Priest who knew of sexual affair in Dallas diocese says he didn’t plan to report it

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

January 23, 2020

By Nichole Manna

The priest at the center of a small uprising within the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth admitted that he never planned to report knowledge he had of a sexual relationship between a Dallas-area priest and a church employee, according to court documents obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Furthermore, he admitted to joking with a supporter about putting a hit out on Bishop Michael Olson to have his knees broken, according to the documents.

The Rev. Richard Kirkham left the diocese in June 2018 after writing that he was “reluctantly” resigning. He later retained an attorney and moved to rescind his resignation. Olson declined to reinstate the priest. Kirkham has appealed his resignation with the Vatican.

In the year and a half since the resignation, about 1,500 parishioners who represent 20 parishes petitioned to the Vatican to remove Olson. Though Kirkham’s resignation from St. Martin de Porres in Prosper is a small part of the reason they seek Olson’s removal, Kirkham leaving is what sparked the group to step up.

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