Chicago-area priest reinstated year after abuse probe began

State News

FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2015 file photo, clouds are lit by the rising sun over St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses have paid nearly $84 million to 564 victims of sexual abuse, a tally that’s sure to grow substantially in 2020 as compensation fund administrators work through a backlog of claims, according to an Associated Press review. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago priest has been reinstated as a pastor after a review board for the Archdiocese of Chicago found there was “insufficient reason to suspect” he had sexually abused children 25 years ago.

The Rev. David F. Ryan was first asked to step away from the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich in November 2020 when an investigation into the alleged abuse began.

Archbishop Blase Cupich then announced on Sept. 9 that Ryan had been cleared and reinstated.

But a week later, Ryan was once again placed under investigation after Cupich said new information had become available to the archdiocese.

Ryan led Mass on Sunday at the St. Francis de Sales parish immediately after being reinstated, the Chicago Tribune reported.

He said in a statement last week that he was innocent but that the church was right to be vigilant and must investigate all claims.

“It is important that you know I categorically deny that I have ever abused a child. I have faith the investigation will confirm what I know to be true and that I will return to parish ministry when it concludes,” Ryan said in a statement on Nov. 18.

The abuse allegations were from when Ryan was assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. Ryan was ordained in Springfield in June 1979 and started working in Maryville six years later. He became acting executive director in 2003.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, which covers Cook and Lake counties, serves around 2.2 million Catholics.

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