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Chicago priest returns to ministry; archdiocese, county found abuse charges unfounded

April 16, 2014

A Chicago priest has been restored to active ministry after an investigation concluded that abuse charges against him had been unfounded.

Father Michael O’Connell was suspended from ministry last December after he was charged with sexual abuse of a minor. Cook County investigators said that they had "thoroughly investigated the allegation working with the state’s attorney’s office, and were unable to support any charges." An archdiocesan review board, similarly, “did not find reason to suspect that sexual abuse of a minor had occurred and recommended that Father O’Connell be returned to active ministry.”


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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Apr. 17, 2014 2:29 AM ET USA

    I wonder how many of the cases where the Church has moved priests around or even settled claims for alleged abuse would have turned out this way if they had been appropriately investigated.

  • Posted by: FredC - Apr. 16, 2014 8:00 PM ET USA

    What penalty will be imposed on the accuser? Until penalties are imposed for false witness, calumnies will continue and legal expenses will be incurred, further depleting the Church's resources.