Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City–Saint Joseph

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Diocese of Kansas City–Saint Joseph
Dioecesis Kansanopolitanae–Sancti Josephi
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City St Joseph.svg
Country  United States
Territory Northern & Western Missouri
Ecclesiastical province St. Louis
Area 15,429 km2 (5,957 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
137,900 (9.1%)
Parishes 87
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established September 10, 1880
Cathedral Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Kansas City)
Co-cathedral Cathedral of St. Joseph (St. Joseph)
Patron saint Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop James Vann Johnston, Jr.
Emeritus Bishops Robert Finn
Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph.jpg

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City–Saint Joseph (Latin: Dioecesis Kansanopolitanae–Sancti Josephi) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Missouri in the United States. The current bishop is James Vann Johnson, Jr.. It is a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. The see city for the diocese is Kansas City, Missouri. The cathedral parish is Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and its co-cathedral is the Cathedral of St. Joseph in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the co-seat of the Diocese of Kansas City–Saint Joseph


On September 10, 1880, Pope Leo XIII established the Diocese of Kansas City, with territories taken from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Its first bishop was John Joseph Hogan. On July 2, 1956, the diocese incorporated part of the territory of the Diocese of Saint Joseph, which had been established by Pope Pius IX on March 3, 1868. On the same date in 1956 part of the Diocese of Kansas City's territory went to establish the Diocese of Jefferson City and the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. The diocese received its present name and boundaries at that time.[1][2]

Child Abuse Scandal[edit]

On September 6, 2012, Bishop Robert Finn was convicted on one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse, based on his knowledge of the activities of a priest in his diocese, Rev. Shawn Ratigan, who in August 2012 pleaded guilty to five counts of possession and production of child pornography and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. In May 2010, the principal of the Catholic elementary school where Father Ratigan was working had sent a memo to the diocese raising alarm about the priest. The letter said that he had put a girl on his lap on a bus ride and encouraged children to reach into his pockets for candy, and that parents discovered girl’s underwear in a planter outside his house. Finn said he did not read the letter until a year later. In December, 2010, a computer technician and a deacon informed the diocese of several "alarming" photos on Ratigan's laptop. Catholic canon law and Federal law, as well as the diocese's own policies, mandated that the diocese report any allegations of sexual abuse. Diocesan officials contacted a police officer and the diocesan attorney the next day, both of whom said that the images did not constitute child pornography and thus there was no crime to report either to a diocesan review board or to the police. The next day, Ratigan was discovered unconscious in his closed garage, his motorcycle running, along with a suicide note apologizing to the children, their families and the church. Finn sought psychiatric treatment for Ratigan and in February, 2011, imposed seven restrictions on Ratigan, including the instruction to "avoid all contact with children." In March, however, it was reported to Finn that Ratigan had been present at six-year-old girl's birthday party, and in May, Finn disclosed the existence of the photographs to police. In October, 2011, both the diocese and Finn were indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment or a $1,000 fine, based on the six-month delay in reporting the existence of the photographs. After a brief bench trial, Finn was convicted on one count, acquitted on a second count, and sentenced to two years probation, and charges against the diocese were dropped. The Vatican announced the bishop's resignation April 21, 2015, specifying it was under the terms of the Code of Canon Law, which says, "A diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office."


The lists of bishops and their years of service:

Bishops of the diocese[edit]

Until 1956, this was the Diocese of Kansas City.

  1. John Joseph Hogan (1880–1913); died
  2. Thomas Francis Lillis (1913–1938); died
  3. Edwin Vincent O'Hara (1939–1956); raised to personal rank of Archbishop in 1954; died
  4. John Patrick Cody (1956–1961), first Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph; appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of New Orleans; future Cardinal; was coadjutor here, 1954-1956
  5. Charles Herman Helmsing (1962–1977); resigned
  6. John Joseph Sullivan (1977–1993); resigned
  7. Raymond James Boland (1993–2005); resigned
  8. Robert William Finn (2005–2015); resigned; was coadjutor, 2004-2005
  9. James Vann Johnston, Jr. (2015–present)

Coadjutor Bishop[edit]

  • John J. Glennon (1896-1903); appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of St. Louis (succeeded to see same year); Cardinal in 1946

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]

High schools[edit]

See also[edit]


Specific citations:

  1. ^ "Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  2. ^ "Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph". Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  3. ^ Robertson, Joe (January 24, 2013). "St. Mary’s High School closing earlier than expected". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  4. ^ "Construction set to begin, high school should open in 2017 | The Catholic Key". Retrieved 2016-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°05′25″N 94°35′01″W / 39.09028°N 94.58361°W / 39.09028; -94.58361