CHICAGO (CBS) — Rev. Lawrence Sullivan, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Beverly, was reinstated on Friday, after an Archdiocese investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor decades ago deemed the claims to be unsubstantiated.

Cardinal Blase Cupich asked Sullivan to step aside last month while the claims were investigated. At the time, Cupich said the Archdiocese had learned of a report that Sullivan sexually assaulted a minor 36 years ago when he was 18.

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“A thorough review of this matter by the Archdiocesan Office of Child Abuse Investigations and Review and an outside investigator, including multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain information from the accuser, concludes that the accusation against him, which was alleged to have occurred prior to his entering the seminary, cannot be substantiated.  Therefore, I am reinstating Father Sullivan as your Pastor effective immediately,” Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote in a letter to the parish. “Father Sullivan has fully cooperated with the investigation during these weeks.  He has steadfastly reaffirmed the imperative for us as a Church to keep the protection and safety of our children as our priority.”

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After reinstating Sullivan on Friday, Cupich said the pastor “again stated that we must remain vigilant in protecting our children, and spare no effort to bring healing to victim survivors.”

“He fully embraces our longstanding policies and practices on the conduct of all church personnel,” Cupich wrote. “This has been a difficult time for your parish and school communities and all involved. Thank you for your patience with this process.”

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“It is important to note that our policies also call us to do everything possible to restore the good name of priests when the process has determined allegations cannot be substantiated. This, too, is a matter of justice.  Therefore, out of regard for Father Sullivan and all our priests, I resolve to see his good name restored,” Cupich added. “Healing now must be the pathway forward for all of us.  Father Sullivan shares this sentiment and you can honor him by doing everything to make sure that a spirit of reconciliation and unity prevails as you move ahead. In this way, the mission of Jesus can flourish.  That is my prayer for you.”

CBS 2 Chicago Staff