2 Priests No Longer Will Be Ministering
The men had Pleaded Guilty to Charges Related to Child Pornography
By Angie Brunkow
Omaha World Herald
May 10, 2005
Two Catholic priests accused in separate cases involving the viewing of child pornography no longer are serving as priests.
The Revs. Robert Allgaier and Jay L. Kruse each made a "mutual decision" with Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss to leave priestly ministry, said the Rev. Joe Taphorn, vice chancellor of the archdiocese.
Taphorn declined to provide specifics about the decisions, except to say that they were made as part of the annual process of assigning priests to parishes and positions.
He described the decision involving Allgaier as a difficult one. But it was one both the archbishop and Allgaier "felt was appropriate at this time," Taphorn said.
"Obviously the archbishop is going to make decisions he feels are in the best interest of everyone," Taphorn said. "He has a concern for the entire church."
In a highly publicized case, Allgaier was accused of using a computer in his Norfolk church office to view Internet photos of children involved in sex acts.
Allgaier, then the associate pastor at Sacred Heart-St. Mary Catholic Church, pleaded guilty in 2002 to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to possess child pornography. A judge sentenced him to two years' probation.
Kruse was charged last year after investigators found child pornography on a computer at St. Wenceslaus parish in Verdigre. He pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and was given one year of probation.
Both men have been on administrative leave up until now. Allgaier performed clerical work in an archdiocesean office; Kruse had no assignment.
Kruse was ordained in 1991 and served as pastor of St. Wenceslaus and a mission church in Niobrara before moving to St. Patrick Church in O'Neill.
Allgaier was ordained in 1998.
His case sparked a storm of criticism after it became public that Curtiss reassigned him from Norfolk to Ralston after learning the priest had viewed child pornography.
At the time, Curtiss said that Allgaier was evaluated by a psychologist, entered counseling and was found to be of no danger to youths.
Curtiss later said he regretted his decision to move Allgaier to another parish.
A message left for Allgaier on Monday was not immediately returned. Kruse could not be reached for comment.
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