Diocesan list of priests credibly accused of abuse of a minor

The following three names and the accusations associated with them have been published in previous statements by the Diocese of Knoxville or in media reports that have received extensive coverage. 

Casey, William Claude
Born Jan. 4, 1934; ordained May 2, 1969; incardinated in the Diocese of Knoxville Sept. 8, 1988; removed from ministry April 14, 2010; dismissed from the priesthood Feb. 3, 2012; currently incarcerated. Assignments included: Associate Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Chattanooga; Pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville; Diocesan Director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Pastor of St. Dominic Church in Kingsport; Dean and Episcopal Vicar of the Kingsport Deanery; Director of Vocations for the Kingsport Deanery; Pastor of St. John Neumann Church in Knoxville

LaPrad, Stephen
Born Aug. 11, 1949; ordained June 3, 1995; removed from ministry Nov. 21, 2001; died July 8, 2014.
Assignments included: parochial vicar of St. Mary Church in Johnson City, parochial administrator and then pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.

O’Connell, Anthony J.
Born May 10, 1938; ordained March 30, 1963, Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo.; consecrated bishop Sept. 8, 1988; resigned March 13, 2002; died May 4, 2012. O’Connell served as the first bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville from 1988-1998 and the third bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach from 1998-2002.
All accusations took place in the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo.


Before the Diocese of Knoxville was established in 1988, the priests who served in this region were under the pastoral leadership and oversight of the Diocese of Nashville. The following is a list of priests credibly accused in the Diocese of Nashville who held assignments in parishes which are now part of the Diocese of Knoxville

Cleary, Edward James
Born April 18, 1914; ordained May 18, 1940; incardinated into the Diocese of Memphis in 1971; died Nov. 10, 1997.
Assignments included: Administrator Pro Tem at Resurrection Church in Cleveland, Tennessee

Davis, William Floyd
Born Aug. 17, 1929; ordained May 26, 1956; incardinated in the Diocese of Memphis 1972; died Oct. 26, 2011.
Assignments included: Pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville and Rogersville mission

Emala, Walter M.
Born June 14, 1925; ordained May 31, 1952; incardinated in the Diocese of Memphis in 1971; died Feb. 20, 2008.
Assignments included: Associate Pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville; CYO Director for the East Tennessee Deanery

Haas, Paul Frederick
Born Dec. 14, 1933; ordained May 23, 1959; dismissed from the priesthood of the Diocese of Nashville May 24, 1977; died June 7, 1979.
Known to have served at St. Jude Church and Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga

Kemper, James A.
Born Feb. 7, 1915; ordained March 21, 1942; incardinated in the Diocese of Memphis in 1971; died Nov. 23, 1993.
Assignments included: Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Knoxville; Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga and Chaplain of the Newman Club

McKeown, Edward Joseph
Born March 18, 1944; ordained Jan. 31, 1970; dismissed from the priesthood of the Diocese of Nashville March 1, 1989; currently incarcerated.
Assignments included: Administrator of Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman, St. Ann Church in Deer Lodge and St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City; academic duties at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga; Administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in South Pittsburg, in residence at St. Augustine Church in Signal Mountain; Associate Pastor at St. Augustine Church in Signal Mountain; Administrator at St. Bridget Church in Dayton; Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman and its mission; Pastor of St. Thomas Church in Lenoir City and St. Ann Church in Deer Lodge

McManus, Francis J.
A Jesuit priest assigned by his religious order to St. Dominic Church in Kingsport from June 1978 to July 1979.  Born: Aug. 15, 1941.  According to his religious order, his ministerial status was impeded in 2002. Died: Jan. 5, 2015.

Murphy, James William, Jr.
Born Sept. 12, 1922; ordained April 3, 1948; incardinated into Diocese of Memphis 1971; died Oct. 11, 2016.
Assignments included: Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman; Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Alcoa and attached mission 

Reilly, Joseph L.
Born Dec. 16, 1928; ordained May 26, 1956; dismissed from the priesthood of the Diocese of Nashville 1965
Assignments included: Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Chattanooga

Richards, Franklin T.
Born March 18, 1947; ordained Jan. 26, 1973; dismissed from the priesthood of the Diocese of Nashville March 1, 1989.
Assignments included: Principal of Knoxville Catholic High School; Pastor of the Seymour Catholic Community

Rudisill, James Arthur
Born May 16, 1926; ordained May 19, 1951; retired Feb. 10, 1995; died Feb. 8, 2008.
Assignments included: Pastor at Notre Dame Church in Greeneville and its mission in Rogersville; Moderator of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women for the Chattanooga Deanery; Associate Pastor and Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Chattanooga; Chaplain Knights of Columbus Council 610 in Chattanooga

St. Charles, Paul Wiley
Born June 23, 1939; ordained May 21, 1966; Incardinated into the Diocese of Memphis; dismissed from the priesthood of the Diocese of Memphis 2004; died Dec. 27, 2009.
Assignments included: Assistant Pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Knoxville

Stredny, Anthony G.
Born Oct. 15, 1928; ordained June 15, 1957; incardinated in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1971; died 2018.
Assignments included: Associate Pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville; Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga; Associate Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman

Walenga, Edward Albert
Born Nov. 2, 1926; ordained May 30, 1953; died Nov. 27, 1983.
Assignments included: Assistant Pastor at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville and Professor at Knoxville Catholic High School; Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga and Chaplain to Newman Clubs; pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville and St. Henry Mission in Rogersville 


This post reflects a continued effort to publish information about past abuse and will be updated should additional information become available. 

Tennessee law requires and diocesan policy urges anyone who reasonably suspects that abuse is taking place to report it to the civil authorities. For more information about reporting abuse and the diocese’s Safe Environment policies, visit https://dioknox.org/creating-a-safe-environment/