Topeka priest suspended after allegation of sexual abuse

Associated Press/September 17, 2021

Topeka, Kansas — The pastor of a Catholic parish in Topeka has been suspended from his public duties after being accused of sexually abusing a minor, the archdiocese for northeast Kansas announced Monday.

The Rev. John Pilcher of Mater Dei parish denies the allegation and is fully cooperating, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas said. He will remain on leave until an investigation is complete and an independent review board has made a recommendation to Archbishop Joseph Naumann, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The archdiocese said that law enforcement was notified and announcement about the allegation made at all weekend Masses.

The parish includes two churches, Assumption across the street north of the Statehouse and Holy Name in central Topeka. They once were in separate parishes that merged in 2006.

The archdiocese said anyone with knowledge about the case regarding Pilcher or about any other misconduct should contact civil authorities first, then make a report to its confidential report line.

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