Remember the

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee




Timeline of diocesan coverup

Time line developed from Tennessean interviews and court documents filed by both parties in lawsuit against diocese.

1970  Edward McKeown ordained as priest, assigned to Father Ryan High School.

1972  McKeown named director of Nashville Catholic Youth Organization.

1973  McKeown molests boy he says was second victim.

JULY 1986  That victim's mother reports abuse to Bishop James Niedergeses. Bishop confronts McKeown, who confesses. Diocese officials say abuse reported to Department of Human Services. No record exists.

SEPTEMBER 1986  McKeown sent to St. Luke Institute in Maryland for treatment. Admits molesting boys on average "once or twice a month" for 14 years. Report sent to Nashville Diocese says McKeown admitted to a "number of sexual contacts.''

OCTOBER 1986  McKeown sent for treatment at Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn. Tells a psychiatrist 1973 abuse report is just "tip of an iceberg." Diagnosed as a pedophile.

JANUARY 1987  McKeown released from Institute. Doctor warns bishop that "McKeown not be placed in a program or be given responsibilities which would place him in frequent or ongoing contact with adolescents."

APRIL 1987  McKeown's doctor tells diocese, "There is no cure for Father McKeown's condition and so it is necessary that there be a continual program of therapy and monitoring..." Also, McKeown needs weekly injections of Depo-Provera and psychotherapy.

1987  McKeown moves into rectory at St. Ignatius church in Antioch.

MARCH 1988  The Rev. Xavier Mankel writes Bishop Niedergeses that a Tennessee parishioner reported McKeown molested her son in 1984. Boy was 14. No record exists that allegations were reported to authorities.

DECEMBER 1988  Diocese gives McKeown options of looking for work in another diocese, leave of absence, suspension or laicization, which is official defrocking. McKeown refuses to decide.

CHRISTMAS 1988 McKeown gives condom to a 15-year-old boy as Christmas present. Diocese officials say this is final straw.

JANUARY 1989  Diocese gives McKeown until end of March to decide how he will leave diocese. Bishop tells McKeown he wants to "spare any kind of embarrassment - I am not imposing any penalty.'' McKeown demands diocese pay him $50,000 when he leaves.

MAY 1989 McKeown negotiates payment from diocese that turns out to be $51,500 over about five years. Accepts decree that leaves him technically still a priest but with no formal assignment.

JULY 1989 The Rev. John Henrick becomes priest at St. Ignatius. Says he was not told by diocese that McKeown - who still ushered and taught children at the church - was a pedophile.

MARCH 1990 McKeown informs bishop by letter that he's working for Nashville's Juvenile Court clerk.

AUGUST 1990 McKeown writes Niedergeses, asking to return to active ministry.

1990 McKeown begins molesting boy he met at St. Ignatius. Abuse continues for three years.

DECEMBER 1990 McKeown's therapist tells him diocese has not paid past few months' bills. Therapist says stopping therapy "certainly does not seem wise at this time.''

JANUARY 1991 Unpaid therapy bills total more than $2,000. McKeown and doctor suspend appointments.

AUGUST 1991 McKeown's therapist writes Niedergeses that therapy suspended because of unpaid bills. Diocese says bills later paid.

1991 McKeown begins molesting a second boy he met at St. Ignatius. Abuse continues for two years.

1992 McKeown molests a boy at his mobile home.

1993 McKeown begins molesting a third boy he met at St. Ignatius. Abuse continues for two years.

1994  McKeown begins molesting boy known as John Doe 2 in later lawsuit against diocese.

JANUARY 1995 Knoxville Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell calls new Nashville Bishop Edward Kmiec. Informs him that a mother said McKeown had "dealings" with her son. (There is no evidence allegations were reported to authorities.)

MAY 1995 John Doe 2's mother hears of abuse, confronts McKeown, says he confesses.

NOVEMBER 1995 McKeown begins molesting boy known as John Doe 1. Abuse continues weekly for three years.

1995 McKeown begins molesting a fourth boy he met at St. Ignatius.

SEPTEMBER 1996  Bishop Kmiec drafts letter to McKeown asking him to stop bringing boys to Father Ryan football games. Letter apparently not mailed. Instead, longtime Ryan coach and teacher Murray Lynch tells McKeown to stop.

JANUARY 1999 John Doe 1's mother learns of abuse, calls police. Boy wears police recording wire and confronts McKeown, who admits molesting him and others.

JUNE 17, 1999 McKeown convicted of raping John Doe 1, sentenced to 25 years without parole.

JANUARY 19, 2000 John Doe 1 and 2 file lawsuit against diocese and Metro government for failing to protect them.

JUNE 2000 Judge Walter Kurtz dismisses lawsuit, saying abuse came too long after McKeown's dismissal to hold church accountable. Appeal pending.

AUGUST 2000  Diocese lawyers ask Kurtz to order boys' families and lawyers to pay almost $70,000 in expert witness fees and other costs. Kurtz orders each boy to pay $7,500.


Rick Musacchio, spokesman for the Nashville Diocese, said the diocese would have no comment on the material in this article.

Musacchio said the church was prevented from responding because of a court order related to a suit that was filed against the diocese and later dismissed.

Musacchio did characterize The Tennessean's reporting as "false, incomplete and misleading."

PHOTOS: coming soon to this site.

 St. Ignatius Church in Antioch Bishop Edward Kmiec the Rev. Edward Alberts Edward McKeown's police mug shot and McKeown in court in 1999. Text is from a recently unsealed legal brief. Read full text online at


 Bishop James D. Niedergeses in 1977.


 The Rev. Charles Giacosa in a file photo from 1969.