Group Outraged after Controversial Priest Moves into Brookside

By DeAnn Smith
August 31, 2015

[with video]

He is one of the most controversial priests in the history of the Kansas City Catholic Church, and one group is upset that he has quietly moved into a neighborhood that's popular with families.

Father Michael Tierney is no longer an active priest, but he has not been defrocked by the Vatican despite the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph paying money to settle sex abuse claims involving Tierney.

Members of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests put fliers on the doors of those living near Tierney's home near Oak Street and East 64th Terrace. They said that residents have a right to know about the predator living among their midst.

"If a predator priest is so dangerous that a bishop won't let him work in a parish then he is too dangerous to live among families who don't know what he's done," said SNAP's David Clohessy.

The diocese settled with 32 sex abuse victims for abuse suffered at the hands of 14 priests including Tierney. Four child sex abuse lawsuits against him have been settled, and he has long been subject of SNAP's ire with the Catholic Church. Then Bishop Robert Finn apparently first learned of the allegations against Tierney in 2008 but apparently didn't remove him over "credible reports" of abuse until June 2011. The allegations dated back to the 1970s and 1980s.

"Michael Tierney was accused of doing some bad things and we've paid out settlements based on those accusations against him," diocese spokesman Jack Smith said Monday.

But Smith said the diocese can't stop Tierney, who was ordained in 1969, from living in a private residence.

"We are not providing his accommodations. He's providing his own accommodations so we just don't have the ability to say you can't live in your own house as a retired priest," Smith.

But SNAP leaders want Tierney sent to a treatment facility far away from children and maintain that the church has a history of doing this.

"The diocese may consider him a private citizen but he is on their payroll. He is still getting paid by the Catholic Church," Clohessy said.

Tierney has not been convicted in a criminal court of a sex crime in part due to statute of limitation laws.

Tierney declined comment Monday.

"I'm very happy where I am thank you," he said.








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