STATEMENT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO
RE: Rev. Robert A. Stepek
The following letter from the Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate V, was read at all the Masses over the weekend at St. Albert the Great Parish in Burbank.
ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO
November 4 and 5, 2006
Dear Members of St. Albert the Great Parish Family,
I am here today to share important information with you about Fr. Robert A. Stepek.
As I am sure you all know, in May of this year, Fr. Stepek agreed to voluntarily absent himself from St. Albert the Great Parish following allegations received by officials of the Archdiocese of Chicago that he engaged in sexual misconduct with minors more than 20 years ago. The independent Review Board of the Archdiocese recommended this preliminary action while information was gathered in the review process. The allegations were reported promptly to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Cook County State’s Attorney. In addition to the efforts of the public authorities, the Archdiocese’s Review Board has conducted its own inquiry.
The Review Board has completed its inquiry regarding the allegations against Fr. Stepek. The Board determined that there is reasonable cause to suspect that sexual abuse of minors occurred. Cardinal George has accepted the Review Board’s findings and their recommendation that Fr. Stepek not engage in any form of ministry and that appropriate restrictions be imposed in accordance with Archdiocesan policies and procedures.
Fr. Stepek’s case will now be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican for its review and determination. Until the canonical process has been completed, Fr. Stepek will reside and be supervised in a private setting away from the parish. When there is more information about this situation, or about the future of pastoral leadership at St. Albert the Great, I will share it promptly with you.
I ask you to join me in praying for all people in need of the Lord’s peace and healing at this time: for the adults who brought this concern to the Archdiocese, for Fr. Stepek, and for all those affected by the horror of sexual abuse. At this difficult time, I want to assure you of my prayers - and those of Cardinal George - for all of you.
Please know that I will stay and be with you today after Mass, together with representatives from the Archdiocese of Chicago and members of your parish leadership.
God bless you and thank you for your time and attention.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.