Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph appears during a bench trial on Sept. 6, 2012 at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Mo.
Photo by Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star/AP

Vatican: U.S. Catholic bishop in child pornography case resigns

VATICAN CITY — Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City, who was convicted of failing to alert authorities to a trove of child pornography found on a priest’s computer in 2012, has resigned, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

Finn, 62, was the only U.S. Roman Catholic bishop to be convicted for not reporting suspicion of child abuse. Groups representing victims of abuse by clerics had been urging the pope to dismiss Finn.

The bishop was the subject of a Vatican investigation that started last September into his leadership of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri.

A Vatican statement said Pope Francis had accepted Finn’s resignation.

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A court in Kansas City convicted Finn in 2012 of failing to report suspected child abuse after the child pornography was found on a computer of former priest of his diocese, Shawn Ratigan.

The bishop sent Ratigan to a therapist, moved him to a new job and ordered him to stay away from children. The court sentenced Ratigan to 50 years in prison and Finn to two years of probation.

An on-line petition asking the pope to remove Finn from the job has been signed by more than half a million people.

Victims of abuse have been urging the Vatican to make bishops suspected of covering up abuse to be held accountable even if they did not commit the abuse themselves.

Catholic Bishops, Roman Catholicism and Vatican

Vatican: U.S. Catholic bishop in child pornography case resigns