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.
(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)