No child porn found on computers seized from Independence Catholic church

INDEPENDENCE, Mo - Computers seized from a Catholic church in Independence contained no child pornography, according to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

"The parishioners have been praying for good results because there is still a lot of hurt in the community," said Carrie Cooper, director of the Youth and Child Protection Office within the diocese.

In March, several computers were taken from St. Ann Parish after it was discovered somebody had used the church's unprotected IP address.

"The parish had been using an unsecured, non-password protected wireless signal, so the files could have been downloaded either at the parish office or by someone within range of their wifi signal," the Diocese said in a statement.

The Diocese says investigators are returning the computers taken from the church. Now Diocese officials say they are taking a better look at the wireless networks in all of their 98 parishes and 40 schools.

"That was a big lesson learned that wifi connections need to be secured," said Cooper. The network at St. Ann's has already been secured. "We're happy to say it is locked up so something like this should not happen again."

It is a lesson learned too late for SNAP or The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests. They released the following statement Thursday:

"Bishop Robert Finn allegedly asked his staff to 'implement security measures' after the Kansas City police issued a search warrant.

"However, Catholic officials have been dealing with clergy sex crimes for centuries and child porn for decades. It's disappointing to see officials finally taking simple prevention steps only after harm has been done.
At a bare minimum, shouldn't these measures have been adopted 2.5 years ago, after Fr. Shawn Ratigan was caught with child porn?"

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