Two Ex-priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

By James Hart
Kansas City Star
October 5, 2010

An out-of-state woman has sued the Kansas City diocese and two former priests, alleging that both men sexually abused her when she was a teenager in the late 1970s.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court, said the woman suppressed the memory of the abuse until last year. She is now 49 years old; the court records list her as Jane Doe. Besides the diocese, the lawsuit names Thomas Cronin and John R. Tulipana as defendants.

“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,” a diocese statement said.

The abuse allegedly started when the accuser was about 17 and Cronin was at Sacred Heart Parish in Hamilton, Mo. The lawsuit claims that Cronin and Tulipana, who worked at Holy Trinity Parish in Kansas City, abused the girl together at a youth retreat near Maryville, Mo.

The lawsuit claims that several priests and lay persons had knowledge that Cronin and Tulipana were sexually abusing children.

Cronin moved to Nevada in 1996 and retired in 2004, the diocese statement said.

A man who identified himself as Thomas Cronin was reached by telephone Monday night but declined to comment. Tulipana could not be reached.

The diocese statement said that church leaders are working to officially permanently remove Tulipana from the priesthood. He resigned in 1994.

In 2008, the diocese agreed to pay a $10 million settlement to 47 plaintiffs who said they were abused by priests. One of the accused priests was Tulipana.

James Hart,


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