Update on Tierney appeal

Bishop Johnston has been notified that Michael Tierney’s appeal to reverse the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state was resolved prior to his death on December 15, 2020. A cover letter dated February 4, 2021, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) arrived in the Office of the Bishop on February 22, 2021, notifying him of the decision.

The second CDF tribunal met December 11, 2020, and upon review of Michael’s Tierney’s appeal, confirmed the decision of the first CDF tribunal court on both the determination of guilt as well as the penalty of dismissal. This court decision was made prior to learning of Michael Tierney’s death on December 15, 2020, therefore definitively ruling that Michael Tierney was dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy See.

Even though the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state cannot be executed, the diocese is publishing the judicial decision in the interests of justice for the benefit of all involved.

Bishop Johnston recognizes that this has been a long and often difficult process, especially for the survivors and their families who bravely shared their stories, stating, “I am grateful for the courage and perseverance of those who brought this matter to a point of decision; the survivors, and their families. My prayers continue for the survivors, their families, and all impacted.”

This is an update to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph’s previous announcement on December 29, 2020 regarding Michael Tierney’s death.

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