Man Sues Bishop over Public Humiliation

NewsChannel 8
July 11, 2006

Tulsa (AP) - A man who previously battled a Catholic priest over allegations of abuse files a lawsuit against a bishop today in Tulsa County District Court.

In their suit against Bishop Edward J. Slattery, Kelly Kirk and his father, Gordon Kirk, are alleging a conspiracy to invade Kelly Kirk's privacy to keep him from pursuing his earlier claims.

Diocese Chancellor John Johnson says he had not seen the lawsuit and would not comment. Slattery was out of office and did not return telephone calls.

Gordon Kirk says the lawsuit grew out of incidents that stemmed from Kelly Kirk's accusation in 2002 that he had been molested by the Reverend Paul Eichhoff in Tulsa.

Within 24 hours of talking with Slattery about the incident, the accused reverend sued Kelly Kirk for slander and libel. Kelly Kirk countersued. A Tulsa jury considered both issues and ruled in October 2004 that the priest had not been slandered and that Kirk could not prove the molestation.

The Catholic Diocese of Tulsa suspended the accused priest from his pastorate duties in Claremore in 2002 over the allegations, but he was reinstated two months later after being cleared by a diocese review board.

He continues to work in the Tulsa diocese.


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