Salina Diocese

By Shaun Hittle
Lawrence Journal-World
June 25, 2010

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The Salina Diocese provided detailed information about two priests accused of abuse, but the Diocese declined to provide information about any other cases, and declined a request for an interview.


Robert Reif: Was accused in 1987 of sexual abuse of two boys that occurred in several cities between 1975 and 1986. Church officials said that the Church compensated the victims and paid expenses for counseling and treatment. In 1995, a lawsuit was filed against the diocese related to the abuse. A dismissal on the suit based on expiration of the statute of limitations was reversed, but the diocese and the victims settled out of court.

According to Church officials, Reif left the priesthood and was later defrocked by the Church.

The following is a Church-provided list of Reif's priest service record:

* Ordained in 1967 in the Salina Diocese.

* Served as pastor in Phillipsburg from 1972 until 1976.

* Served in Goodland from 1976 until 1979.

* Served as chaplain at St. Isidore's in Manhattan in 1979.

* In 1980, began serving in Park, Kan.

* Left priesthood in 1989.

Finian Meis: A Capuchin order priest who served in both the Salina and the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan.

Ron Gilardi: The Capuchin order priest pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent liberties with a child in Ellis County in 2001 related to abuse that occurred in 1993 and 1994 at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, where Gilardi taught from 1988 to 1996, according to published reports. Gilardi was sentenced to 32 months of treatment at a Catholic treatment facility near St. Louis, and then five years probation.

The victim filed a federal lawsuit in Texas, but the case was dismissed in 2001 because the judge determined the court did not have jurisdiction in the case, according to published reports.


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