Archdiocese of Chicago IL
February 11, 2023
Dear Parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish,
Last September, I informed you of new allegations the Archdiocese of Chicago received, accusing Fr. David F. Ryan of sexually abusing a minor. In keeping with our procedures, he once again was asked to step aside from his pastoral duties until a thorough investigation and process could be completed. He has fully cooperated with civil authorities and the Archdiocese of Chicago during these months.
After numerous attempts, those making the accusations have refused to cooperate with both civil and church investigations. This was reported to our Independent Review Board (IRB). Based on this information, the IRB finds that there is not sufficient reason to suspect Father Ryan is guilty of sexually abusing a minor and recommends he be returned to ministry and that the files be closed on these two claims due to the lack of cooperation of those making the accusations. Therefore, I am pleased to inform you that I have accepted this recommendation and I am reinstating Father Ryan as your pastor, effective immediately.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the great patience you and Fr. Ryan have shown in what must appear to be a very unfair set of circumstances. Yet, as Fr. Ryan has always acknowledged, he is convinced of the need for us as a Church to keep our word that the safety of children remains our priority.
At the same time, we must keep our word and do everything possible to restore Fr. Ryan’s good name. We will share this letter with our pastors, asking them to provide it to their parishioners. This letter will also be sent to the media and archdiocese employees and posted on our archdiocesan website.
Healing now must be the pathway forward for all of us. Father Ryan shares this very same sentiment and you can honor him by doing everything possible to promote a spirit of reconciliation and unity, so that the mission of Jesus can flourish. That is my prayer for you.
Sincerely your in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich