Topeka Catholic priest suspended after allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, which he denies
The Rev. John Pilcher, pastor of Topeka's Mater Dei Catholic Parish, has been suspended from the public exercise of priestly ministry after being accused of sexually abusing a minor, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced Monday.
"Father Pilcher denies the allegation and is cooperating fully," the archdiocese said in a news release. "He will remain on leave until the investigation is concluded and the archdiocesan Independent Review Board has reviewed the case and made a recommendation to Archbishop Joseph Naumann regarding the matter."
Law enforcement was also notified, the archdiocese said.
An announcement about the allegation was made at all Masses this past weekend at Mater Dei Parish, the archdiocese said. That parish was created in 2006 by the merger of Holy Name Catholic Church, 911 S.W. Clay, and Assumption Catholic Church at 204 S.W. 8th Ave.
The archdiocese takes all allegations of misconduct by church personnel very seriously and works to respond to survivors’ needs with urgency and respect, it said in Monday's news release.
The archdiocese encouraged anyone with knowledge about the case regarding Pilcher or about any other misconduct by any church volunteer, employee, religious or clergy member to contact civil authorities first, and then make a report to its confidential report line at 913-647-3051 or online at www.archkck.org/reportabuse.