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Cardinal Cupich’s Statements

Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the reinstatement of Father David Ryan

Nov. 20, 2021

Dear Parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish, 

In September, I informed you that additional information on an allegation against your pastor, Father David Ryan, which was not previously provided to the Archdiocese or the Independent Review Board, had surfaced. As a result, Father David Ryan once again stepped aside from the parish and has fully cooperated while this matter was thoroughly investigated. Today, our Independent Review Board met to consider and discuss the information that had been provided by the independent investigation. They reached the judgement that that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father Ryan had committed sexual abuse of a minor. I have decided to accept that judgement and reinstate him as your pastor immediately. 

We take every allegation of sexual abuse seriously, for only by conducting a rigorous and impartial investigation can we fulfill our duty to protect the young people in our care. A thorough investigation also serves the priest accused, for, as in this case, if the Independent Review Board determines there is insufficient reason to suspect abuse of a minor, I can reinstate him with confidence.

Yet, I am aware that Father Ryan’s absence has been a source of pain for him, his family and all of you, his parishioners, for which I am deeply sorry. Please know how much I appreciate your patience and prayers as we completed this process. I hope you will join me in praying for everyone involved in the work of protecting children and for the continued solidarity of your community as you welcome Fr. Ryan home to a parish family he greatly loves and who love him in return. 

Sincerely Your in Christ,

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich