Vatican defrocked Kansas City-area priest before he died

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Statues top the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. A Vatican investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has found that bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed reports that he slept with seminarians. But the 400-plus-page report determined that Pope Francis merely continued his predecessors’ handling of the predator until a former altar boy alleged abuse. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Catholic officials say the Vatican defrocked a Kansas City-area priest four days before he died in December.

The Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese says it was notified that the Vatican had rejected an appeal by Michael Tierney of his dismissal from the priesthood. The decision was made Dec. 11. Tierney died Dec. 15.

Tierney worked in several Kansas City-area parishes before being removed from pastoral duties in 2011. In 2019, the diocese named him on a list of clergy it said had been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

Several lawsuits also were filed against Tierney, who consistently denied wrongdoing.

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