Church in Crisis
The Rev. James Hagan

Louisville Courier-Journal
September 29, 2002

[See the main page of this special section on the Church in Crisis.]

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
AGE: 55
ADDRESS: Louisville
OCCUPATION: Assistant to financial adviser
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."


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