MO --"Disturbing" deposition in clergy sex case is released
“Disturbing” deposition in clergy sex case is released
It talks of “drunk priests with erections touching each other”
In it, a 2nd person accuses priest of “acting improperly” with a child
That cleric is being sued for molesting a KC girl and is now in Nevada
SNAP wants him brought back to MO and put in a treatment facility
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will publicly disclose a “disturbing” 56 page deposition detailing shocking allegations against KC priests (one of whom faces 24 accusers, the other now faces two). They will also beg Kansas City’s bishop to
--put one accused priest, who is now in Nevada, into a secured treatment facility,
--personally visit parishes where predators worked urging victims, parishioners and employees to call law enforcement and,
--urge those who see, suspect or suffer clergy sex crimes and cover ups to call police and prosecutors, not church officials.
Tuesday, December 3 at 11:30 a.m.
Outside the KC Catholic diocesan chancery office/headquarters, 20 W. 9th Street in downtown KC MO
Three 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 executive director
According to a deposition being released today for the first time, on more than a dozen occasions, a then-14 year old boy named David Ford was asked to bartend for priests’ parties in 1978-1979. At these events, Ford says he met - and was abused by – Fr. Thomas M. Reardon.
He also testified that he saw Fr. Thomas Cronin “involved with a boy. . .in his private room” and “improper conduct by a number of priests” including “drunk priests with erections touching each other and everyone around” at a swimming pool party.
Fr. Cronin is being sued for allegedly repeatedly raping a teenaged KC girl and has been sent to the Reno Nevada area where few are aware of the accusations against him, which SNAP finds worrisome.
At the time of the parties, Ford attended St. Gabriel’s school. According to his deposition, numerous priests saw Ford give drinks to clerics and to boys who priests brought to the events with them.” Ford testified that “other priests took (youngsters) to other rooms” (like Fr. Reardon did to him).
Later, at least four times, Ford disclosed his abuse by Fr. Reardon to Catholic officials. He once told them that “the abuse of youth” was “common knowledge amongst the priests and a common practice amongst the priests.”
In 1979 Ford confronted Fr. Reardon. In 1980, he told a bishop. In 1981, Ford told his confessors. And in the late 1980s, he twice told the pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows about Reardon abusing him. In 1996, Ford reported his abuse again to diocesan staffers, including Fr. Patrick Rush.
Fr. Cronin is trying to open a shelter in Nevada for abused women and their families. For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants KC Bishop Robert Finn and Reno Bishop Randolph Calvo to force the cleric to sever all ties to the shelter. And SNAP wants both bishops to use their parish bulletins, church websites, and pulpit announcements to warn the public and parishioners about him. SNAP feels Fr. Cronin should be forced to return to Missouri and put in a secure, remote treatment center.
Fr. Cronin worked in at least four Missouri towns (Blue Springs, Hamilton, Gallatin, Higginsville, and Kansas City) and six institutions (Children’s Mercy, Truman Medical Center, Western Missouri Mental Health Center, Charlotte Extended Care Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City Dentistry School, and the University School of Medicine).
He now lives in Fernley NV (at 143 Desert Lakes Rd., on the edge of a golf course) and lists the same address as the site of “Rachel’s Sanctuary,” which he evidently heads. Fr. Cronin is originally from KC MO but has lived and worked in Nevada for roughly 15 years.
According to a civil lawsuit, filed in 2010 in Jackson County, Fr. Cronin allegedly repeatedly raped a teenaged girl in 1979 in western Missouri. Once he reportedly did so while another KC priest, Fr. John J. Tulipana, watched and masturbated.
According to the 34 page suit, through confession, Fr. Cronin learned that the girl had been abused by a relative. Later, he manipulated and molested her as many as ten times. “Multiple priests and lay persons (knew) that Tulipana and Cronin were sexually abusing children, providing liquor to children and spending inordinate amounts of time with children,” the suit maintains.
Three weeks after the suit was filed, Reno’s bishop still had not suspended Fr. Cronin, until SNAP drew public attention to the accusation. KC’s bishop has done “little or nothing,” SNAP says, to reach out to others he may have hurt.
Cronin was ordained in 1969. He was a realtor from 2004-09 and has claimed to be a "chaplain" for the Lyon County Sheriff's Department. His phone number is listed as 775 575-9500 and his email address is [email protected].
Rachel's Sanctuary’s is a tax-deductible 501(c)3 non-profit. Its board includes several Fernley residents.
One of Fr. Cronin’s victims is represented by Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 cell), who has handled dozens of clergy sex abuse and cover up suits. The victim in this suit, who now lives outside Missouri, repressed memory of the crimes until 2009, the suit says.
Photos of Fr. Cronin and Fr. Reardon are available at BishopAccountability.org.
Their work histories are here: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Cronin_Thomas.htm and