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Priest reinstated after allegations of sexual abuse

Reverend F. Lee Ryan

JOLIET, Ill (CNN) – A Joliet area priest removed from ministry over a sexual abuse allegation has been reinstated.

Reverend F. Lee Ryan allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy in the 1970s. The now-52-year-old accuser said he and Ryan had a relationship for more than a year.

The man confided in Ryan that he was gay, and things turned sexual as the two became closer. He believed they were dating.

The accuser said he did not tell anyone at the time, and it was only two years ago that he told his mother about his relationship with the family‘s priest.

His mother spoke to a victim’s advocate who arranged for him to submit a complaint to the church.

The Vatican cited Canon No. 2359 in the 1917 Code of Canon Law to explain why the priest was not found guilty of violating church law. The code states that a cleric, who violates the commandment forbidding adultery, by indecently touching a person under the age of 16, has committed a canonical crime.

The church law was amended in 1994 to change the age of consent from 16 to 18-years-old to mirror civil law. Since the accuser said the contact took place before age 16, it is unclear as to why the action does not violate church law.

Beginning this weekend, Ryan will minister to homebound parishioners of St. Edmund Catholic Church in Watseka and St. Joseph Mission in Crescent City.



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Posted by on Sep 14, 2012. Filed under Around the Nation, Bottom Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Priest reinstated after allegations of sexual abuse”

  1. Bishop Conlon has reinstated a credibly accused priest back into ministry in the Joliet diocese USA, This is a very callous and reckless action that puts innocent kids at risk ( Conlon, who happens to be the director of the child
    protection committee for the US Catholic Conference of Bishops.)

    It has been proven time and time again that canon law does not protect kids, and many
    church officials do not care about the victims who have been sexually abused by

    Conlon’s action is a perfect example as to why the statute of
    limitations for child sex crimes needs to be removed and in this case the statutes prevent victims from having their day in court.

    This is why victims who have been sexually used and abused within this systemic secret institution need for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, to seriously look at SNAP’s case against the Vatican officials for crimes against humanity. These high ranking powerful officials still seem to think that their church law is above the law of the land,

    Innocent children deserve to be safe.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA,
    636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those
    Abused by Priests,)

  2. Source: United Advocacy Group, Inc.

    When Clergy Are Asked To Leave Quietly, There Is No Justice

    (CHICAGO) – Br. John Woulfe, an ex-Marianist brother, has been accused by numerous ex-students at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, MO of sexually molesting them. Of course, he wasn’t the only member of this religious community accused of such acts. There were many more. Many, many more.
    In 2002, Michael Powel filed a lawsuit against Chaminade College Preparatory School for a lifetime of suffering and damages (2002. Powel v Chaminade College Preparatory, Inc, Marianist Province of the United States, Archbishop Justin Rigali, William Christensen [aka Fr. William Christensen, S.M.] and John Woulfe [aka Br. John Woulfe, S.M.]). Powel would ultimately win the lawsuit for millions of dollars several years later.
    Br. John Woulfe, after being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with students in the 1970s left the Society of Mary (aka “Marianists”). Instead of notifying the local police department for prosecution Fr. Robert Osbourne, the school principal, allowed Woulfe to leave ‘quietly’. Unfortunately, this did not stop Woulfe’s desire to prey on the weak and vulnerable.
    Eventually Woulfe would end up in the small town of Onarga, Illinois. In this area, Woulfe would once again continue his predatory sexual behavior on children until he was caught. “John Woulfe was a monster,” recalls Illinois-based author John Bernadyn in his newly released memoir Betrayed By The State: A Ward of the State Speaks Out in which he discusses the experiences he faced with this ex-clergyman. “He was demeaning, pushy, and manipulative.”
    After suspicion took hold of this town, Woulfe moved to the small town of Watseka, Illinois. He landed a position as a guidance counselor in the Kankakee School District – an occupation he knew all too well while serving at Chaminade. In 2002, Woulfe was arrested for predatory sexual behavior with a student. Defiantly, he refused to appear at court hearings.
    Woulfe would eventually find himself in a nursing home after suffering a stroke and ultimately dying in 2005 from the after-effects. “The real tragedy in this case is that all the people he victimized would never get to tell him directly how they felt or if they ever forgave him. I, too, felt robbed of this chance to say I forgave him but would never forget,” said Bernadyn.
    All allegations of sexual abuse are now required to be reported to local justice authorities. “This is a little too late,” whispers Bernadyn.

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