Archdiocese Removes Priest after Sex Abuse Allegations

By Mike Petchenik
July 30, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Archdiocese of Louisville has removed a priest from his post amid allegations of sexual abuse.

James Schook, 61, is pastor of Saint Ignatius Martyr Parish near Newburg.

The Archdiocese chancellor said an adult male contacted the church several weeks ago and accused Schook of abusing him when he was a teenager in the 1980s. Schook has been a priest with the Archdiocese since 1975.

"Lot's of people know him," said Brian Reynolds. "He's been around throughout the community. It's hard for people to hear this."

Reynolds said the church immediately put Schook on a leave of absence and opened an investigation into the matter. It has also contacted the commonwealth's attorney's office about the allegations. The incidents allegedly took place off church property.

An old friend of Schook's said he was "shocked" by the allegations.

"I've always known him to be a good and decent man," said Cal Pfeiffer, an abuse survivor himself.

Pfeiffer said he knows how hard it is to come forward after several decades. He reported abuse at the hands of former priest Louis Miller, who's now serving time in prison for dozens of similar cases. Pfeiffer now works with a group called Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

"I think a lot of people think this situation is over. It's been settled. It hasn't," he said of the priest sex abuse scandal. "Around the country and here in Louisville this is still an active problem."

For information about support for survivors of abuse at the hands of priests, you can visit this Web site:


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