MO- Three who lost their abuse cases get a break
Three who lost their abuse cases get a break
New settlement with 30 victims will be shared with them
SNAP: “This is an unprecedented and extremely generous move”
More than 90 victims of KC pedophile priests have now come forward, group says
Advocate praises them for “breaking new ground” & “showing incredible kindness"
And victims prod KC Catholic officials to do more about two now-ousted local priests
One is Missouri’s most prolific child molesting cleric; the other lives near several schools
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will:
--disclose an unusual, perhaps “first-ever” arrangement in which 30 clergy sex abuse victims are agreeing to share part of their new $9.95 million settlement with three other victims whose cases were tossed out of court on legal technicalities,
--praise the 90+ KC area men and women who, over the past 20 years, have settled abuse and cover up suits against KC church officials and
-- urge KC Catholic officials to warn the public about two credibly accuse serial predator priests who are still living in the KC area (one near several schools).
They will also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to come forward and report to police.
Thursday, Oct. 16 at 2:00 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the KC Catholic Diocese headquarters, 20 W. 9th St. (corner of Baltimore Ave.) in downtown Kansas City, MO
Four members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization's long time director and was molested by a Missouri priest
In what may be an unprecedented move, 30 clergy sex abuse victims will share part of their new $9.95 million dollar settlement with three other victims who aren’t formally part of the deal. Their cases were rejected by judges largely based on what SNAP calls “a bizarre legal technicality” - because the alleged crimes took place on private property, not church property.
“The bad news is that Bishop Robert Finn and other Catholic officials successfully exploit this loophole,” said Mike Hunter, SNAP’s KC director. “The good news is that, despite Bishop Finn’s callous and selfish behavior, these three victims are not being left out in the cold, because their brothers and sisters who just settled are recognizing and generously remedying this injustice.”
SNAP leaders say they can’t recall a similar situation anywhere in the country.
“Usually, we’re isolated and abused as kids by Catholic predators, and often, in litigation, we’re isolated and betrayed again by church officials, each of our cases winning or losing in individual hearings before individual judges,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “It’s heart-warming and inspiring to see these 30 KC victims overcoming this isolation and showing such compassion to their brothers who would otherwise walk away with no justice or compensation at all.”
(The three victims, all of whom were reportedly sexually assaulted by Fr. Michael Tierney, include David Tate and John Doe BP.)
SNAP leaders are also praising all 90+ clergy sex abuse victims who, over the past two decades, “have found the bravery, strength and persistence to file lawsuits, endure delays and force settlements from a local church hierarchy that plays more ‘legal hardball’ than almost any other diocese anywhere in the U.S.,” Dorris said.
The group says that 90+ victims is a disproportionately high number of victims for a relatively small diocese. The real total of KC predator priest victims, SNAP says, is likely much higher.
“This figure only includes those men and women who actually brought and settled cases that we know about,” Dorris stressed. (This week, 30 victims settled. In 2008, 47 victims settled. The remainder of the 90+ settled in between those dates or mostly before 2002.)
For the safety of children, the victims want Bishop Robert Finn to warn parishioners about two credibly accused serial predator priests who are still in the Kansas City area - Fr. Tierney and Fr. Thomas M. Reardon. The two were among the alleged child molesting clerics involved in the settlement announced earlier this week.
Fr. Tierney now lives at 412 E. 64th Terrace in Kansas City MO, according to Internet searches.
Fr. Tierney was ordained in the Kansas City diocese in 1969 and worked most recently at Christ the King parish in Lee’s Summit. He also worked at the Kansas City Cathedral, St. Elizabeth, St. Patrick, St. Charles Borromeo (all in Kansas City), St. Joseph in St. Mary’s, Coronation of Our Lady in Grandview and Holy Spirit in Lee’s Summit.
Fr. Reardon was last known to be living at an apartment complex at Birch and 133rd in Leawood, KS, near three schools and the Deer Creek subdivision. In 2011, a civil lawsuit was served against Reardon there.
That same year, SNAP wrote letters to five school and church officials asking them to alert the public about Reardon’s presence and his crimes. The schools include Oxford Park Academy (13200 Nall Ave., 913 897 2774), Overland Trail Elementary (6225 W 133rd, 913 239 7000), and Mission Trail Elementary (13200 Mission Rd., 913 239 6700). All are (or were) a mile or less away from Reardon’s home.
In 1989, Reardon resigned from the priesthood. Earlier, he had been sent to John Hopkins for treatment for his “addictions,” yet still the KC diocese paid for him to become a licensed counselor. In 2004, however, Reardon voluntarily turned in that professional license when lawsuits against him began piling up. (He’s now faced at least 25 accusers and almost all of them have settled civil cases against him.)
Reardon was ordained in the Kansas City diocese in 1967 and worked most recently at both the Cathedral and St. Elizabeth’s for four years each. (Both parishes are in Kansas City). He also worked at St. John Francis Regis, St. Gabriel Archangel, the CYO and various archdiocesan offices (all in KC), Church of Santa Fe in Buckner, and Camp Little Flower in Raytown. (He often allegedly committed child sex crimes with Msgr. Thomas J. O’Brien, who passed away last year.)
In the past, SNAP has urged KC Catholic officials to put proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests in remote, secure, independent treatment centers so they would be kept away from children. But if Finn is not willing to do this will ALL of his child molesting clerics, SNAP says, he should at least alert the public about these two. SNAP believes that neither has been defrocked, so if either man has molested again or does molest again, it’s possible that the diocese may be held responsible, SNAP charges.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.