2 Priests with Kc Ties Named in Lawsuit

October 4, 2010

Two Catholic priests who have ties to Kansas City have been charged in a lawsuit that was filed on Friday.

Victims and critics of the Catholic church said Monday they are speaking out because they believe there are more victims who have not come forward and that the priests involved should be defrocked and punished legally.

Priests Thomas Cronine and John R. Tulipana both served at a number of metro parishes over the last several decades. The lawsuit claimed that during the late 1970s, Cronin abused an unnamed teen a number of times in a church confessional at Sarcred Heart parish in Hamilton, Mo., and that both priests abused the female victim while on a teen retreat in Maryville.

According to the suit, the priests explained what was happening as a "special connection to be received," and "the living waters of God."

"Even though these crimes happened back in the 1970s, history tells us these predator priests rarely stop," said David Clohssey of, a victims' advocacy group.

Clohssey's group has been speaking out against church abuse for 20 years. He believes there are more victims out there.

"We really want ot appeal to anyone who saw or suffered crimes by Cronin or Tulipana to come forward and to get help to start recovering."

In response to the lawsuit, the diocese issued a statement saying it, "Has made it known that it will respond to any allegation on sexual misconduct. Diocesan policies affirm full cooperation of the law."

The statement went on to say that neither priest is currently on active ministry within the dioceses. Tulipana resigned from the priesthood in 1994 and the diocese is in the process of laicization to remove him from the priesthood. Cronin moved to Nevada where he worked in the private sector as a hospital chaplain. He retired in 2004.

According to the attorney who file the lawsuit, the diocese has been sued by more than 50 victims in the past decade. The largest settlement was for $10 million.


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