For immediate release Tuesday October 22, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
Missouri’s most awful predator priest will never again hurt a child.
Msgr. Thomas J. O’Brien has passed away. He forced silence on some of the dozens of boys he sexually assaulted by telling them that they would be kicked out of the Catholic Church, they would go directly to hell and their parents would disown them.
O’Brien faced allegations of molesting more than two dozen children (sometimes along with fellow KC priest Fr. Thomas Reardon), often at a cabin on Lake Viking (northeast of Kansas City) and several parishes (St. Patrick’s in Kansas City North, St. Elizabeth’s, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence). O’Brien worked at several Catholic institutions (St. Pius X High school and St. Joseph Health Center). O’Brien was also chaplain for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. He remained a priest until his death.
He apparently lived his entire life in the KC area and kept working as a priest until 2002.
In 2008, Kansas City church officials refused demands by victims to have O’Brien defrocked. Shame on them.
We hope every single person who was assaulted by Msgr. O’Brien feels a measure of relief and closure at his passing. We hope every single person who saw or suspected his crimes will call police, so that those who ignored, hid or enabled his crimes might be prosecuted. And we hope every single person who stayed silent about his crimes will re-examine his or her conscience and finally find the courage to call police, prosecutors, therapists, journalists or support groups, so that more of the truth about Kansas City clerics who committed or concealed heinous crimes against kids will be revealed.