Priest Accused of More Past Molestations
Kansas charges follow that of Burlington man against Catholic removed from parish work

By Dale Alison
The Hawk Eye (Burlington IA)
April 29, 2002

At least two other allegations of sexual misconduct against a former Burlington priest have surfaced since his removal from a Kansas pulpit in March.

Donald Redmond, 72, was relieved of his pastoral duties at Sacred Heart Church in Sabetha, Kan., and sent to St. Benedict's Abbey in nearby Atchison after a Burlington man related an incident that occurred during Redmond's stay in Burlington in the 1970s.

News of the action against Redmond was told to local Catholics at masses over the weekend.

According to local church officials, Redmond served at St. John's in Burlington at three times: from 1958 to 1963; 1965 to 1967; and 1974 to 1985.

In a prepared statement, St. Benedict's Abbott Barnabas Senecal said the Burlington man who made the initial allegation against Redmond wants no further publicity or involvement.

"He had never reported this matter to church authorities before this," Senecal said.

The abbot said once Redmond was removed from Sabetha the other allegations were received shortly thereafter.

They came from individuals in Seneca, Kan., where Redmond served in the 1960s.

"I have visited with the families or the individuals who have complained to me," Senecal said. "They understand that Father Donald has been removed from parish duty and will not be reassigned; they felt that this action was appropriate and sufficient, and they wanted their complaints to remain confidential.

"However, one gentleman is asking for substantial monetary compensation," he said.

Senecal said he learned of the complaints for the first time in March and April.

Seneca and Sabetha both are small farming communities in northeast Kansas and are part of the Kansas City diocese.

Revelations regarding Redmond surfaced after Monsignor John Hyland, pastor at St. John's and St. Paul's Catholic churches in Burlington told parishioners in February of another charge of priestly misconduct lodged against a former priest, now dead.

At the time, Hyland invited parishioners who had similar complaints to either see him or meet with officials of the Davenport diocese.

A former parishioner stepped forward with the allegation against Redmond.

Hyland reported the incident immediately to officials at St. Benedict's, which between 1890 and 1990 provided priests to St. John's, and Redmond was reassigned.

Hyland said the person who identified Redmond no longer attends St. John's, but is affiliated with another church in Burlington.

Hyland acknowledged there is a likelihood there are other similar victims in Burlington.

On Sunday, another local man, David Waldorf, publicly accused Placidus Keever [Kieffer: see correction below] of molesting him in 1963. Keever, now dead, was an assistant pastor at St. John's at the time. Keever also was assigned from St. Benedict's.

It was Waldorf's accusation, initially made privately, that prompted Hyland's February statement, which led to the charge against Redmond.

Hyland continues to encourage individuals who may been abused to seek help from the church. But realizing some people may be reluctant to reach out to church officials, a support group with another organization may be formed as soon as this week.


The Hawk Eye (Burlington IA)
April 29, 2002

The spelling of a priest, Placidus Kieffer, who a Burlington man accused of molesting him nearly 40 years ago was listed incorrectly Sunday and Monday. Kieffer, who died in 1990, was at St. John's Catholic Church from 1963 to 1969.

Another priest, Donald Redmond, who has been accused of molesting another Burlington man served at St. John's at three different times, from 1958 to 1963; 1965 to 1967; and 1974 to 1984.


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