Good news from the Archdiocese today:
Rev. Robert Stricker, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnatiput on administrative leave in May after an accusation that he sexuallyabused a minor in the 1950s, has been returned to ministry by CincinnatiArchbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk.
"After extensive further investigation, I find that the there is notsufficient substantiation of the allegations to warrant sending the caseto the Vatican or continuing Fr. Stricker's administrative leave,"Archbishop Pilarczyk said.
A man reported to the Archdiocese in 1993 that Fr. Stricker had abusedhim when Fr. Stricker was an associate pastor at St. William Parish inPrice Hill. Fr. Stricker denied the allegation. The Archdioceseinvestigated and concluded the accusation was unsubstantiated. The sameman came forward again in May. New information was presented and furtherinvestigation was undertaken. After reviewing the accusation and thefacts of the investigation, Archbishop Pilarczyk placed Fr. Stricker onadministrative leave, from which he has now been relieved.
Administrative leave after an accusation does not represent apresumption of guilt on the part of the Archdiocese. In accord withchurch law, it is a response to an allegation that is deemed to have"the semblance of truth" while further steps are taken. A priest onadministrative leave may not celebrate the sacraments, engage inpriestly ministry, or present himself as a priest in any way.
The accusation was also reported to secular legal authorities andreviewed by the Archdiocese's Child Protection Review Board.
The Archdiocese has received no other accusations of sexual misconductagainst Fr. Stricker.
Fr. Stricker, 85, was ordained to the priesthood in 1948 and retired in 1993.
I've gotten to know Fr. Stricker over the last few months, at least a little bit. He is a good man and a dedicated priest, this should bring great joy to the diocese.