Official announcement from the archdiocese

The following announcement was issued by the Archdiocese of Louisville on Aug. 17.

Effective August 12, 2015, Father Stephen A. Pohl is on administrative leave, pending investigation, as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish. This week, the Archdiocese learned that an investigation is underway about inappropriate photos of children that have been taken and collected by Father Pohl to determine if he has possessed or distributed child pornography.

During this time, Fr. Pohl will refrain from all public ministries.

When an allegation involving possible child pornography is received, the Archdiocese initiates its sexual abuse policies, which include:

  •  The person who has been accused is placed on an administrative leave of absence.
  • The Archdiocese submits a report to civil authorities, if not already contacted, and fully cooperates with civil authorities as the investigation proceeds.
  • The Archdiocese conducts an internal investigation of the accusation.

Per the sexual abuse policies of the Archdiocese of Louisville, the purpose of this notification is to inform parishioners in the parishes in which an accused priest has served and to provide information about how to make a report if anyone has factual information about a concern involving child pornography or child abuse.

Father Pohl has served in the following parishes or ministries: Pastor, St. Margaret Mary Parish (Louisville), St. Thomas and St. Monica Parishes (Bardstown); Director of the Vocation Office for the Archdiocese of Louisville; Associate Pastor, St. Athanasius Parish (Louisville), Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral (Bardstown), and St. Gabriel Parish (Louisville); Chaplain or co-chaplain, Mercy Academy; and Deacon, St. Helen now Mary Queen of Peace Parish (Louisville).

Anyone who has information about sexual abuse or child pornography should contact the police. To report to the civil authorities, please call the child protection services or the local police in your county. Please see www.archlou.org/report for a list of these agencies in each county. You also may call the statewide child abuse hotline at 1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331.

Martine Siegel, Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese, also is ready to assist those who have concerns. Contact her at 502-636-1044 or email victimassistance@archlou.org.

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