Evergreen Park Pastor Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claim

Cardinal Francis George will name a new pastor for St. Bernadette Parish after Oct. 1

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012  |  Updated 4:16 PM CDT
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Pastor Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claim

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The pastor at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park resigned this week, and the Archdiocese of Chicago has removed him from public ministry amid allegations he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to Berwyn's St. Leonard Parish more than 30 years ago.

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 Miller be withdrawn from ministry," the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement on its website.

Officials 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.

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