Probation Revocation Hearing Set for Priest

The Catholic Telegraph [Ohio]
Downloaded January 20, 2005

DAYTON DEANERY ó A probation revocation hearing for Thomas Kuhn, an archdiocesan priest on administrative leave, is scheduled for Feb. 10 at 2:30 p.m. in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Katherine Huffman. The hearing date was set Jan. 13, following Kuhnís appearance in court to face charges that he violated conditions of his parole.

"This is another sad day for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati," said Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. "I want there to be no doubt that I find Thomas Kuhnís actions that led to this day deeply disturbing. I fully expected him to meet all of the restrictions and requirements imposed upon him by the court, and I told him so. That he apparently has not done so is shocking and inexplicable."

Kuhn was sentenced in July 2004 to five years of supervised probation, 500 hours of community service and was ordered to pay the maximum fines of more than $10,000 on 11 misdemeanor charges of public indecency and providing alcohol to minors, after pleading "no contest" to the counts.

The former pastor was not to work for any organization that involves people younger than 21 years of age, attend Alcoholic Anonymous meetings daily and was prohibited from entering any establishment where alcohol is served.

He was to complete appropriate treatment related to gambling, alcohol and other problems, write letters of apology to victims, to two churches and one high school, surrender his passport and not leave the state of Ohio.

"Administrative leave, barring a priest from exercising any priestly functions, is the strongest penalty that I can impose on my own authority as archbishop," said the archbishop. "Last July I said that the archdiocese would do everything possible to move forward the canonical process that could lead to Thomas Kuhnís permanent removal from the priesthood. We have done that.

"The canonical case remains in process at the Vatican," said the archbishop. "We will be forwarding the facts of these most recent actions to be considered as part of that process."

Archbishop Pilarczyk re-emphasized his regret for the "behavior that led to Thomas Kuhnís original conviction and sentencing" and he apologized "once again for the harm that his actions have caused to victims, to their families and friends and to members of the church as a whole," he said.

"Once more I urge anyone who was abused as a child by a priest or any other representative of the archdiocese, or knows someone who was, to report the abuse immediately to the secular legal authorities and to the chancellor of the archdiocese, Father Joseph Binzer, at (513) 421-3131."