A pastor at a Lake Zurich church and school has been once again reinstated after the Archdiocese of Chicago cleared him of new allegations of sexual abuse involving minors.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, wrote in a letter to the community at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich on September 17 announcing a new investigation into Father David F. Ryan.
The archdiocese said at the time they received two allegations regarding the sexual abuse of minors.
Ryan was asked to step aside while an independent review board investigated the report and presented their recommendations.
The Des Plaines Police Department also announced in September that they were investigating the allegations.
The first victim, a woman now in her late 40s, reported that Ryan groped her while she was a resident at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines in the mid-1980s.
The second victim, a man now in his 30s, also reported that Ryan fondled him while he was a resident at Maryville Academy in the early 2000s.
In an update Saturday, Cupich sent a letter to parishioners stating that the alleged victims have refused to cooperate with both civil and church investigations.
“Based on this information, the [Independent Review Board] 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,” Cupich said.
Cupich said he accepted the recommendation and reinstated Ryan 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,” Cupich said.
In November 2020, Ryan was accused of sexually abusing minors in the mid-1990s while he was assigned to the Maryville Academy.
Ryan was asked to step down as pastor but was reinstated in September 2021 after the initial allegations were deemed unfounded.
The archdiocese concluded there was insufficient reason to suspect Ryan had committed child sexual abuse, Cupich said at that time.
Ryan’s return was delayed days later after new evidence was brought forward. He was once again cleared after that.