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Mon September 26, 2011
Suit Claims Church Hid Priest's Child
By Dan Verbeck
Harrisonville, Mo. – A lawsuit was filed today alleging the Catholic Kansas City- St. Joseph Diocese covered up purported sexual transgressions of a priest, but this time the allegations do not center on child abuse. In this case, the issue is a priest fathering a child by a married woman in a parish he served.
The man making the allegations against the priest is the husband of the woman who had the child.
The suit contends the Diocese fraudulently hid the scandal. The Diocese said in a prepared statement that once they learned of the priest's conduct last year, they apologized to the man and offered counseling services. The Diocese told members of the parish, St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Independence, what had happened.
The statement said Bishop Robert Finn talked with the accused Reverend Joseph Matt before returning him to duties at the same parish. The priest also continues to serve on a Diocesan court that handles questions about marriage, where he has worked since 2004.
Most civil lawsuits brought against and counter-defenses mounted by the Diocese have involved allegations of child abuse.
The suit in this case seeks unspecified damages.