A KC judge is letting a wrongful death lawsuit, stemming from childhood sex abuse by a priest, go ahead toward trial because the victim’s parents charge they were deceived by church staffers who “fraudulently concealed the clerics’ crimes.”
We applaud this historic ruling, and this family for having the courage and strength to seek justice and expose wrongdoing in court.
It’s hard to imagine much of anything worse than the death of a child. But this case is indeed worse: a child died by his own hand because of a pedophile priest and the priest’s crimes were concealed from the child’s parents for years.
So we are glad that Judge Michael W. Manners sided with Donald and Rosemary Teeman. We are grateful that a trial is now possible, at which the heinous crimes of Msgr. Thomas J. O’Brien and the inexcusable complicity of church officials may be further documented and disclosed.
It’s important to remember that O’Brien faces allegations that he molested more than two dozen children (sometimes along with fellow KC priest Fr. Thomas Reardon). He still lives in the KC area and kept working as a priest until 2002. O’Brien remains a priest today.
Let’s hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in KC will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.