On Tuesday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop who pleaded guilty to failing to report a suspected child abuser.
The Vatican said Tuesday that the bishop had offered his resignation under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign early for illness or some “grave” reason that makes them unfit for office.
There was no reason provided in the one-line announcement. The bishop is 62, about 13 years away from the normal retirement age of 75.
The bishop, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, apparently waited six months before notifying police about Rev. Shawn Ratigan, whose computer contained hundreds of lewd photos of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
The bishop plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected abuse and was sentenced to two years’ probation in 2012. Since that time, he has faced pressure from local Roman Catholics to step down, and some parishioners have petitioned Francis to remove him from the diocese.
No U.S. bishop to date has been forcibly removed for covering up for guilty clergy.
In the state of Florida, failure to report any form of child abuse to the Florida Department of Children and Families, including sexual assault, is a third-degree felony. Before July 1, 2012, this was a misdemeanor. Abuse reports can be made through the DCF statewide hotline by calling 1-800-96-ABUSE or through the DCF website.
While everyone in Florida is considered a mandated reporter, some people are professionally mandated reporters. Social workers, medical and mental health professionals, teachers and other school officials as well as church staff must give their names and occupation or place of business when calling to report suspected abuse.
If you or someone you know has been accused of failing to report suspected or known child abuse, a Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help. For a free consultation to learn more how we can assist with your case, please call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.
I could not have asked for them to do a better job because everything was perfect! Madison Mejia
Send us an email using the form below.
Boca Raton Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
3700 Airport Rd., Suite 401
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Naples Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 102
Naples, FL 34103
Tampa/St. Petersburg Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
200 Central Ave., Suite 400
Tampa, FL 33629
Spring Hill Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
11020 Northcliffe Blvd
Spring Hill, FL 34608
Gainesville Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
2441 NW 43rd Street
Gainesville, FL 32606
Toll Free Florida Statewide:Whittel & Melton, LLC
The information on this Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys & Lawyers / Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.