Lake Zurich pastor reinstated after sexual abuse allegations deemed unfounded
A Catholic priest has been reinstated as pastor of a Lake Zurich parish after state and Archdiocese of Chicago investigators determined allegations of sexual abuse were unfounded.
The Rev. David F. Ryan can return to work at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church immediately, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich wrote in a letter published Thursday on the St. Francis de Sales website and released to the media.
Ryan's first Mass will be 8:30 a.m. Monday, according to an announcement posted Thursday on the parish website.
Ryan couldn't be reached for comment. Requests to interview other church personnel were referred to the archdiocese.
Ryan had been asked to step away from his ministry in November while the archdiocese investigated allegations he sexually abused minors about 25 years ago while assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.
The allegations had been reported to Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state's attorney's office.
Des Plaines police subsequently said they had no record of investigating Ryan during or after his tenure at Maryville.
State officials eventually determined the allegations were unfounded, according to the archdiocese.
Additionally, an independent review board for the archdiocese investigated the accusations and found there was "insufficient reason to suspect Father Ryan had committed sexual abuse of a minor," Cupich wrote.
Ryan "fully cooperated with civil authorities and the Archdiocese of Chicago" during the investigation, he added.
"These have been difficult days and months for you as a parish," Cupich wrote in the letter to St. Francis de Sales. "You have shown great patience as each jurisdiction completed its process. I thank you for doing so. Father Ryan has also suffered, as you well know, but he has offered that suffering freely, convinced of the need for us as a Church to keep our word that the protection and safety of our children remains the priority."