Priest re­moved from Lake View church af­ter sex abuse al­le­ga­tion

Au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gat­ing claim that priest abused mi­nor in 1979

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID STRUETT, DIG­I­TAL CON­TENT PRO­DUCER [email protected]­times.com | @dstru312

A long­time Chicago-area priest was re­moved from his Lake View church on Sat­ur­day af­ter be­ing ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing a mi­nor nearly 40 years ago while serv­ing at a south sub­ur­ban par­ish.

Car­di­nal Blase Cupich asked the Rev. Pa­trick Lee, pas­tor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Par­ish, to “step aside” as au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate the claim made against him this week, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Arch­dio­cese of Chicago.

The al­leged abuse hap­pened in

1979 while Lee was as­signed to St. Christo­pher Par­ish in Mid­loth­ian, Cupich said in the state­ment.

Church lead­ers have for­warded the com­plaint to the Illi­nois Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Ser­vices and the Cook County State’s At­tor­ney’s of­fice, Cupich said.

Lee will live away from the par­ish while the al­le­ga­tion is in­ves­ti­gated, Cupich said. Lee has served sev­eral roles with the arch­dio­cese since 1976, in­clud­ing at St. Joseph on North Or­leans, Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion on North Park, St. Giles in Oak Park, Quigley Prepara­tory Sem­i­nary and St. Matthias Par­ish.

The per­son mak­ing the al­le­ga­tion was of­fered ser­vices of the arch­dio­cese’s Vic­tim As­sis­tance Min­istry, Cupich said. The cur­rent pas­tor of Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion and St. Joseph Par­ish, the Rev. Larry Lisowski, will take over Lee’s du­ties as pas­tor.

Illi­nois At­tor­ney Gen­eral Lisa Madi­gan re­ported in De­cem­ber that the Catholic church had dra­mat­i­cally un­der­re­ported the num­ber of priests with sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions. Her of­fice iden­ti­fied 500 clergy mem­bers in Illi­nois with sex al­le­ga­tion that dated back decades.

Weeks be­fore Madi­gan pub­li­cized her find­ings, the church re­leased names of sev­eral for­mer priests and dea­cons, some now dead, who had sub­stan­ti­ated al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct made against them.

SUN-TIMES FILES

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Lake View neigh­bor­hood.

CHURCH BUL­LETIN

Rev. Pa­trick Lee

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