The Priests Involved

Kansas City Star
August 20, 2008

Most, but not all, of the priests involved in Tuesday’s tentative settlement faced multiple accusers. Over the years, all the defendants reached by The Kansas City Star denied the accusations.

John C. Baskett: Served at St. James in Kansas City. Retired 1975. Died 1995. In a lawsuit filed this year, a 71-year-old Lenexa woman contended Baskett sexually abused her when she was a teenager in 1952.

Joseph Hart: Retired bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo. Parish priest in Kansas City from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. Became bishop in 1978. Retired 2001. Came under scrutiny after it was revealed in 2002 that two boys accused him in the late 1960s and 1970s of sexual abuse in Kansas City and that the diocese later helped one alleged victim buy a pickup truck. Later accused in three lawsuits.

Sylvester Hoppe: Served parishes in Savannah, Tarkio, Excelsior Springs and Norborne in Missouri. The Boy Scouts named a chapel at Camp Geiger near St. Joseph after him. Hoppe died in 2002. After a California man alleged that Hoppe had molested him in the 1950s, the diocese settled for $10,000 in 2003. Two others accused him in 2005, the same year the Boy Scouts removed Hoppe’s name from the chapel.

Earl Johnson: Former member of the Capuchin order. Worked at St. Elizabeth’s in Kansas City in the 1970s. Accused in one lawsuit filed this year.

James Lawbaugh: Left priesthood in 1969 to marry. Named in one lawsuit filed this year that contends he molested a 10-year-old Baptist boy attending a program for inner-city youths at St. Vincent’s Church in Kansas City in 1968.

Francis E. McGlynn: Served at parishes in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Parkville, Independence, Marshfield, Mo., Savannah, Mo., and Hamilton, Mo. Retired from diocese 1992 but continued working as priest until 2002. In its previous largest settlement, the diocese paid $225,000 last year to an Independence man who alleged abuse by McGlynn when he served at St. Mary’s there in the 1970s. McGlynn paid $2,000.

Hugh F. Monahan: Served at eight parishes in 20 years, including St. Stephens in Kansas City, St. Robert Bellarmine in Blue Springs, Sacred Heart in Warrensburg and St. Patrick in Holden, Mo. Left the priesthood and Kansas City in 1989. Accused in at least five lawsuits.

Thomas J. O’Brien: Parishes included St. Patrick’s in Kansas City, North; St. Elizabeth’s; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence. Principal of St. Pius X High School, 1961-1968. Catholic schools superintendent 1969-1971. Former chaplain, St. Joseph Health Center. Retired April 2002. First accused in 1983, diocese has said. Called a “party priest” by plaintiffs who allege O’Brien and Thomas Reardon used their positions to ply youngsters with alcohol and molest them.

Thomas J. Reardon: Parishes included St. Gabriel Archangel and St. Regis. Served at various times as director of diocesan Department of Catholic Laity, administrator of Camp Little Flower in Raytown, leader of Catholic Youth Organization. Left priesthood in 1989. Worked in recent years as a substance-abuse counselor and compulsive-gambling counselor. Plaintiff lawyers contend he is the most-accused Missouri priest. Known as one of the “party priests.”

John R. Tulipana: Worked at eight area churches (six affiliated with schools) from 1976 to 1994, when he resigned after The Star reported that the diocese had paid $150,000 in 1989 to a man who had accused Tulipana of sexually abusing him as a teen. When he resigned, Tulipana was serving at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and at Old St. Patrick’s Church.

Thomas J. Ward: Served at St. Catherine’s in the 1980s, later at St. Therese in Kansas City, North and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence. In 1999, the diocese paid $20,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a former teenage parishioner. In 2002, The Star reported that Ward had continued to have a role in the diocese, contrary to assurances that diocesan leaders had given parishioners.

Stephen Wise: Served at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Presentation in Lee’s Summit, and St. Gregory Barbarigo in Maryville. Left the clergy in 1986. In a lawsuit filed this year, a Lee’s Summit man alleged that Wise had molested him at Immaculate Conception in the late 1970s.


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