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Under Investigation, Louisville Priest Resigns

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The Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville on Friday said a pastor who is the focus of a child pornography investigation has resigned and remains under suspension from ministry.

The Rev. Stephen Pohl has stepped down as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish on Shelbyville Road.

Police allege Pohl had downloaded child pornography on his personal computer and other devices, and was also in possession of up to 200 photos of fully clothed St. Margaret Mary schoolchildren, apparently taken on parish grounds.
Police describe some of the pictures as “inappropriate.”

Archdiocese Chancellor Brian Reynolds said church leaders met with parish families and staff this week to discuss the investigation and offer counseling.

“They expressed anger, pain and fear," Reynolds said.

Pohl had been pastor at St. Margaret Mary since 2008.

Reynolds said the investigation began after a complaint was filed.

“One family, awhile back, learned from their child that a picture had been taken that bothered the child, so they got a copy of the picture. And they gave it to authorities, who began their investigation," he said.

Police have indicated the investigation could take months.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz says the archdiocese is “deeply grieved” about the effect this is having on parish families.

“The primary issue here is cooperation and safety of the faithful,” Kurtz said. “They’re the two major areas, and that’s who our concentration is on now.”

Officials said Pohl is no longer living on church property.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.