KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri man is suing the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese a year after learning a Roman Catholic priest fathered a child with the man’s wife half a decade ago.
The civil lawsuit filed in Cass County Circuit Court claims the church knew about the Rev. Joseph Matt’s sexual misconduct but remained silent. At the time, Matt was on the diocese’s Marriage Tribunal and was providing counseling to the woman between 2004 and 2005. Matt allegedly began the relationship when the woman went to him after being fired from a job she had held within the diocese.
The Kansas City Star reports the man who filed the suit didn’t find out he was not the biological father of one of his sons until last September. The plaintiff told the paper,
“It’s been a nightmare. It’s not a good thing to find out that your son is not yours and the father is actually a priest that you thought you could trust. I still can’t believe it.” “He’s not my blood, but I’ve raised him,”
The man, who is filing the lawsuit anonymously to protect the identity of the child, learned last September that the boy was not his biological son, according to the lawsuit.
The diocese issued a statement Monday saying that soon after the woman’s husband reported the issue to diocese officials, Matt acknowledged having an affair with the woman in 2004 and 2005.
Matt was removed from his ministerial assignment and the diocese acknowledged it was because of the affair. Matt, now assigned to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Independence.
Copyright AP/Kansas City Star