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 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 Johnston, 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.[citation needed]

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 a 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."[citation needed]


The lists of bishops and their years of service:

Bishops of Kansas City[edit]

  1. John Joseph Hogan (1880-1913)
  2. Thomas Francis Lillis (1913-1938)
  3. Edwin Vincent O'Hara (1939-1956), elevated to Archbishop (ad personam) in 1954

Bishops of Kansas City-Saint Joseph[edit]

  1. John Patrick Cody (1956-1961), appointed Coadjutor Archbishop and Archbishop of New Orleans and later Archbishop of Chicago (elevated to Cardinal in 1967)
  2. Charles Herman Helmsing (1962-1977)
  3. John J. Sullivan (1977-1993)
  4. Raymond James Boland (1993-2005)
  5. Robert W. Finn (2005-2015)
  6. James Vann Johnston, Jr. (2015-present)

Coadjutor Bishops[edit]

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]

Educational institutions[edit]

High schools[edit]

School Location Oversight Opened
Bishop LeBlond High School St. Joseph Diocesan 1960
Cristo Rey Kansas City High School Kansas City Cristo Rey Network

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth

Notre Dame de Sion School Kansas City Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion 1912
Rockhurst High School Kansas City Society of Jesus 1910
St. Pius X Catholic High School Kansas City Diocesan 1956
St. Teresa's Academy Kansas City Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 1866
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School Lee's Summit Diocesan 2017

Closed high schools[edit]

School Location Oversight Opened Closed
Archbishop O'Hara High School Kansas City Diocesan 1965 2017
Bishop Hogan High School Kansas City Diocesan 1935 1999
St. Mary's High School Independence Diocesan 1853 2013

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. 

External links[edit]

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