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Archdiocese of Chicago asks Three Retired Priests to Remain out of Ministry Pending Investigation of Nearly 50 Year Old Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors

Chicago - (Sept. 24, 2022) – The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced that it has asked three retired priests to remain out of ministry while its Independent Review Board investigates allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them. The priests are: Father John J. Rudnik, 87, Father James E. Flynn, 80 and Father John W. Clemens, 75. Each has one allegation against him, all dating from nearly a half century ago and all are cooperating fully with the process. The persons making the allegations have been offered the services of the Archdiocese Victim Assistance Ministry and civil authorities have been notified. In addition, parishioners in the parishes where these priests served have been notified.

“We take every allegation seriously and follow the policies and procedures we have had in place for decades,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Only by conducting an impartial and thorough investigation can we fulfill our promise to protect the young people in our care and, if the results warrant, restore the good name of one so accused.”

We will communicate the outcome of the Independent Review Board’s work on these cases when the processes are complete.

About the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for the Protection of Children and Youth

The Office for the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY) traces its founding to the time 30 years ago this month when Cardinal Joseph Bernardin instituted policies and procedures for preventing sexual abuse of minors and for holding perpetrators accountable. The Office consists of the following offices and programs to respond to allegations of abuse by church personnel, help victim-survivors throughout their healing journey, educate parents, caregivers and archdiocesan staff about child abuse and prevention efforts and screen all employee and volunteer applicants:

·        Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review (Link)

·        Office of Assistance Ministry (Link)

·        Safe Environment Office (Link)

·        Prayer and Penance Program (Link)