Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on Father McIlhon

Archdiocese of Chicago IL

January 22, 2022

By Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

Dear Saint Edward Parish and School Family,

It is with great difficulty that I write to share news about Father James McIlhone, a retired priest who is a resident in your parish. In keeping with our child protection policies, I have directed Father McIlhone to step aside from ministry and live away from the parish following receipt by the Archdiocese of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor approximately 40 years ago while he was an associate pastor at another parish. He has agreed to cooperate with this direction. Allegations are claims that have not been proven and for this reason there needs to be a full investigation.

Moreover, as is required by our child protection policies, the allegation was reported to the Lake County State’s Attorney. The person making the allegation has been offered the services of our Victim Assistance Ministry and the archdiocese has begun its investigation of these matters.

In the days and weeks ahead, members of the Archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth will be available to answer any questions you may have and provide you with support during this challenging time.

It is crucial that you know nothing is more important than the welfare of the children entrusted to our care. The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and 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 Archdiocesan 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 J. Cupich