betrayed his family. It is only fair that his family give a response. There is no “gag” order in place after all.

  • In the interests of precision, Soon-Yi Previn was the daughter of Andre Previn, not Woody Allen. The association between the two walked right up to the line of incest but did not quite cross it.

    I do not doubt that Allen is as a matter of course self-centered and has no serious ethical sense, but I would tend to take the allegations of both this woman and her brother with a big hunk of rock salt.

  • It makes no difference. I never watched one before.

    I have Jewish buddies who are more entertaining and humorous: same “genre” better execution.

  • Perhaps it is the lawyer in me, but I agree with Art that a letter, however public in intention and credible in nature, is not proof. We should be careful to leave open the possiblity that Allen is innocent, or at least not guilty in the way the letter suggests. Subject to that caveat however, I’m inclined to believe Ms. Farrow and will pray for her healing and Allen’s moral conversion and immortal soul.

  • When the totality of facts and motives remain unknown, and none of the parties have been subject to cross examination; Reserve judgment.

  • In the custody battle Allen was denied visitation rights with the trial judge finding that Allen’s conduct with Dylan had been “grossly inappropriate” which, in my experience is very strong language for a court to use in a custody case. Dylan of course will never have her day in court against her adoptive “father” as the statute of limitations has run.

  • I recollect some years ago when the custody action was pending that New York newspapers reported the existence of alleged “pornographic” photographs of then daughter, now wife, Sun Yi Previn. It was unclear whether Sun Yi was a minor at the time the alleged photos were taken.

  • “In the interests of precision, Soon-Yi Previn was the daughter of Andre Previn, not Woody Allen. The association between the two walked right up to the line of incest but did not quite cross it.”

    From The Daily Beast: “Soon-Yi’s relationship to Ronan Farrow? His adopted sister. His relationship to Woody, as far as he’s concerned? “He’s my father married to my sister,” Ronan has said. “That makes me his son and his brother-in-law.” As far as Andre Previn (Farrow’s second husband) is concerned, Soon-Yi “does not exist””

    There are over 7 billion people on this earth, with just less than half being female. Woody Allen chose his children’s sister, for the sake of precision, to take nude photos of and eventually marry. He couldnt find another female to be with?!!

    And as cunning as he is, she was just over the legal age of consent. BUT, who knows when the sexual relationship started ….?

    Without “legally” being her father, what would he be if he was with Soon-Yi’s mother, her step-father? Well then psychologically and emotionally its incest, even though legally its not.

  • Donald R. McClarey wrote, “Dylan of course will never have her day in court against her adoptive “father” as the statute of limitations has run.”

    What if Allen were to raise an action for defamation or verbal injury?

    I do not know the position in the US, but in Scotland, justification of an allegation of crime must be proved to the criminal standard, that is, beyond reasonable doubt and by corroborated evidence.

  • “What if Allen were to raise an action for defamation or verbal injury?”

    Allen is a public figure and under US law it is practically impossible for a public figure to win a defamation suit. Additionally he would have to worry about committing perjury in the defamation suit. Alger Hiss went to prison not because of his espionage, the statute of limitations had elapsed on that, but because of perjury he committed in testimony before Congress, the perjury indictment being precipitated by a libel action that Hiss brought against Chambers and damning evidence that Chambers revealed against Hiss in defense against the libel suit.

  • And in Hollywood….All Publicity is Good Publicity….as the spotlight once again shines upon Woody Allen, his latest movie, and the Academy Awards which will no doubt draw multitudes of new viewers and commercial sponsors intrigued with all things Woody Allen.

  • Donald R. McClarey

    One recalls Oscar Wilde’s memorable prosecution of the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel. His Lordship had fleft a card at Wilde’s club, addressed “To Oscar Wilde posing as a somdomite [sic]”

    Justification was pled and proved and Wilde promptly arrested.

  • I think at this point, it is difficult to know if these accounts by the Farrow crew are memories or conflations of memory and what they’ve been told by adults around them or self-conscious concoctions (see the work of Elizabeth Loftus on this point). The whole business at the time was a train wreck of people who put what they wanted at any given time above every other consideration. Mia Farrow is a piece of work herself and had and has interests which may confound the pursuit of what is true. I tend to doubt that Dylan or Rowan Farrow have a reliable understanding of their life as toddlers.

  • Art Deco, Dylan Farrow was older than a toddler when she as abused. So im not sure how you can disregard her testimony, as a brainwashed story, cococted by Mia Farrow.

    Regardless of Mia Farrows mental state, Dylan’s recollection of Allen’s behaviour and questioning whether it was “normal” is alarming.

    And the fact that Soon-Yi adoptive father has disowned her over her relationship with Allen is another party opposing Allen’s behaviour. Idiots know its immoral to have sexual relations with your step-daughter…don’t they?! Or has the moral compass swims so far out that its barely recognisable?

    So, now you have Mia, Dylan, Ronan and Priven against Allan. Plus you have Allen marrying his step-daughter….and you still think he is an innocent victim in this whole charade?

    The fact that Mia Farrow is perceived as a “peice of work” through her own actions or through the portrayal of her in the media, should not cloud the fact that Dylan claims she was abused- and sticks to these claims DECADES later.

    I find it very difficult to see Allen’s innocence in this all, just because he is a Hollywood heavyweight up for an Oscar. It’s the Elite twisting the standards to keep themselves relevant, and edgy.

  • Ez, if you wish to converse with me, address what I said, not the voices inside your head.

  • Art Deco if you wish to address me, try doing it without being rude.

  • Thank you for helping me to undertnd better the conversations that must have taken place in dioceses the world over, with regards to abusive clergy.

    Where the allegations are horrible, we see the application of stringent legal norms to non-legal determinations that tend to favor the accused. Here, as there, we see the conflation of legal requirements of proof with philosophic ides of knowing truth and we see the application of a common sense of what is right and good that attempts to cut to the truth of the matter and its proper response.

    Perhaps I’ve been harder on the bishops than I ought to have been. I need to think on that.

  • David Spaulding

    I would venture to suggest that it is not a question of applying legal norms, but of applying the same standards that would be used by historians, textual critics and journalists (when they refer to “unconfirmed reports”). That is, information from a single source, however apparently credible, is not to be relied on; not that we should reject it as false – it could well be true – but that we should suspend belief.

    Here, we are referred to nothing that is capable of providing support for, or confirmation of, or fits with, or is consistent with, the lady’s story.

  • My comment wasn’t meant as a critique. Quite the opposite, really.

    There is danger in applying only one standard to such a complex subject. The legal, historical, and philosophical proofs are valid. So too are the common sensical and contextual proofs offered by some on the thread.

    Taking it over the the clerical abuse scandals, I can imagine high church officials regularly holed up, wrestling with these same issues and struggling to reconcile what their hearts told them with church and secular law standards. My only point being that this discussion has forced me to put myself in their shoes and that’s a good thing.

  • Art Deco if you wish to address me, try doing it without being rude.

    There is only one person who has been rude in this discussion, and it ain’t me. I have made my points in this discussion and you went on a whinge that has no referent in any of my remarks.

  • Whinge? Ok.

    I refuted your argument that suggested that the testimony of Dylan might be “memories or conflations of memory and what they’ve been told by adults around them or self-conscious concoctions”. Decades later?

    I refuted your suggestion that ” Mia Farrow is a piece of work herself and had and has interests” as being irrelevant when her child has claimed for decade Woody abused her. She questioned normal father-child behaviour.

    I corrected your statement “that I tend to doubt that Dylan or Rowan Farrow have a reliable understanding of their life as toddlers” as incorrect. Dylan was 7. Seven year olds are not toddlers.

    I questioned your view that Allen and Soon-Yi relationship wasn’t incest “The association between the two walked right up to the line of incest but did not quite cross it.” Legally? No.
    Psychologically, emotionally? Yes.
    Immoral? Yes.

    You may want to re-read your comments before you claim I made them up or in your unkind words “listen to the voices in my head”. These are your words.

    I understand. I won’t address you in the future. You clearly don’t like your point of view to be challenged.

  • You refuted nothing and were not reacting to anything I wrote.

    If you are interested in my view (you’re not, but I will re-iterate it anyway), it is thus: the utterances of both Farrows are not particularly reliable for reasons stated. Again, see Elizabeth Loftus on how our memory lies to us. Or read Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant for an ace depiction of how three siblings can come to a divergent understanding of the home in which they grew up.

    That the statements are not reliable is a reason to suspend judgment about this matter. Getting at the truth would require intense labor rummaging through the available documentation, and you still might not get there.

    Farrow and Allen are both train-wrecks with many things they have to atone for and the Previns father and daughter have caused more than their share of trouble in the realm of domestic life. Allen may or may not be guilty of a particular set of class B and class C felonies; I see no reason to have a vehement opinion on that particular matter.

    Since 1975, I have seen two Woody Allen films beginning to end and fragments of three others. In every case, it was on the television. So the point of the opening headline is moot in my case.

  • Up to this point, the only people who know what really happened is Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen. It comes down what you choose to believe. I think Dylan Farrow was abused by Allen. And unless there is definitive evidence to the contrary, I will continue to choose to beleive that.

    I think our conversation is over.

  • And unless there is definitive evidence to the contrary, I will continue to choose to beleive that.

    One should not really operate this way.

  • “One should not really operate this way.”

    Yes they should. If they want to be informed which artist they should choose to support the work of.

    That’s the point of this article Art Deco.

  • The human being is created in truth and beauty and innocence, moral and legal innocence, the standard of Justice for the nation.
    The Supreme Court unleashed the demons from hell, unchained lust, licentiousness, lasciviousness, viciousness and gave our constitutional posterity up to pornography. The Court gave freedom to vice and evil. The court refused to censure pornography, indecent exposure, rapaciousness, violence and handed our minor un-emancipated children a snake instead of an egg.
    The Supreme Court took God away from people and put itself up as final arbiter of our souls.

Quid est veritas?

Friday, February 1, AD 2013

Please allow me to introduce myself 
I’m a man of wealth and taste 
I’ve been around for a long, long year 
Stole many a man’s soul and faith 
And I was round when Jesus Christ 
Had his moment of doubt and pain 
Made damn sure that Pilate 
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Undoubtedly most of you are aware that Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angles has stripped Roger Cardinal Mahony of all public duties. If not, here is the story.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that Cardinal Roger Mahony would have a reduced role in the church and that Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas J. Curry has stepped down from that job amid recent revelations over their handling of the priest abuse scandal in the 1980s.

“Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara,” Gomez wrote in a letter.

Cardinal Mahony published this private letter to Archbishop Gomez on his blog:

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15 Responses to Quid est veritas?

  • None too soon

  • Prison for you Mahony, nothing less.

  • Exactly what I thought. Personally, I wish prelates like this would get deposed for all the unorthodox crap they pull, ahem, like the “religious education” whathaveyous Cardinal Mahoney presided over all those years.

  • “But when I retired as the active Archbishop, I handed over to you an Archdiocese that was second to none in protecting children and youth.”
    Mahony was a rotten Cardinal and is obviously a poor excuse for a human being, but based upon that last sentence he may have a future in stand up comedy.

  • How pathetic and self-serving Mahoney’s letter is! “We were never taught in sociology classes about child abuse”–it should have been woefully evident to him as a human person and a man of God that sexual abuse of children merited the famous mill stone around the neck of the guilty one and a fling into the deepest sea. But he wasn’t taught about it…how lame is that! And he goes on to defend himself by describing lectures priests were given about this offense (as if an offender was going to heed a lecture) and boards and tribunals. Given the information that was released that so appalled Gomez, Mahoney and his bishop pal found their own ways around the boards and tribunals to hide and, effectively, protect guilty priests. This letter shows exactly what the problem is and was–Mahoney was weak and self-serving and blind to the damage these outrageous behaviors did to children. It is the least that can be done to him to forbid him public activities in which he would be honored as a prince of the Church. He is a disgraced prince who “doth protest too much.”

  • It seems to me that they “washed their hands and sealed the childrens’ fate”, when hiding information. Well, it is no “sympathy” for Christ, for sure.

    May God help the children and have mercy on all of us.

  • Only for the Cathedral, Mahony would deserve to be flogged on the public square.
    I’d say, though, that today he has reached a new low.
    An enemy of the Traditional Mass, by the way.

    If I may, my thoughts are here:


  • Actually, I think the man’s problems originate with his flawed understanding of the Eucharist:


  • Yes, I am most bothered that he would choose to begin a letter with a deflection of blame … “not prepared” by the church, shools, family …

    Few are. But it is character that leads, not experience in those moments.

  • May I only say, Mundabor, that being for or against the TLM does not make one a better or worse Catholic. Both are entirely legitimate methods of worshipping, and attending or preferring the Novus Ordo does not make one “less Catholic” and attending or preferring the TLM does not make one a “better” or “more authentic” Catholic.

    Other than that, I sincerely hope that Mahony loses his red hat and vote at the next papal conclave. If you or I did what he did, we would be in jail.

  • Quid est veritas? Rather WHO is TRUTH. Jesus Christ is TRUTH. Jesus Christ is a virgin.
    Will Cardinal Mahoney still be eligible to vote for a new Pope? I hope not. Cardl Mahoney’s red hat needs to be removed permanently, in retribution.

  • Dave W. said it well: It is character that leads not experience in those moments. Mahoney’s overriding consideration was to cut the children loose and to hide the offenders. He probably dreaded the publicity exposure would bring to him. As I said before, incredibly self-serving. He keeps insisting that all should be okay because he said he was sorry. That’s cheap. A public apology was the least and easiest thing he could do. When I think of what he knew all along–how disgusting. He participated in the evil of the men who did the abusing, and he did this deliberately with plenty of scheming, forethought and full consent of his will. That qualifies as mortally sinful. But I don’t think he thinks it was all that bad–just bad enough to force that apology out of him.

  • Roger Mahony’s term as Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is one of the worst of any diocese of any part of the Catholic Church for the past few centuries, although Cardinal Weakland’s performace was nearly as bad. Mahony is still full of himself.

    Mundabor is entirely correct in his view of Mahony and Mahony’s disdain for the Extraordinary Form. I have little trust in bishops who oppose the EF. The Pope has spoken, yet many disobey. Gee, I wonder why?

  • “Mahony was a rotten Cardinal and is obviously a poor excuse for a human being, but based upon that last sentence he may have a future in stand up comedy.”

    Probably very much true!

    I lived in his archdiocese for 25 years, and was all too happy for his retirement in 2011. The letter came as absolutely zero surprise to me…and that he published it even less of a surprise.

    This move has been 3 years in the making by Abp Gomez. During the latter half of 2011, The publishing of this letter will not sit well with Abp Gomez at all. He (Abp Gomez) tends to like to keep things that are “in house” “in house” from what I’ve seen from his operations and speaking with him on several occasions. I foresee a situation where Cardinal Mahony will be evicted from the Archdiocese of LA for non-obedience…He’s hardly obedient to the Liturgy, I don’t expect him to listen to Abp Gomez or the Pope.

  • Can Cardinal Mahony be denied burial in a Catholic cemetery? If not, why not?
    The V.A. can deny burial to a veteran at a National cemetery for capital crimes and subversion.

    IMHO, why doesn’t the American Catholic church have a national burial system so it may compete in the secular culture in honoring the service(baptism) of its members? I know many vets who have the resources to be buried in “private cemeteries”,but prefer to be buried at a National Cemetery. The military doesn’t forget its long ago G.I., who served but a short time of his life in the military, and honor his service with the words; “This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service”

Bishop Finn Indicted

Friday, October 14, AD 2011


Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph have been indicted on failure to report child abuse charges.  The charges are misdemeanors.  Here is the statement of the Kansas City-Saint Joseph Diocese regarding the indictments.  Go here for the details.  A few observations:

1.  The charges stem from child pornography found on a priest’s, Shawn Ratigan’s, computer in December 2010.  The pictures were turned over to the authorities in May of this year.  This was far too slow.  The diocese was conducting its own internal investigation of Ratigan, but bishops should not attempt to play cop.  Whenever such evidence surfaces it must be turned over to the authorities pronto.

2.  The prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is a fanatic pro-abort.  A former Democrat member of the Missouri House, she resigned when she was appointed as Kansas City prosecutor in May of this year.  I suspect that she intends to use Bishop Finn’s scalp to ride to higher political office.  She claims that this was all the grand jury’s doing and not hers which is risible.  Grand juries are the tools of the prosecuting attorneys and will, as the saying goes, normally indict a ham sandwich if that is what the prosecutor wants.

3.  Failure to report suspicion of sexual abuse is rarely prosecuted as demonstrated by the fact that Planned Parenthood abortion clinics routinely abort underage girls, and no Planned Parenthood affiliate has ever been successfully prosecuted for failure to report suspected sexual abuse of a minor.



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41 Responses to Bishop Finn Indicted

  • This is awful and despicable! Very disappointed , they should have reported this ASAP.

  • Pingback: The Enemy Within? « Catholic Sensibility
  • Pro-abort, stalinist show trial . . .

  • In less universally vital news: top US law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder and his DoJ special ops cadres run guns to Mexico drug terrorists, a fed and 200 civilians are killed . . . then he lies to Congress . . . silence . . .

  • Several years ago, at my nephews elevation to Monsignor in Kansas City, I shook Bishop Finn’s hand, and mentioned to him that I had read a lot about him. He said he imagined it was not good things that I read. I encouraged him with “yes it was very good.” I think there are those who have been gunning for him for a while. God bless this good bishop. It must be an awful thing to have to choose between the good of the children and the lose of a preacher of the gospel, especially since there have been so many false accusations.

  • A female principal tried to document in writing a warning to the Bishop long before but it went through an intermediary to the Bishop in a verbal abriged form that may have reduced its strength. The Bishop should have asked for the actual letter and read it. A Ms. Gaveau contended in the Boston case of Fr. Schanley that she warned Cardinal Law to his face about Schanley and one year later after she noticed Schanley still in place in a parish, she warned Cardinal Law again to his face and he noted that she should contact his auxialiaries because that’s why he had them. Christ warned the apostles that they were not to be so above others:
    Luke 22:25.
    * He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’;
    but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.”

    The lesson from Kansas City…..if a Principal writes a letter, Bishops….be a servant and read it.

  • Bishop Finn is the epitome of prelates who enable abuse: they love the institutional church (Vatican, hierarchy) more than they love the Ecclesia (the church in the pews, the real people, real children).

    Such prelates ignore (thus enable) abuse lest it “scandalize” the institutional church. It is not surprising that Finn is among them, given his fundamentalist, Opus Dei theology which places the supremacy of Roman authority above all else.

    If you want to see what God has to say about such religious prelates, read Ezekiel 34 and Matt 23.

  • That is complete and total garabage Liz. Some of the worst protectors of abusive priests were heterodox prelates like Weakland.


    The fact that Bishop Finn is completely orthodox and faithful to the magisterium has nothing to do with the fact that here he simply messed up big time.

  • Actually, Ezekiel 34:1-10 more properly applies to those liberal heterodox clerics who favor democracy in the Ecclessia and who reject the authority of the Kingdom God.

    PS, what’s wrong with Opus Dei theology? If it’s anything like what’s in the writings of its founder (Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer), then I say more power to Opus Dei! Books like the Way, the Furrow and the Forge couldn’t possibly be more Christian.

  • Whether the prosecutor supports abortion is completely irreelvant. Whether Planned Parenthood reports child abuse is irrelevant. Whether Bishop Finn is “conservative” or “liberal” theologically also is irrelevant. This is exactly why the judicial ideal is “blindness,” not only to class, ethnic and racial distinctions but political and theological ones, as well.

    The world has seen so often in this crisis that the “orthodoxy” or “heterodoxy” of prelates and priests is utterly irrelevant, which raises two interesting questions:

    1. Does one need to be “orthodox” or “heterodox” to do what is so obvious morally and ethically?

    2. Are Catholics so infatuated with “orthodoxy” and “heterodoxy” that they relegate legitimate questions about the moral behavior of their leaders to a lower place?

    I completely agree with Bill’s and Liz’s comments. The lacy of urgency Bill describes and the institutional arrogance Liz describes have been the hallmarks of the Church’s response to clerical sex-abuse at least since 1049, when St. Peter Damian wrote his treatise, “Liber Gommorianus” (“The Book of Gomorrah”), describing not only priests sexually abusing children but priests taking mistresses and other such misdeeds. Pope Leo IX initially supported Peter, then backed off under pressue. This was a thousand years ago, people!

    There’s something even worse going on here: God’s holy name is besmerched by such grotesque sin. I suggest you all pick up a copy of “Losing My Religion,” written by William Lobdell, a former editor and reporter with the Los Angeles Times. Lobdell was considering becoming an evangelical Protestant when the fiscal scandals invovling TBN and Paul Crouch broke. Then he was considering becoming Catholic when the clerical sex-abuse crisis in Boston broke. As a result, he couldn’t believe that a just God would allow such travesties to happen in His Name, so he became an atheist.

    Lobdell’s logic might be extremely faulty (just read Ezekiel 34 and Matthew 23). But how many others have rejected God and His Son because of legitimate disgust with ecclesiastical corruption? Do you think that a holy, righteous God — the quintessence of purity — will not hold the perpetrators to account in a way that would boggle the mind of the average Christian?

    God is not mocked. The Church’s leadership long ago rejected Jesus’ model of self-sacrificing service described in John 13-16. It has sacrificed that mandate on the altar of power, wealth, secular influence, intellectual vanity, institutional arrogance and a pervasive sense of entitlement. It has infected too many of its members with those same qualities. I hope Bishop Finn’s indictment is the start of many more such indictments. Only when the Church’s real values (those I just described) are threatened will it act with the aggressiveness it lacked since the 11th century.

    If you don’t believe me, then ask yourselves this: Would the Council of Trent ever taken place without the challenges Luther brought?

  • Joe, the huge chip you have on your shoulder against the Catholic Church is getting old really fast. Lose it when you comment here or I will ban you. This is not a forum for enemies of the Church.

    The motivation of the prosecutor is always relevant in a case involving selective prosecution which is what this is partially about since these types of prosecutions are so rare. The animus of a prosecutor against the target of prosecution is always a factor to consider when examining any prosecution. I await with eager anticipation Prosecutor Baker bringing such charges against the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in her jurisdiction. (Crickets chirp.)

    Orthodoxy and heterodoxy are always important to believing Catholics. Since you are no longer a believing Catholic such distinctions are not important to you, but they are highly important to the vast majority of people who read this blog.

    Your attempt to portray the Church as irredeemably corrupt is a time worn staple of anti-Catholic bigots. Corruption within the Church has been a problem since Judas betrayed Our Lord. It is a battle that will be fought until Gabriel blows his trump and it does not alter an iota the fact that the Catholic faith is the True Faith, your opinion to the contrary notwithstanding.

    I hope the prosecution of Bishop Finn will be an object lesson to bishops that they need to turn over all allegations of abuse to the authorities immediately. Bishops are not criminal investigators and they only get into trouble when they adopt that role. However, you are delusional if you think that Catholics cannot recognize the double standard deployed against the Church in this matter, and the attempts by enemies of the Church to use such scandals as a club to wield against her. Catholics are quite capable of insisting that the officials of the Church act against predatory priests and bishops while also combating our foes outside of the Church.

  • I hope this example will be ANOTHER warning to all Church officials that this type of behavior and / or oversight is unacceptable. If mistakes were made he should be punished. If I was him – I would immediately resign, take my punishment and resign myself to a life and prayer and penance. This is the only solution that I can see.

    I just don’t understand – what is it going to take for the leaders to deal properly with this issue. Hasn’t it been in the news enough?

  • “Would the Council of Trent (have) ever taken place without the challenges Luther brought?”

    We don’t know. I suspect it might not have, but even so, that simply shows that God can always bring good (the strengthening/purification of the Faith) out of evil (scandal followed by schism/apostasy).

  • Don,
    Maybe what made this legally mandatory is the fact that Bishop Finn took an oath three years prior as part of a court settlement to report immediately henceforth in another case that cost the Diocesan peoples one and all….ten million dollars. Wouldn’t that court oath nullify discretion in this case on the part of the prosecutor. In effect, Bishop Finn was also breaking his word as given in the previous case’s settlement details. Catholics from the previous case could have ambushed the prosecutor on the settlement violation….?and asked for more money perchance?

  • Bill, any agreement in a civil settlement would have absolutely no relevance in this criminal prosecution. The Bishop is being prosecuted for not complying with a Missouri statute with a criminal penalty attached. If the participants in the settlement believe the Bishop has breached the terms of the settlement then they could bring a civil suit. Civil and criminal litigation are two separate animals.

  • “Would the Council of Trent (have) ever taken place without the challenges Luther brought?”

    Probably since such Church councils were a common feature of that period in Church history and there were calls for a council, many of them from popes, to reform the Church predating the appearance of “Pope” Luther. The V Lateran Council sat from 1512-1515, and I have no doubt other councils would have appeared in due course without Luther.


  • Question of fact: Is presence of child pornography on a person’s Personal Computer considered prima facie evidence of that person’s being a child abuser?
    Just asking.

  • Don,

    Go get ’em! Nice post, and I absolutely believe that you have to take into account the prosecutor’s political leanings in this indictment. Great point about Planned Parenthood monsters not being prosecuted for their abuse of minors. But here’s what I want to know from the prosecutor: Why wasn’t Bob Murphy, the Vicar General who gave Bishop Finn a very small part of the story not indicted? Why was the principal who wrote the letter to Bishop Finn calling attention to Ratigan’s inappropriate acts not indicted? As a principal I believe she falls under the mandated reporting rules. It’s sickening that she saw these actions of Ratigan with a camera, heard from others that he did the same thing in front of them, and did not go the the authorities even simultaneously with the diocese and instead allowed her allegations to be stuck in Bob Murphy’s hands while Ratigan continued to abuse children.

    Where is the accountability from the people who are required to report these types of creepy behavior? There is no question that Bishop Finn was not vigilant enough in keeping the tainted from positions of authority (Murphy has had credible allegations of abuse). There also is no question that he did not act swiftly and decisively enough to segregate Ratigan at the moment he knew about these photographs. But I can’t figure out why he is indicted while the other main players are left alone. Bigotry and politics have to be considered as motives.

  • All excellent questions Scott. Murphy and the principal would both have run afoul of the statute, along with any number of other people within the Diocese who had knowledge of the facts of the case. That the smaller fry were not indicted is an indication that the prosecutor wanted maximum publicity by targeting the Bishop, and she got the publicity she wanted. Ironically, as this plays out, I think she may have a hard time getting a conviction against the Bishop since she will have a more difficult time proving early direct knowledge on his part as opposed to people further up the information chain that led to the Bishop. Of course, all of this has very little to do with punishing an actual violation of the statute and everything to do with furthering the political career of Jean Peters Baker. I have spent the past 29 years at the bar, defended hundreds of people accused of crimes, most of them felonies, as private defense counsel, served as court appointed defense counsel in dozens of cases, and been appointed a special prosecutor in two cases. Based upon my experience, it is pretty obvious to me what is going on in regard to this prosecution.

  • “Is presence of child pornography on a person’s Personal Computer considered prima facie evidence of that person’s being a child abuser?
    Just asking.”

    No. However mere knowing possession of child pornography on a computer is a federal offense and is subject to 5-20 years in prison. People need to be very careful who they allow to have access to their computers.

  • Good points from Don and Scott. I also wondered why Monsignor Murphy, in particular, is not being prosecuted. Having followed this from the first reports it seems clear to me that he chose to be less than forthright with the information he passed to Bishop Finn. It seems to me the case against him is much stronger than it is against the Bishop. (Please note I AM NOT saying that Bishop Finn handled this properly).

    On a personal note I, once again, am very frustrated how hard the ecclesiastical authorities sometimes make it for the orthodox laity who Love and want to defend the Church. I understand the Church is a target but do we have to make it so easy to hit?

  • “I understand the Church is a target but do we have to make it so easy to hit?”

    Well said Lance! When Bishop Finn became aware of the facts in this case he should have immediately contacted the authorities himself. That would have not only been the right thing to do, but the prudent thing to do. His failure to do so will only give enemies of the Church much fodder for their attacks, and dismay faithful Catholics. All very sad and all very unnecessary.

  • I would suggest everybody read The Anchoress’ post and the comments that follow:


  • “Would the Council of Trent ever taken place without the challenges Luther brought?”

    Councils generally are meant to address heresy. Heresy is always and everywhere wrong. If Luther remained a heretic and apostate even unto death, it would have been better that he had never been born. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.

    You couldn’t have picked a worse argument there, Joseph.

    That being said, regardless of civil law (which may or may not be just) the bishop had a moral duty to protect his flock. It appears that the Bishop failed to meet this obligation and if he had then the consequences of civil law would not now be an issue. It is a sad commentary on the bishops that it is their moral failings and not their civil ones which have caused such great scandal.

  • First let me start off with saying that I believe that Bishop Finn and the diocese screwed up big time on this by not going directly to the authorities but I think the article brings up some good points. IMHO, I think there was some politics involved. Let’s just say that criminals get away with murder in Jackson County. Literally. Unless Jackson County prosecutors have a slam dunk case they don’t file and people go free.

    In regard to the letter from the principle. That was a good 8 months before the porn findings came out and I believe the letter was more along the lines of, “this guy isn’t right” and “these behaviors aren’t really appropriate.” More along the lines of she saw red flags and was bringing it to someones attention so I don’t think she would have had to hotline it.

    My question, and maybe you have an idea about this, Donald. The crime occurred in Clay County, which is where the priest was charged and where he is sitting in jail. The chancery is in Jackson County. Wouldn’t it make more sense if the bishop would have been charged in Clay County since that is where the crime occurred?? I don’t know the answer to that.

  • The venue for the non-reporting would probably be where the non-reporting occurred which is the site of the chancery.

    By not pursuing the small fry who had prior knowledge the prosecutor is allowing the Bishop’s defense team to raise numerous issues about the prosecutor playing games with the statutory report requirement, and only using it in this case to nail the Bishop who had no first hand knowledge of any of the facts. If the Bishop is guilty about not disclosing the computer porn in a timely fashion, why does the prosecutor not prosecute everyone else who had knowledge of it prior to the disclosure? The answer is obvious: Her target is the Bishop. Prosecutors have broad discretion as to whom to prosecute, but it is not unlimited. Courts can act if a prosecutor is obviously abusing her discretion. This is not an open and shut case, and there are numerous legal defenses of the Bishop in regard to the charge of not reporting. Stay tuned.

  • While this prosecutor may be a ‘fanatic pro-abort’ as you say, you will remember the recent (and ongoing) vigorous criminal investigation into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is spearheaded by a devout practising Catholic.
    Given the times in which we live I say pray the rosary, be prudent in your judgements, trust in Almighty God, and let the chips fall where they may.

  • A devout Catholic Philadelphia’s DA may claim to be but three decisions suggest to me that fairness and justice are not among his virtues: try everyone together so that Msgr. Lynn will be tarred with the same brush as the perpetrators, publish the grand jury report with fanfare so as to taint the jury pool, and make a very public request to put our past cardinals on the stand to bolster the impression in the pool of potential jurers that there is a grand conspiracy.

    These may be the tools of an ambitious DA but they are not the tools of an honest man.

  • “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
    Applying this to myself, I resist the temptation to comment on any of the previous entries.

  • [N]o Planned Parenthood affiliate has ever been successfully prosecuted for failure to report suspected sexual abuse of a minor…

    -Donald R. McClarey

    Okay, so the prosecutor is diabolical. (Kind’a tautological, that.) And I’ll grant you that the prosecutor has a deep problem with the concept of equal treatment under the law.

    Still, I don’t care for these Oh Yeah, What About Planned Parenthood (OYWAPP) comparisons. The Church is not called to match Planned Parenthood’s standards.

  • Indeed not Michael! However, prosecutors should not be in the business of using the Church as a whipping boy while allowing Planned Parenthood to go on with business as usual, aborting underage minor girls, and never obeying mandatory sexual reporting statutes. I have little doubt that the only reason why Bishop Finn is being prosecuted is to further the political career of the prosecutor, and I attempt to call her out on this every chance I get, especially, as I expect, if the prosecution of the Bishop is sui generis in the manner in which this prosecutor deals with institutions that fail to report suspected abuse promptly.

  • i agree on all counts, Donald.

  • The hierarchy in this country has had this coming for a long time… I could have selected more worthy recipients of criminal prosecution (Bernard Law?), and certainly picking on a relatively “conservative” bishop has a smell about it. But the law is the law is the law, and these guys have known for years that the delay and coverup game is a dangerous one.

    With respect to the American church winking at clerical sexual deviancy, it’s high time that some serious housecleaning happened. I wouldn’t pick the civil authorities as my broom, but if the Pope won’t or can’t do it, well, what can we expect?

  • I agree Mr. McKenna.

    When one is in a position subject to great scrutiny, one must avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Surely, given the timeframe that these events occurred, the diocese knew that everything they did would be scrutinized. What in the world possessed them to do as they did?

    I suspect this is one of those things that looks clear from the outside but is much more convoluted from the inside. I suspect that, when the Bishop first heard of the matter, he assigned someone to look into it and sincerely prayed that it was other than it appeared. I can imagine him praying that the pictures related to girls of age and the diocese looking for outside confirmation that the images were, indeed, “child pornography” under the law before they absorbed another scandal and sacrificed another priest.

    I do not say this by way of excuse. It just strikes me that priests tend to view their brethren as something akin to family and may not behave in entirely rational ways where there remains any hope that the accused is innocent. This is precisely why Bishops must be leaders.

  • Why did Bp Finn do what he did? I suspect it’s because he probably holds to liberal beliefs. On the 9/7/10 post on the Seeking Justice blog, he’s quoted as coming out against the death penalty. Opposition to the dp has always been a hallmark of liberalism. To the best of my knowledge, people who espouse this idea never hold it in isolation from other liberal beliefs. It’s part of a package of ideas common to liberalism. I suspect in the next few months we’ll discover he does have other liberal ideas.

  • these guys have known for years that the delay and coverup game is a dangerous one.

    There was no cover-up, merely a delay in reporting that the man had been in possession of pornography.

    Where I live (a diocese which had a high accusation rate), the term ‘cover-up’ makes little sense in aught but a few cases, because the lapse of time between occurrance of supposed offenses and complaints to the bishop exceeded the statute of limitations.

    With respect to the American church winking at clerical sexual deviancy, it’s high time that some serious housecleaning happened. I wouldn’t pick the civil authorities as my broom, but if the Pope won’t or can’t do it, well, what can we expect?

    There are about 3,000 bishops worldwide. That is a lot of direct reports. The number of people employed by the Holy See (in all capacities) is in the low thousands. The Holy See can set standards and adjudicate some cases, but it does not have the manpower to repair the problem on its own.

  • “Opposition to the dp has always been a hallmark of liberalism. To the best of my knowledge, people who espouse this idea never hold it in isolation from other liberal beliefs.”

    This would be absurd if you hadn’t added the phrase “[t]o the best of my knowledge.” I suppose that, if that statement represents the “best” of your knowledge, I can’t be all that upset with the characterization.

  • “Finn and the diocese had reasonable cause to believe that the Ratigan may have abused a child but did not report it to authorities between Dec. 16, 2010, and May 11, 2011, the indictment alleged. The indictment said previous suspicions about Ratigan’s behavior around children and the discovery in December 2010 of hundreds of photos of children on Ratigan’s laptop were evidence of that concern.”

    “Those photos included images of a child’s naked vagina and upskirt pictures focusing on the child’s crotch.”

    “Finn and the diocese also must have had concerns about Ratigan’s conduct because they had restricted him from being around children after the laptop images were discovered, according to the charges.”

    Ummm, THAT’s the delay and coverup of clerical sexual deviancy at issue. More than “merely a delay” IMHO.

    As for Rome, they’ve known for DECADES who the offenders are amongst the bishops; certainly by the time the Boston Globe is doing exposes, you’d think Rome would already know of the problem…. or in Ireland, for another egregious example.

    No, for YEARS, beginning in the 80’s, Rome has steadfastly refused to take decisive action against the worst of the episcopal offenders. Result: an atmosphere where bishops reliably expect no consequences to the delay and coverup shuffle. It wouldn’t take more than one or two high-profile removals from important sees for the message to be sent. For whatever reason, Rome has chosen not to do it.

    Now our enemies will.

  • Response was: pick one or two egregious offenders, they’re not hard to find in this day and age, and deprive them of their sees. It’s simple human nature that if the bishops feel no heat from above (i.e., that they risk their “careers” if they are not diligent in policing their priests) they will be lax. This is what has happened, but now, that they face the risk of prosecution, I’ll wager chanceries around the nation are taking a different and tougher look at these kinds of cases.

    Do you doubt that there is a culture of cover up? Try: http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/extras/coverups_archive.htm
    In Philadelphia, for example, the grand jury concluded:
    “In its callous, calculating manner, the Archdiocese’s handling of the abuse scandal, was at least as immoral as the abuse itself. The evidence before us established that officials at the highest level (read Cardinals) received reports of abuse; that they chose not to conduct any meaningful investigation of those reports; that they left dangerous priests in place or transferred them; that they never alerted parents to the dangers posed by these offenders; that they intimidated or retaliated against victims who came forward; that they manipulated ‘treatment” efforts in order to create a false impression of action and that they did many of these things to avoid civic liability.”
    Ummm, so what’s not responsive?