New Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed against Priest

By Judy L. Thomas
Kansas City Star
July 28, 2011

Another lawsuit alleging sexual abuse has been filed against a Kansas City priest who was removed from his duties in June for what the diocese called credible accusations of misconduct with minors.

The lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court today by David Tate of Kansas City, accuses the Rev. Michael Tierney of sexually abusing Tate at the home of Tierney’s mother and at a hotel swimming pool in Kansas City in the early 1970s when Tate was 12 years old. It says the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese knew of Tierney’s misconduct with children and covered it up.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, was the third to be filed against Tierney since last fall. It names Tierney, Bishop Robert Finn and the diocese as defendants.

“This is about justice,” said Tate, 52, at a news conference outside the diocesan headquarters today. “Enough is enough. I want to make sure that no further harm comes upon children today. The purpose of this lawsuit is to protect kids. If the bishop won’t do it, then it is up to those of us who have experienced harm to do what we can.”

Neither Tierney nor his attorney, Brian Madden, could be reached for comment. The diocese said in a statement that “over the past 40 years neither David Tate nor anyone acting on his behalf ever brought this information to the attention of the diocese.”

“After receiving credible reports of sexual misconduct by Father Tierney, Bishop Robert Finn accepted the recommendation of the Independent Review Board to remove Father Tierney from all pastoral assignments in June 2011,” the statement said.

Tierney was accused in a civil lawsuit last month of sexually abusing Edward Sandridge at a YMCA in the early 1970s. A lawsuit filed last September accused Tierney of molesting a 13-year-old Missouri boy in 1971.

On June 2, Bishop Robert Finn removed Tierney from his duties as pastor of Christ the King parish in Kansas City and from all other public ministry. Finn said the diocese had received “credible reports alleging sexual misconduct with minors by Father Michael Tierney in the early 1970s and 1980s.”

The diocese said in a statement at the time that “Father Tierney continues to deny these allegations but has cooperated fully in this process.”

| Judy L. Thomas,


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