The return of a suspended pastor at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich has been delayed after new evidence was brought forward in a child sexual abuse case.
In November, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who is the Archbishop of Chicago, wrote in a letter to the St. Francis community announcing the investigation into Father David Ryan.
Ryan was accused of sexually abusing minors approximately 25 years ago while he was assigned to the Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.
Due to the investigation by officials and the Archdiocese of Chicago, Ryan was asked to step down as pastor until the investigation was complete.
On September 9, Cupich sent a letter updating the St. Francis community that state officials determined the allegations were unfounded.
The archdiocese concluded there was insufficient reason to suspect Ryan had committed child sexual abuse, Cupich added.
Ryan was then reinstated as pastor. On Thursday, Ryan announced his return had been delayed after new evidence was brought forward.
“It is important that you know I categorically deny that I have ever abused a child. I have faith the investigation will confirm what I know to be true and that I will return to parish ministry when it concludes,” Ryan said in a statement on Thursday.
“At the same time, I want to affirm that the Church must be vigilant in protecting children and that only by investigating all such charges can we fulfill that obligation,” he said.
Ryan added that it is his “firm belief that this additional investigation” will result in his exoneration.