A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth has resigned over claims that he failed to follow proper procedures for reporting suspicions of sexual misconduct.
Rev. Richard Kirkham resigned June 4. He’d been the priest at St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church in Prosper since 2015.
The accusation came to light after a racy letter Kirkham wrote surfaced in May. The letter describes, in graphic detail, a conversation he claims he had with a Dallas priest in October.
The name of the priest was redacted in the letter by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.
In the letter, the priest confides in Kirkham at a Frisco bar about having a sexual relationship with a woman in the church.
“We were sitting at the bar [sic] you had been drinking and you told me you had a girlfriend and were getting laid,” the letter states.
The letter, addressed to the priest, tells him he’s about to be reported for violating church policy.
But the priest took the letter to the bishop in Dallas.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said, “Both parties in the Diocese of Dallas were shocked by the allegations and deny it to be true. Both of these individuals are believed to be credible."
Father Kirkham was then disciplined for writing the letter, and asked to resign.
“He was not making this up,” said Kirkham’s attorney Jack Walsh.
Walsh says he tried rescinding Kirkham’s resignation days later but it was denied.
“He is still a priest he has been suspended from performing mass,” Walsh said.
Walsh says he and another attorney are looking at legal options in an effort to restore Kirkham's reputation and his place in the pulpit.
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth says Kirkham was asked to resign because he did not follow proper procedures for reporting suspicions of sexual abuse.
According to the Fort Worth Diocese, there still has not been a report filed in the case.