Victim Speaks out about Priest Abuse

Fox 4
June 3, 2011,0,2225765.story

[with video]

Father Michael Tierney is the second priest in a month to be removed by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Tierney faces no criminal charges but allegations of sex abuse found their way to an independent review board in May.

Until Thursday night, he was a priest at Christ the King Parish in the Waldo neighborhood. Some say the independent review board should've known about the sex allegations in 2010.

The diocese says Michael Tierney denies ever abusing anyone. He has been removed after the independent review board received three "credible reports" alleging sexual misconduct with minors by Father Michael Tierney in the early 70's & 80's.

"It's unbelievable," said attorney Rebecca Randles. "I can't believe after all of this time they finally decided to remove him but I'm glad they did."

Rebecca Randles asked the diocese to remove Father Tierney from Christ the King in 2010. She filed a lawsuit for a "John Doe" who claims Tierney molested him as a teen. She was told the diocese wouldn't consider anonymous information.

"Just because they can't come forward and give their name doesn't mean that an investigation can't take place," Randles said. "DFS conducts those investigations all the time."

Father Tierney was named in three different lawsuits. One accusing him of sex abuse the other two said he either made lewd comments or was aware of abuse being committed by other priests. The

attorney representing those three plaintiffs complains questions raised in her lawsuits were never brought to the attention of the independent review board.

"My client offered to meet with the Bishop, he wasn't willing to meet with the review board," Randles said.

Randles client didn't want to be shown on t-v, but he did issue a statement.

"I am unwilling to share this traumatic information and my identity with a group of people wholly unknown to me," the anonymous accuser said. "At this time, I am unwilling to meet with the Bishop either. Given what I have seen happen with the Priest at St. Patrick's, the Bishop's intent is obvious to me to neglect and deflect. 30 plus years later, apparently the Catholic Church, especially the Kansas City Diocese has not learned from their past negligence and others are victims. When will they learn?"

FOX 4 asked the chair of the independent review board if they should've been told about anonymous concerns in 2010. The board said those procedures they plan to work on with the bishop. The spokesperson says a meeting hasn't been scheduled with the bishop yet.


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