Another Priest Accused of Child Abuse in Chicago, SNAP Responds

Another priest from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has been removed from his position due to allegations of child sexual abuse. We are grateful to the brave victim who came forward and we hope they are getting the help and healing they need.

Fr. David Ryan has been accused of sexually abusing at least one child while working at Maryville Academy, a school in Chicago’s northwestern suburbs. Fr. Ryan held powerful leadership positions while he worked at the school from 1985 until the early 2000s. Given the easy access to vulnerable children, we fear that there may have been more victims and we hope that with this news they will be encouraged to come forward.

Child abusers typically do not stop abusing on their own, and we call on Cardinal Blase Cupich to personally visit both of Fr. Ryan’s previous work locations as well as his current parish in Lake Zurich, to share the news with parents and parishioners, and to beg anyone who may have information or who may have been hurt themselves to come forward and make a report to law enforcement. The Cardinal should also send a letter to parents and alumni from Maryville whose tenure overlapped with Fr. Ryan’s, ensuring that they are aware of the allegations and are encouraged to come forward as well.

In our view, Catholic officials in Chicago are attempting to sanitize this news by saying the allegations are from twenty-five years ago, as if crimes against children then are no longer crimes today, but in reality, the timing of this report follows the general trend of sexual abuse reporting. In the U.S., the average age of a child survivor coming forward is 52. We expect to hear more allegations in the coming months as Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s investigation into clergy abuse in Illinois wraps up, and we encourage both A.G. Raoul and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to open and maintain confidential hotlines for survivors to continue to report their abuse.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]), Larry Antonsen, SNAP Chicago (773-255-3382, [email protected])  

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Regina Dziewior
    commented 2020-12-01 18:39:34 -0600
    Please be careful in assuming guilt before claims are investigated . I grew up at maryville academy, and I nor anyone I know, was aware of any sexual abuse. I will go to
    My death in an attempt to clear the name of Fr John Smyth. Two years after those allegations with no resolution, these new claims come forth from the same accusers from the same time period 25 years ago. I know your mission is to support those who were truly abused but please do not jump to conclusions that accusations are necessarily true. There are bad apples on both sides of the horrible history of clergy abuse: Guilty clergy and those who deliberately make false clams. In my opinion, both exhibit criminal behavior and both should be fully prosecuted. The Catholic Church egregiously ignored this behavior for far too long and every victim is one too many.

    However those wanting to take advantage of huge payouts or get revenge or can make whatever claims they wish with no consequences while the reputation of good men is destroyed. Unfortunately these accusers and their attorney have absolutely nothing to lose but potentially a lot to gain if the church settles a claim, so what is to prevent someone to make any claims they wish.

    Unfortunately the pendulum has swung into the opposite direction and all claims are made public whether true or not. Those unscrupulous individuals digging for dirt or digging for gold make a sham of the real damage done to real victims.

    My heart breaks for those who were victims of this despicable behavior by clergy but my heart also breaks for those innocent clergy whose lives are also damaged. Please recognize that an accusation is not truth until proven and that there are good priests out there.
  • Alexandra White
    published this page in Media Statements 2020-11-30 11:51:48 -0600

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