Illinois Diocese Issues Statement on Priest Returned to Ministry Despite Abuse Allegation
September 14, 2012
The Diocese of Joliet has issued a statement on Father F. Lee Ryan, a priest permitted to resume limited ministry despite a serious abuse allegation.
In 2010, the priest was “placed on administrative leave because of a serious allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, alleged to have been perpetrated many years before,” according to the statement.
“The case was reviewed by the diocesan Review Committee and subsequently sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, as required by Church law,” the statement continued. “That congregation determined that, under Church law in force at the time of the alleged abuse, Father Ryan was not guilty of a grave delict (serious crime) and therefore could not be removed permanently from ministry.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the case revolved around the canonical age of consent, which was 16, and not 18, at the time of the alleged incident.