Rev. John R. Tulipana

Summary of Case: Tulipana has been accused of sexually abusing at least eight minors, one of them female. He resigned from ministry in 1994 after it became publicly known that the diocese had previously settled in with two people who had accused him of sexually abusing them as boys in the 1980s. The diocese required the claimants to sign confidentiality agreements as part of the settlements. Tulipana underwent psychological evaluations in 1993 and 1994 and was allowed to return to ministry both times. Tulipana denied the allegations. The diocese announced in 2010 that it was pursuing Tulipana's laicization. Tulipana died Nov. 5, 2012

: 1972
Incardinated: Kansas City-St. Joseph
Died: Nov 5, 2012


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Kansas City-St. Joseph bishop was Charles Herman Helmsing (1962-1977)

1976 Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Independence MO 2/3, 2/2 Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had a school with 290-371 students.


Helmsing was succeeded by John Joseph Sullivan (1977-1993)

1979 Diocesan Tribunal: Defenders of the Bond

Kansas City

Tulipana was accused in a 2006 lawsuit of having molested a 12 year-old boy in 1978 during a trip to Texas

1974 1978 Associate Directors of Vocations Kansas City MO    
1976 1978 Coronation of Our Lady Grandview MO 2/2, 2/3  
1978 1980 Holy Trinity

Kansas City

Tulipana was accused in an Oct. 2010 lawsuit of having sexually abused a 17 year-old girl in 1979 on a Teens Encounter Christ retreat. His accuser said that Tulipana and another priest, Rev. Thomas Cronin, abused her together.

Tulipana was accused of the sexual abuse in 1980 of a 16 year-old boy. His accuser received a settlement from the diocese in 1989, and was required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The diocese acknowledged in 1994 that it had settled with another person who claimed to have been sexually abused by Tulipana in the 1980s. That person was also required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

MO 2/2 In residence.



Cronin was suspended from ministry in Oct. 2010, due to these accusations. He denied the abuse.


1978 1980 Seminary Board: Deputy of Seminary Discipline Kansas City MO    
1980 1981 Christ the King Kansas City MO 4/4 In residence. Christ the King had a school with 386 students.
1978 1982 Director of Vocations and Secretary for Seminarians Kansas City MO    
1981 1983 St. Augustine's Kansas City MO 1/2, 1/1 St. Augustine's had a school with 246-201 students.
1983 1988 Holy Rosary Clinton MO 1/1 Holy Rosary had a school with 81-64 students.
1984 1988 St. Bartholomew's Windsor MO   This was a mission of Holy Rosary in Clinton.
1985 1988 St. Catherine's Osceola MO   This was a mission of Holy Rosary in Clinton.
1988 1992 St. Catherine's

Kansas City

Tulipana was accused in a Feb. 2012 lawsuit of having sexually abused four boys in one family, ages 10-16, beginning in 1976 and while serving at this parish. Tulipana was involved with the brothers prior to his time at St. Catherine's via the diocese's Teens Encounter Christ program The abuse is said to have occurred during trips to a lake and in a camper, similar to earlier complaints about him, as well as at the boys' home. Tulipana is said to have been a "father figure" for the boys, whose family was going through some "upheaval".

MO 1/2  


Raymond James Boland replaced Sullivan as Kansas City-St. Joseph bishop (1993-2005)

1994 Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Kansas City MO 2/2 The diocese stated it sent Tulipana to for psychological evaluations after each of the first two people accused him. The evaluations are said to have taken place in 1993 and 1994 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jimenez, New Mexico. He was allowed to return to ministry after the evaluations.
1992 1994 Old St. Patrick's Kansas City MO 2/2

Tulipana is not indexed beyond the 1994 Directory.

Tulipana resigned from ministry in Jan. 1994 after abuse allegations against him became public. He denied the allegations.

1994 2012        

The diocese announced in Oct. 2010 that it was pursuing laicization in the case of Tulipana. He was the subject of accusations of child sexual abuse in multiple lawsuits after his 1994 resignation.

Tulipana died Nov. 5, 2012


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1973-1994)

Priest Resigns after Revelation That Church Paid Two Accusers, By Joe Stephens, Kansas City Star, February 2, 1994
Diocese Alters Its Policy on Clergy Abuse, By Rick Montgomery, Kansas City Star [Kansas & Missouri], September 14, 1994
Suit Says Bishop in KC Knew of Abuse, By Matt Stearns and Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star [Kansas & Missouri], April 19, 2002
Lawsuit Accuses Ex-Priest of Abuse, By Tony Rizzo, Kansas City Star [Kansas City MO], December 15, 2006
Leaflets Raise Alarm about Ex-Priest, By Robert Hite, The Examiner [Missuri], December 21, 2006
The Priests Involved, Kansas City Star, August 20, 2008
Tentative Settlement Reached in KC Priest Abuse Cases, By Mark Morris, Kansas City Star, August 20, 2008
Woman Comes Forward Claiming Area Priests Molested Her, Fox 4, October 4, 2010
Statement of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph Regarding Civil Lawsuit, By Sarah Clark, Fox 4, October 4, 2010
2 Priests with KC Ties Named in Lawsuit, KCTV, October 4, 2010
Two Ex-priests Accused of Sexual Abuse, By James Hart, Kansas City Star, October 5, 2010
Kansas City Lawsuit Accuses Reno-area Priest of Sexual Assault, By Martha Bellisle, The Register-Journal, October 21, 2010
Kansas City Priest Accused of Molesting 4 Brothers, By Carey Gillam, The Reuters, February 22, 2012
Suit Claims Former KC Priest Abused 4 Boys in Family, By Mark Morris, Kansas City Star, February 23, 2012
New Lawsuit Claims Fmr. Priest Sexually Abused 4 Boys, By Sarah Clark, Fox4, February 23, 2012
Teens Encounter Christ website, April 2012
Mo- Serial Predator Priest Dies, By David Clohessy, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, November 14, 2012
Former Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Has Died, By Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, November 15, 2012

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Tulipana's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Nov. 27, 2012