Death of Fr. Michael Tierney

Reverend Michael Tierney, 76, passed away on December 15, after a short illness. Out of respect for all involved, a small private service and burial was held. Fr. Tierney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph on May 31, 1969. He served in several parishes: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Christ the King, St. Elizabeth, and St. Patrick Parishes in Kansas City; St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Gladstone; Coronation of Our Lady Parish, Grandview; Holy Spirit Parish, Lee’s Summit; and St. Mary Parish, St. Joseph.

In 2011 after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was reported and deemed credible by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Fr. Tierney was removed from ministry.  In subsequent years, other allegations were deemed credible.  While none of these allegations resulted in criminal charges, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) held a canonical trial where Fr. Tierney was deemed guilty of multiple delicts (crimes) of sexual abuse of minors. The penalty of dismissal from the clerical state was decreed, and then appealed by Fr. Tierney to a second CDF court. Because the canonical penalty was under appeal at the time of his death, it was not imposed; however, the guilty verdicts remain.

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph continues to make the safety of our children a top priority. The Diocese takes very seriously all allegations of sexual abuse of minors made against employees, clerics or volunteers who serve in the diocese. Anyone who has knowledge of such abuse or inappropriate behavior with a minor is encouraged to make a confidential report with the Ombudsman.  If you were harmed by Fr. Tierney or any other person who has worked or volunteered for the diocese, no matter how long ago, the diocese wants to provide care and healing resources to you and your family. Please contact the Ombudsman, Joe Crayon, at 816.812.2500 or

Fr. Tierney’s name is included on the diocese’s List of Accused Clerics with Substantiated Allegations, which can be found on the diocesan website here.

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