The judge and the prosecutor handed Bishop Finn a Hershey chocolate bar and then unwrapped it for him. A far cry from the maximum year in prison or from the seven months in jail recommended by the Grand Jury after hearing all the evidence. What happened to the investigation done by the diocese that the clerical authorities didn’t do their job? Were all these swept under the rug to save the Bishop any hurt?
Did the prosecutor go wobbly? This was more of an ice cream social than a bench trial about exposing sexually abused children by predator priest. The Bishop never had the discomfort or the pain of facing the abused victims, yet he was allowed to testify on behalf of himself at a Bench Trial. The victims didn’t even know about this hastily put together Bench Trial, nor did they have access to the diocese ATM card to hire fancy lawyers to match those of the Bishop.
One can’t blame the prosecutor for realizing that none of the abused children can vote for her. So why not let the Bishop off the hook and actually allow him to testify at the Judge’s bench hearing? The Bishop and his crew of lawyers can at least vote for her. The non voting abused children must have been surprised to find that the Sept 24th jury trial that they waited over a year for was already over. This is justice? The abused must still suffer, but the Bishops is free to do business as usual.
We are back to cover up and if you are caught, bring out the diocese ATM card and pay to have them go away. The question Is Bishop Finn above the law? The answer is yes. What a loss for the most vulnerable among us and what a victory for the well financed, isolated Bishop who will continue to empty the pews with Vatican approval.