Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on Father William McFarlane
Dear Parishioners of Nativity of Our Lord and St. Gabriel Parish,
I write to you with some difficult news. I have asked Father William McFarlane, former pastor of Nativity of Our Lord and St. Gabriel Parish, to step aside from ministry following receipt by the Archdiocese of an allegation of sexual abuse that occurred in 1997, before Father McFarlane entered the seminary.
It is unclear at this time if the accuser was a minor at the time of the alleged abuse, however, in keeping with our policies, the allegation was reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Cook County State’s Attorney. The person making the allegation has been offered the services of the Archdiocese’s Office of Victim Assistance.
I have appointed Deacon Robert Boharic as Pastoral Coordinator of Nativity of Our Lord and St. Gabriel Parish, effective immediately.
As I am aware this is difficult news to hear, particularly as your parish undergoes a transition, let me assure you that we will communicate new information as it becomes available.
Know that I will keep your parish community in my prayers and ask that you pray for me.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Archbishop of Chicago