Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lawsuit Alleges Retaliation For Complaint About Handling Of Accused Priest

Yesterday's Louisville Courier Journal reports on an interesting Kentucky state court lawsuit in which a former bookkeeper  for the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville claims she was wrongfully fired from her position in retaliation for her complaining that Rev. James Schook, a priest accused of past sexual abuse ,was permitted to reside for several months without supervision at a local church where children were present.  Former bookkeeper Margie Weiter says that this violates Archdiocese policy.  The Archdiocese says it fired Weiter for budgetary reasons, and that it has the right to use discretion in preventing employees from making potentially defamatory statements about priests whose cases are still under investigation. It also seeks dismissal of the case, arguing that how it handled Schook is a matter of internal church discipline of clergy over which civil courts, under the First Amendment, have no jurisdiction.

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