Lawsuit Accuses Ex-Local Priest of Repeatedly Abusing Altar Boy

By Philip Elliott
Louisville Courier Press
August 31, 2005

A Vincentian priest who once worked with Evansville's Daughters of Charity faces a civil suit alleging he sexually abused a 10-year-old altar boy while serving in Hong Kong two decades ago.

The Rev. Thomas S. Cawley, of Independence, Mo., cared for elderly and sick Evansville sisters in 2002 and 2003. He now is accused of molesting the youth while assigned to missionary work in 1979.

"Cawley told the plaintiff that the sexual abuse was a form of God's punishment that the young boy needed," according to the court filing.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in St. Louis County Circuit Court, also names the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong and the Congregation of the Mission, Midwest Province, commonly known as the Vincentians.

Because the order is based in St. Louis, the suit was filed there, said Rebecca Randles, an attorney for plaintiff Michael Johnson of Kansas.

Cawley was assigned to a parish in Johnson County, Kan., where Johnson had begun attending services and recognized Cawley, Randles said.

The Vincentians placed Cawley on leave from his duties.

An advocacy group said the incident is another sign of the church's weak system to prevent abuse. "These cases are as much about complicit church officials as abusive Catholic priests," said David Clohessy, national president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Randles said she could not discuss the damages her client seeks. Johnson says in court documents he was the sole altar boy during weekday Masses. After helping Cawley at St. Anne Church in Hong Kong, the priest would sexually abuse him. The abuse continued for two years until Johnson no longer served Mass, according to the filings.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems