Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on Father Paul Guzman
Dear Most Holy Redeemer Parish and School Family,
I write to share some difficult news about your associate pastor, Father Paul Guzman. While Father Guzman was overseas on military duty, the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor from approximately 40 years ago when he was a layman, and 25 years before he entered Mundelein Seminary to prepare for the priesthood. In keeping with our child protection policies, I directed Father Guzman to step aside from ministry immediately and to live away from Most Holy Redeemer Parish when he returned from his military service. He agreed to cooperate with this direction.
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 pastoral services of our Victim Assistance Ministry, and the opportunity to participate in the investigation process, which is underway.
It is important to remind everyone that, while the Archdiocese takes every allegation of child sexual abuse seriously, the fact of an allegation does not presume guilt. We should
reserve judgement until the investigation is complete and the Independent Review Board makes its recommendation to me.
In the days and weeks ahead, members of the Archdiocese's Office for the Protection of Children and Youth will be available at 312-534-5254 to answer any questions you may have and provide you with support during this challenging time.
Nothing is more important than the welfare of the children entrusted to our care. The Archdiocese of Chicago encourages anyone who feels they have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee to come forward. Complete information about
reporting sexual abuse can be found on the Archdiocese website at www.archchicago.org.
Please know that you are in my prayers. We will do our best to keep you informed of developments as they occur.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase Cupich