The lawsuit was announced Tuesday at a news conference by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, WDAF-TV, Kansas City, reported.
Joseph Eldred, who now lives in the Springfield, Mo., area, said he was molested from the age of about 9 to 12 in the 1980s, the Kansas City Star reported. He said it occurred at the Independence parish where he was in the Catholic school and at Lake Viking, a resort 60 miles from Kansas City.
"Today I am a grieving man," Eldred said. "I grieve for the boy I was and the innocence that was lost at the hands of men my family and I trusted who abused their position of religious authority."
The diocese said Eldred never made a complaint of molestation. He says he had suppressed the memory, recovering it only this year, although he believes being molested was responsible for several suicide attempts.
The three priests named as defendants in his lawsuit are Monsignor Thomas J. O'Brien, who is retired; the Rev. Mark Honhart, who left the diocese in 2001 and is now in Pennsylvania; and Thomas Reardon, who left the priesthood in 1989. All three have been named in other lawsuits.