Church in Crisis
The Rev. James Hagan
September 29, 2002
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Hagan, who served as an assistant pastor at St. Leo the Great in the 1950s,
left the priesthood in 1973, according to the archdiocese. He is named
in one lawsuit and couldn't be reached for comment.
PLAINTIFF: Berenda Burns
OCCUPATION: Assistant to financial adviser
FILED SUIT: May 9
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1957, St. Leo the
Great Church, home
ACCUSATION: Rape, inappropriate sexual comments
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Burns said Hagan, a priest who
knew her family and had been in her home, forced her to have sexual intercourse
at the church when she was 11 years old. She said he made inappropriate
sexual remarks on another occasion when he called her at home.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Burns said she told St. Leo's pastor,
the Rev. Vince Tompkins, in confession and that he indicated he was taking
care of it. Tompkins is now dead. Burns also said she told her mother
a couple of months later and that her mother didn't believe her. Three
to four years later, she said she told a priest at St. Vincent de Paul,
where she was in teen club.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "People ask me if I wish
that I weren't the only one naming Father Hagan. But if no one else is
naming him, I think that is good because it may mean nobody else was hurt."