Priest to return to Topeka parish after no charges filed

Associated Press [New York NY]

April 29, 2022

A Roman Catholic priest who was accused of sexual abuse of a minor will return to his parish in Topeka after prosecutors decided not to file charges against him, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced Friday.

Rev. John Pilcher will return as pastor of Mater Dei Parish immediately, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann said in a news release.

Pilcher was placed on a leave of absence in September after the allegations were made against him. He consistently denied the allegations and cooperated with the investigations, the diocese said.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigated and Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay announced this week that he would not file charges.

The archdiocese also investigated the allegations and Naumann determined Pilcher is able to return to ministry.

The bishop said in the statement he had “full confidence” in Pilcher, who is eager to resume his public ministry.