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Principal warned KC diocese over priest


A Catholic school principal warned the vicar-general of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph more than a year ago that parents and teachers found a priest’s behavior to children troubling.

Julie Hess, principal of St. Patrick School in Kansas City, North, detailed her concerns about Father Shawn Ratigan’s behavior including his taking of hundreds of photos of children, in a May 19, 2010, letter to diocese Vicar General Robert Murphy, KansasCity.com reports.

“I seek to fulfill my responsibility as school principal in relaying a growing body of parent and teacher concerns regarding Pastor Shawn Ratigan’s perceived inappropriate behavior with children,” Hess wrote.

The warning came more than six months before the diocese was alerted to questionable images of children on Ratigan’s computer.

Father Ratigan, 45, of Kansas City, North, was charged last week with possessing pornographic photos of children taken around churches and schools where he had worked in the diocese. Ratigan pleaded not guilty Monday in Clay County Circuit Court.

Diocese spokeswoman Rebecca Summers said Murphy did get a memo in May 2010 from Hess sharing concerns about Ratigan’s behavior.

“Monsignor Murphy went through each point with Ratigan and set clear boundaries for him,” Summers said.


Principal warned diocese about priest more than a year ago (KansasCity.com)



  1. Katie says:

    What background? How about facts and not innuendo Gerri? Julie did everything legally and morally possible to raise red flags about Rattigan. Remember she had no idea of his history or that there were pictures on his computer.

  2. gerri says:

    why didn’t julie hess the great principle follow up after she sent the letter shes no better she let a year go by and who knows how many more pictures were taken shes just as much to blame someone needs to look up her back ground because she has one

  3. mary kujawa says:

    it would save a lot of children from sexual abuse if church officials removed dangerous priest.

  4. Tony says:

    And our bishops are worried about the congregation praying with an actual literal translation from latin. Surely a congregation saying “and with your spirit” rather than, “and also with you.” is worth more time and effort than these sick priests and pastors.


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