Two Lawsuits Allege Abuse by Priests

By Judy L. Thomas
Kansas City Star
October 21, 2011

A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges sexual abuse by a Kansas City priest 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 by a 54-year-old Missouri man under the name John Doe SB2, accuses the Rev. Michael Tierney of sexually abusing him at the home of Tierney’s mother and attempting to molest him at a YMCA swimming pool in Kansas City when he 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 seeks unspecified damages and is the fourth to be filed against Tierney since last fall. It names Tierney and the diocese as defendants.

Tierney’s attorney, Brian Madden, declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing a recent gag order on attorneys involving Tierney’s cases.

The diocese issued a statement in response to the lawsuit: “The diocese can confirm that Bishop Robert Finn accepted the recommendation of the Independent Review Board to remove Father Tierney from all pastoral assignments in June 2011, after receiving credible reports of sexual misconduct.”

In another lawsuit filed Oct. 11, a Missouri woman identified as Jane Doe IP accused the Rev. Francis McGlynn of sexually abusing her when she was a student at St. Catherine School in Kansas City. According to the lawsuit, the abuse occurred between 1963 and 1964 when the plaintiff was 12 to 13 years old.

The suit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleges that McGlynn routinely took the plaintiff out of class to a janitor’s closet “where he engaged in sexual contact with her up to and including penetration.”

The lawsuit accuses the diocese of failing to report the abuse to authorities, taking no action to stop it and concealing the abuse by assigning McGlynn to different parishes. The plaintiff repressed all memory of the events until recently, the lawsuit says.

McGlynn’s attorney, Jim Wyrsch, said: “Father McGlynn categorically denies the allegations of this petition — which state that the alleged acts occurred almost 50 years ago and that she only recently remembers them — and he intends to vigorously defend himself.”

The diocese said it received the first complaint of sexual misconduct against McGlynn in April 2002.

After meeting with that individual “and receiving recommendations from the Independent Review Board in July 2002, Bishop Raymond J. Boland, now retired, informed McGlynn that he could no longer present himself as a Roman Catholic priest,” the diocese said.

The Oct. 11 lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, is the fourth to be filed against McGlynn since 2003.

To reach Judy L. Thomas, call 816-234-4334 or send email to


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