A Catholic priest has been removed from ministry in Oklahoma following allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Archbishop Paul Coakley announced the removal of Father James Mickus Sunday morning.
Father Mickus served as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Chandler and Saint Louis Catholic Church in Stroud.
Officials say the allegation does not involve Father Minckus's most recent parishes. He has served in more than a dozen Oklahoma Catholic churches.
The Archdiocese released the following statement:
Archbishop Paul Coakley on Sunday announced the removal of Father James Mickus from ministry pending investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Father Mickus serves as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Chandler and Saint Louis Catholic Church in Stroud. Archbishop Coakley informed parishioners in person Sunday morning.
The allegation, which does not involve Father Mickus’s current parishes, is under review by the archdiocesan Review Board. The board was created in 2002 under the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” to review allegations of abuse and advise the archbishop. The allegation also is being reviewed by McAfee and Taft, an independent firm hired by the archdiocese to review and investigate allegations of abuse by priests from 1960 to 2018.
An administrator will be assigned to the parish and mission.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” requires the removal from ministry any priest, deacon or other religious upon determination of a credible claim of sexual misconduct with a minor.
Under Oklahoma law, all individuals must report an incident or suspicion of sexual abuse of a minor (person under age 18) to civil authorities. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has established a statewide abuse reporting hotline – (800) 522-3511. If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
The archdiocese provides an Abuse of Minors Pastoral Response Hotline for reporting abuse of a minor (in the past or present) by a member of the clergy or other church personnel – (405) 720-9878. The archdiocesan victim assistance coordinator, a licensed professional counselor, will respond to calls to the pastoral hotline.
A report to the archdiocese does not relieve the individual of the duty to report child abuse to civil authorities as required by state law. In Oklahoma, failure to report child abuse is a misdemeanor. For more information on the safe environment protocol in churches and schools or resources for parents go online to archokc.org/safe-environment.