14:27 3 November
Chicago priest, Father William McFarlane, reintroduced after allegations of sexual abuse have been determined to be unfounded.
Chicago priest, Father William McFarlane Chicago
Chicago, United States Of America
CHICAGO (WLS)—A Chicago priest convicted of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago will be released on Sunday.
Father William McFarlane served at the Nativity of Our Lord and the parish of St. Gabriel in Bridgeport. In a letter to the parishioners, Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote that both civil and archdiocesan officials had investigated the allegations and found them unfounded.
"As Father McFarlane takes on a new assignment, which we predict will soon be announced, I ask you to keep him in your prayers, aware of the many ways in which he has contributed to the lives of those he has served," Cupich said.
You can see the letter sent by Cardinal Cupich below.
Dear Parishioners of the Nativity of Our Lord and of the Parish of St. Gabriel,
In July, I informed you of the charges of sexual abuse against your former pastor, Father William McFarlane. In accordance with our protocols, he was asked to step away from effective ministry until a thorough investigation and review could be concluded. During those inquiries, he cooperated fully with the civil authorities and the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Following a finding by State officials charged with protecting minors that the allegation was unfounded, the Independent Review Board of the Archdiocese of Chicago examined the matter in accordance with our usual procedures. At its meeting on Saturday, 26 October 2019, the Board found that there was insufficient reason to suspect that Father McFarlane had committed sexual abuse. Therefore, I restore Father McFarlane to active ministry, effective immediately. As Father McFarlane begins a new assignment, which we anticipate will soon be announced, I ask you to keep him in your prayers, aware of the many ways in which he has contributed to the lives of those he has served.