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  Priest Facing Sex Lawsuit Seeks to Quit Father Kos Has Denied Accusations of Abuse

By Judith Lynn Howard
Dallas Morning News
December 7, 1993

A priest accused of molesting young boys notified the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas on Monday that he intends to resign from the priesthood, officials said.

The Rev. Rudolph Kos, who has denied wrongdoing, informed the diocese of his intentions by letter, said the Rev. John Bell, judicial vicar.

"Getting on with his life" may be a generic way to describe Father Kos' reasons for resigning, Father Bell said.

Father Kos, who receives counseling at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, N.M., could not be reached for comment Monday.

The attorney who represented Father Kos until last week said he could neither confirm nor deny the report.

"I heard that was a possibility, but I can't confirm that this is the case," said attorney Hal Browne.

It is unknown whether Father Kos ultimately will seek laicization - a formal process that releases a priest from his duties if the Vatican approves, Father Bell said.

"That is a formal return to the status of a layman," said Michael McGee, associate director of communications for the diocese.

"Only he can ask for it. We can't ask for him," Father Bell said.

In the case of Father Kos, his letter "by itself would not constitute a petition for laicization," Father Bell said.

However, there are cases of "priests who just up and leave and never petition for laicization," Father Bell said. "That could very well be the way this goes."

Other priests in the Dallas diocese have gone through laicization so they could marry or start a business. At least two have done so in the last five years, Father Bell said.

However, the church considers a priest still a priest even though he is released from priestly responsibilities.

"Theologically, you can't resign' from the priesthood," Father Bell said.

Two men, known in court as John Doe I and II, have sued Father Kos, alleging that he sexually abused them while he was assistant pastor at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Irving between 1985 and 1988 and while he was pastor at St. John Nepomucene Church in Ennis from 1988 to 1992.

The diocese also is named in the suit, which was filed in May.

Like Father Kos, the diocese has denied wrongdoing and requested a jury trial.

Two more plaintiffs - a young man and a boy - joined the civil suit in July. They are identified as John Doe III and IV.

Lawyer Windle Turley, who represents the plaintiffs, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Mr. Browne said Monday that he no longer represents Father Kos because of a mutual agreement approved by the court. He declined to give details.

"That's really between our client and our firm," he said.

Father Kos has been able to conduct some of the court proceedings by mail, Mr. Browne said.

The civil suit was filed in state District Judge Anne Packer's court. In July, Father Kos invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to answer questions about several allegations.

That same month, court records were released that said the diocese had been told in 1986 of concerns that one of its priests had young boys spending the night with him.

Court records also showed that a therapist told diocesan officials in April 1992 that Father Kos showed signs of being a "classic textbook pedophile."

However, Father Kos wasn't removed from the Ennis church and sent to a treatment facility until six months later.

The diocese denied allegations that it was slow in addressing the matter. Randal Mathis, attorney for the diocese, said at the time that the diocese received its first "specific concrete allegation of wrongdoing" in September 1992. Father Kos was removed the next month.

 
 

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