Rev. Edward Kickel

Summary of Case: Kickel was referred to as "The Feeler" for molesting girls during religion classes at St. Francis De Sales school. There were several complaints in 1950s - 1960s, but nothing was done. Teachers and parents held a meeting in 1969 to discuss how to protect the children from Monsignor Kickel. The pastor told them to keep quiet about it or they would go to hell. After a 2002 Plain Dealer article about a woman who disclosed having been abused by Kickel as a child and was denied payment for counseling by the diocese, several dozen women called the paper to say that Kickel had molested them, too. He died in 1972.

: 1922


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Cleveland bishop was Joseph Schrembs (1921-1945)

1926 St. Aloysius Cleveland OH

3/3, 4/4


Parish had a school with 752-863 students.
1926 1929 St. Joseph's (German) Youngstown OH 2/2, 2/3 Parish had a school with 407-410 students.
1929 1945 Holy Family Cleveland OH 2/3, 1/3, 1/2 Parish had an elementary school with 481-289 students, and a high school with 39-125 students.


Edward Francis Hoban replaced Schrembs as bishop (1945-1966)

1964 Diocesan School Board        


Following Hoban was Clarence George Issenmann (1966-1974)

1972 Diocesan Prosynodal Examiner        
1945 1972 St. Francis De Sales


• In 1999, a woman told the diocese that she had been molested by Kickel when she was a student in the 1960s at St. Francis De Sales. She asked the diocese to pay for her counseling, and auxilliary bishop Quinn turned her down. Dozens of other women told the Plain Dealer when this story broke in 2002 that they had been molested by Kickel as young schoolgirls in the late 1950s and 1960s as well. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
March 30, 2002) They said Kickel would put his hands up girls dresses at his desk during the religion classes he taught. All who have come forward about the abuse told of this same modus operandi. A former St. Francis De Sales teacher told of a meeting in 1969 at the parish of parents and teachers concerned about Kickel's behavior, and to discuss how to protect their children from him. Quinn was diocesan chancellor in 1969 and has denied knowing about the meeting or concerns about Kickel, despite the insistence of those who said they repeatedly called Quinn at the time, and even met with him about Kickel. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
May 5, 2002) The parish priest in 1969, Rev. Paul Lehner, acknowledged Kickel's "problem", but ordered the parents and teachers to keep quiet or "they would be guilty of a mortal sin and go to hell." (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
March 28, 2002)

OH 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 2/4, 2/5

Parish had a school with 384-2,544 students.

Kickel is referred to as "Monsignor" beginning in 1957.

Kickel died Dec. 13, 1972

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1924-1973)

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Kickel's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Nov. 11, 2009