Notorious Catholic Priest Dies in Missouri
December 30, 2020
A Catholic clergyman from the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph who faced multiple lawsuits for child sexual abuse has died. We hope that the news of his passing will bring comfort to the many people he irreparably harmed and will encourage other still-silent and suffering victims to come forward and get the help they need.
In addition to having been sued many times, Fr. Michael Tierney is also on the Diocesan list of clergy with “substantiated abuse allegations.” The entry for the priest on the list notes that a “canonical trial decreed guilt in multiple cases.”
Despite the fact that Catholic officials in Kansas City were notified of allegations against Fr. Tierney at least as early as 2008, the priest was only permanently removed from ministry in 2011. Sadly, this pattern of Diocesan delay and inaction is likely what allowed Fr. Tierney to hurt so many in the first place.
We do not celebrate Fr. Tierney’s death, but we recognize that the passing of abusers often makes their victims feel more comfortable and safer. We hope that those who were hurt by Fr. Tierney will feel that comfort and safety today and that any others who were hurt and have yet to come forward will find the strength and courage to do so now.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)