Parents upset with diocese response to priest accused of possessing child porn

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Angry parents confronted Catholic diocese leaders at St. Patrick's Church Friday evening. Some feel the diocese misled parishioners about Father Shawn Ratigan who faces three counts of felony child porn possession.

Parents entered St. Patrick's Church saddened over what possibly happened to some of their children.

"I think that once the parents get knowledge of their daughters between the ages of 3 and 13 being cleared that the stress that we're all feeling will be relieved," said Liz, a parent who did not want to give her full name.

In December, members of the diocese discovered "disturbing" images on Ratigan's computer. Instead of launching a full investigation, Bishop Robert Finn said a member of the diocese contacted a Kansas City police officer, showed legal counsel the image and were told that while troubling, the photo did not constitute child porn.

It wasn't until last week after Ratigan defied diocese orders to stay away from children were police called to investigate.

"I feel like I've been betrayed," Liz said.

"That part of it really bothers me," said Ivette Arango, another parent.

During Friday night's meeting, Bishop Finn apologized to parishioners. Still, some want him to resign.

"They are heart-fully sorry and they know they did wrong," Liz said. "But, at this point, until the process and the structures are changed within the diocese and the guidelines that have put them in this position, then it's hard for me to forgive at this point."

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