TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka priest is under investigation for a report of sexual abuse of a minor, the Archdiocese of Kansas City announced Monday.

The archdiocese told Mass attendees this past weekend at Mater Dei Parish that its pastor, Father John Pilcher, had been accused of sexually abusing a minor. Following protocol, the archdiocese said it notified law enforcement about the report and then suspended Pilcher from his duties as a priest. He won’t be allowed to practice ministry depending on what investigators determine as they look into the situation.

Pilcher has denied the accusation, and is cooperating with investigators, the archdiocese said.

“He will remain on leave until the investigation is concluded and the archdiocesan Independent Review Board has reviewed the case and made a recommendation to Archbishop Joseph Naumann regarding the matter.”

Archdiocese of Kansas City

The Mater Dei Catholic Parish in Topeka includes both the Mater Dei Catholic School at 1114 SW 10th Ave. and the Mater Dei Assumption Church at 204 SW 8th Ave. The church is located across the street from the Kansas Statehouse.