Woman Comes Forward Claiming Area Priests Molested Her

Fox 4
October 4, 2010,0,3703464.story

[with video]

New court papers reveal sex abuse allegations against two priests who served for many years in the Kansas City area. The victim says a priest abused her after he learned during confession that she was being abused by a relative.

The allegations date back to 1979. The victim, who no longer lives in the area, said she repressed the memories until recently. On Monday the executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called attention to the case.

Court papers name Father John Tulipana, who has faced sex abuse allegations before, but it also names Father Thomas Cronin, who has not been named before in sex abuse cases.

The victim says she was 17 years old when she confessed to Father Cronin that she was sexually abused by a relative. He told her she was chosen by God and then began molesting her. She says Father Tulipana got involved in the sex abuse while at a retreat, called Teens Encounter Christ.

SNAP's director said these cases don't draw the same media attention they once did, but it's important that people remain vigilant to protect children.

"We would beg anyone who saw or suspected or suffered crimes by either Father Tulipana or Cronin to come forward, get help, start recovering and hopefully protect others from them," said David Clohessy, SNAP executive director.

In a statement, the Kansas City - St. Joseph Catholic Diocese said the victim in this case was in contact with the dioceses last year about the abuse and has received counseling. Read the full statement here.

The diocese says Tulipana has not worked in the ministry since 1994 when allegations of abuse first surfaced. Father Cronin served in four metro area parishes from the 1970's until 1996 when he went to Nevada and he's now retired. The diocese says it responds to all allegations of abuse and works with the victim for healing and reconciliation.


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