For first time ever, Victims Assistance Coordinator speaks out

  • In “unprecedented move,” nun blasts bishop
  • It’s 1st time ever that an ‘ex-victims director’ speaks out
  • For four years, she worked in KC Catholic headquarters
  • She says bishop “put kids at risk” & must be “accountable
  • And a fifth lawsuit filed against priest who was ousted in June
  • He repeatedly molested boy, once at priests’ notorious lake house
  • There, a second priest “offered boys chance for sexual favors with a girl

WHAT:

Holding signs and childhood photos a sidewalk news conference,

--a nun who worked for four years in the KC Catholic headquarters will criticize KC’s bishop for the way he’s handling the Fr. Ratigan child porn case. (It’s the first time ever in the US that a former diocesan “victims’ assistant coordinator” is openly blasting a bishop and siding with victims and SNAP in public.)

Also, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a new civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a two clerics, including a priest who headed a KC parish as recently as five months ago, and

WHEN: 

----------------TODAY, Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 1:00 PM -----------------

WHERE: 

Outside the chancery (diocesan headquarters) at 20 West Ninth Street, Kansas City, MO 

WHO:

A KC nun who worked under embattled KC Bishop Robert Finn, along with two-three clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a KC man who was abused by a priest who became a bishop

WHY:

1. For four years (2000-2004) Sister Jeanne Christensen worked closely with now-retired KC Bishop Raymond Boland as the diocesan “victims’ assistance coordinator.” She worked with roughly 40 men and women who reported being sexually violated by Catholic clergy. Now, she’s speaking out against current KC Bishop Robert Finn.

SNAP calls her move “unprecedented” and “extraordinarily courageous.”

Christensen is now the “Justice Coordinator” for the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, based in North Kansas City.

2. Four recent child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits name or implicate Fr. Michael Tierney as an offender. Now, a fifth one is being filed today. It charges that Tierney molested a then 10-12 year old boy several places (mostly at St. Elizabeth’s parish in KC).

The suit also says that Tierney’s supervisor, Msgr. Thomas O’Brien “offered the victim, and other boys, the chance to ‘have’ a particular girl for sexual favors,” adding that “these acts were done openly, obviously and in the presence of other priests, including Fr. Tierney.”

The suit says that Tierney would corner the boy and rub him and touch “his private areas,” and fondled him “in the sacristy under the guise of helping him get ready for mass.” At least once, the suit says, Tierney took the victim and two other boys to Lake Viking near Cameron MO, “repeatedly fondled whichever boy was in the front seat.” At the lake, O’Brien and Tierney offered the boys liquor and drugs.

While he was still a child, the boy told his father about the abuse but his father didn’t believe him He then “blocked the events from his mind,” telling no one until roughly August 2011, the suit says.

According to the suit, “multiple priests and lay persons had actual knowledge that Tierney hung around with O’Brien and Father Thomas Reardon who were known to abuse children,” to take kids to Lake Viking, and spend “inordinate amounts of time with children” at locations away from the church. 

The suit says that O’Brien, Tierney’s supervisor, knew that Tierney was engaging in sexual contact with children, but did nothing to protect the children. Instead, church officials “aided and abetted abuse” it says.

As recently as June 2, Tierney was still pastor of Christ the King parish (8510 Wornall Rd., 816-363-4888mtierney@ctkkcmo.org). For more than six months, SNAP repeatedly urged Bishop Finn to suspend him. Only after the child porn case of Fr. Shawn Ratigan surfaced did Finn finally suspend Tierney.  (Tierney is still a priest and claims he’s innocent.)

The first suit against Tierney (filed in September 2010), says that the priest molested a different 13 year old boy in 1971. According to the second suit (filed in February), Tierney made lewd comments and “parroted” sexual advances made by two other priests to an 11 year old boy in 1970. A third suit against him was filed in July, and the fourth was filed in last month.

By keeping Tierney in his post for months, SNAP believes Finn violated the US bishops’ national abuse policy which says that “credibly accused” priests must be quickly suspended.

Along with O'Brien, another notorious serial predator, Fr. Thomas Reardon, also worked at St. Elizabeth’s for years. The two often ‘shared’ victims and did sex acts in front of boys, according to numerous lawsuits.

A photo of Tierney is available at Bishop-Accountability.org

Attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 cell, rebecca@rmblawyers.com) represents victims of both O’Brien and Tierney. The diocese is represented by Chad Blomberg.

CONTACT 

Mike Hunter 913 634 6490, David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director 314 566 9790SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com,

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published this page in Media Events 2011-11-08 08:32:00 -0600
Our most powerful tool is the light of truth. Through our actions, we bring healing, prevention and justice.



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