Far N.W. Side Priest Accused of Sex Abuse

By Daniel J. Lehmann
Chicago Sun-Times
March 25, 1993

The pastor of a Far Northwest Side Roman Catholic parish has been removed after an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to a statement issued Wednesday by the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Rev. Ralph S. Strand was placed on leave last Friday from St. Francis Borgia, 8033 W. Addison, after an initial investigation. He becomes the 23rd priest to be removed from parish assignment because of sexual misconduct allegations since July, 1991.

The parish's new administrator, in a letter that arrived at homes Wednesday, said the allegation was made by a person who is not a member of the parish and that further inquiries are pending.

An archdiocese spokesman said the allegation was made to the vicar for priests, and not through the archdiocese's new sex-abuse telephone hotline.

The archdiocese said the accusation was turned over to its professional fitness review administrator and the church's fitness review board, both newly created to handle such accusations.

It also said the state Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state's attorney had been notified.

The priest's removal is the first to be acknowledged by the archdiocese since last August, when the pastor of a West Side parish was removed after allegations of sexual misconduct.

In the letter dated March 23, parishioners at St. Francis Borgia were told a meeting for parents of students in the parish's grade school and religious education classes will be held tomorrow, with a meeting for all parishioners on Saturday.

Archdiocesan personnel will attend both sessions.


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