A judge has ordered the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph into arbitration to determine if the diocese violated a 2008 settlement with victims who were sexually abused by priests. In the 2008 settlement, 47 plaintiffs settled their claims with the diocese for $10 million and an agreement that the diocese would make 19 specific changes, including taking steps to meet state child abuse reporting requirements and implementing sexual misconduct policies. Last year, 42 of the plaintiffs demanded arbitration, alleging these requirements had not been met.
In a press release, Barbara Dorris, Saint Louis outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wrote, "We are grateful for this ruling. We're confident it will mean that dozens and dozens of KC area victims are a step closer toward healing and closure. We hope it will mean that Bishop Finn and other Catholic officials really will start implementing the 19 prevention steps they promised victims they'd take four years ago."
The 2008 settlement alleged abuse by two priests, Rev. Shawn Ratigan and Rev. Michael Tierney. Ratigan faces a trial this August on federal pornography charges and Tierney has been sued in civil court over the allegations of abuse.
Media Resources: SNAP Statement 6/13/15; Local Fox Affiliate 6/13/12; Kansas City Star 6/12/12
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .