Friends defend the career of Father Michael Tierney one day after Bishop Finn removed him
5:12 PM, Jun 3, 2011
10:04 PM, Jun 3, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Noon mass continued on as usual Friday. It was the first day without Father Michael Tierney. He was removed Thursday on reports of alleged sexual misconduct with minors.
The alleged incidents that led to Tierney's removal stem from the 1970's and 1980's.
On Wednesday, the Independent Review Board for the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph recommended Bishop Robert Finn order the removal. According to Diocese staff, the board has discussed Tierney last fall after the first of two civil law suits were filed. At the time, the reports were not found to be credible.
Jerry Rosetti had attended a number of masses conducted by Tierney. He said, "Father Tierney, that's really a shock to me."
Rosetti continued, "He's just a nice person, I would never suspected anything like that."
Tierney's removal came two weeks after another priest, Shawn Ratigan, was arrested on charges of child pornography.
Malachy Connor, Tierney's family friend, said maybe now the Diocese has to cross its t's and dot it's I's. He said, "For father Tierney to be lumped into that, I think it's a shame."
Connor defended Tierney's integrity and career, "I respect him a lot. He's given life for the priesthood."
He continued, "It's an attack on the priesthood and there are some wonderful priests that get a terrible rap because of this type of scandal."
The Diocese of Kansas City - Saint Joseph said Tierney denies the allegations, but because of his quick removal from Christ the King parish, NBC Action News was not able to reach him for comment.
Bishop Robert Finn will hear from the members of Saint Thomas Moore Catholic Church Friday night at seven. He met with the priests of the diocese in what's called a 'Brother Meeting' on Friday afternoon.