Statement of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph Regarding Civil Lawsuit

By Sarah Clark
Fox 4
October 4, 2010,0,225531.story

Earlier today, media representatives informed the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph that an unnamed individual filed a civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by two former priests of the diocese, Father Thomas Cronin and John Tulipana. At this time, the diocese has not confirmed the identity of the person filing the suit and cannot comment on the substance of the complaints, which are reported to have occurred in 1979.

In April 2009, the diocese was contacted by an individual seeking pastoral care. The individual claimed to have been abused by Tulipana on one occasion and by Father Cronin at other times. As a result of this contact, the individual received psychological counseling from a qualified therapist.

John Tulipana resigned from the priesthood in February 1994 and has served in no ministerial capacity since that time. Tulipana's resignation came after the diocese received complaints of sexual misconduct with minors. With respect to Tulipana, the diocese is pursuing an action of laicization, which is a church proceeding required by the Code of Canon Law to effectuate the permanent removal of an individual from the priesthood.

Father Thomas Cronin was ordained in 1969. He served as an associate pastor of four metropolitan area parishes, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Hamilton, and pastor of St. Mary Parish in Higginsville. In 1996, he accepted a hospital chaplain position in the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He retired in 2004.

The Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph has made known that it will respond to any allegation of sexual misconduct. When such a report is made, a team of lay professionals meets with the individual making the complaint to work towards healing and reconciliation. Diocesan policies affirm full cooperation with the requirements of the law for reporting abuse, and include lay involvement in responding to such reports and making recommendations to the bishop in connection with the appropriate response of the diocese.


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