Pastor Of Evergreen Park Church Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claim
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EVERGREEN PARK (CBS) — The pastor at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park has resigned, and the Archdiocese of Chicago has removed him from public ministry, amid allegations he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn, more than 30 years ago., according to a statement posted on the archdiocese website.
The Rev. Gary Miller stepped aside after the archdiocese received the allegation of abuse on June 30.
“The Archdiocese’s Independent Review Board determined there is reasonable cause to suspect that sexual abuse of a minor had occurred and recommended that Fr. Miller be withdrawn from ministry,” the statement said.
The archdiocese said the allegation was immediately reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state’s attorney.
Miller is now “residing in a private setting away from the parish,” the statement said.
Miller has agreed to enter the “Prayer and Penance Program” administered by the Archdiocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, the statement said.
Cardinal Francis George will name a new pastor for St. Bernadette Parish after Oct. 1, the statement said.
Any parishes where Miller served are being notified of the allegations so that others who may have been abused may come forward, the statement said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)