Sex-Abuse Settlement Involves Former Auxiliary Bishop with Kc Diocese

By Judy L. Thomas
Kansas City Star
October 16, 2009

Two Roman Catholic dioceses have reached a $225,000 settlement with a Houston man in a sex-abuse case involving a former auxiliary bishop from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The dioceses of Corpus Christi and Baton Rouge settled with Glenn Hymel, who alleged that Bishop Joseph Vincent Sullivan molested him three decades ago. Sullivan was an auxiliary bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese from 1967 to 1974. He is not to be confused with Bishop John Joseph Sullivan, who was the leader of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph from 1977 to 1993.

Hymel alleged that the abuse occurred repeatedly between 1978 and 1982 while he was at a seminary for minors and on trips he took with Sullivan, who was bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge at the time. Sullivan died in 1982.

"Although the amount of money doesn't come close to compensating the harm that's been done, it does provide for some counseling for him now and in the future," said Hymel's attorney, Chelsie King Garza.

Officials with the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese told The Kansas City Star earlier this year that they had received no complaints about inappropriate conduct by Sullivan during the time he was with the diocese. They said, however, that in 2005 the diocese was named as a co-defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in Hawaii.

That lawsuit alleged Sullivan sexually abused a minor during visits to Hawaii from 1969 to 1977. The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese contributed $10,000 to an out-of-court settlement in that case in 2007.

According to a 2006 deposition of the vicar general of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Sullivan vacationed in Hawaii every July from 1974 to 1982. The vicar general said Sullivan owned an apartment or condo there with other priests from Kansas City.

To reach Judy L. Thomas, call 816-234-4334 or send e-mail to


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