Evergreen Park priest under investigation over decades-old child sexual abuse accusation

Chicago Sun-Times

March 12, 2023

By Cindy Hernandez

In a letter Saturday, Cardinal Blase Cupich said an accusation has been reported to the archdiocese that the Rev. Paul Guzman abused a minor when he was a layman — 25 years before entering Mundelein Seminary.

An Evergreen Park priest has stepped aside from the ministry after the Archdiocese of Chicago received an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor from about 40 years ago.

In a letter Saturday, Cardinal Blase Cupich said someone reported that the abuse had occurred when the Rev. Paul Guzman, an associate priest at Most Holy Redeemer Parish, was a layman, 25 years before he entered Mundelein Seminary to prepare for the priesthood.

The accusation was reported to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office while Guzman was overseas on military duty, Cupich said.

Guzman has agreed to live away from the parish during the investigation, Cupich said, and the accuser has been offered pastoral services of the archdiocese’s victim assistance ministry. An investigation by the archdiocese also is underway, according to Cupich.

Guzman could not be reached.

“It is important to remind everyone that, while the archdiocese takes everyallegation of child sexual abuse seriously, the fact of an allegation does not presume guilt,” the cardinal wrote.

Last year, the Archdiocese of Chicago added dozens of names to an online list of priests credibly accused of sex abuse.