September 29 - October 12, 2013
Statement regarding the status of Rev. Robert A. Stepek, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago who was accused of sexually abusing minors
After the archdiocesan review of the allegations against Father Stepek had been completed, the Holy See directed that the case be sent to a canonical court. Upon completion of two lengthy canonical trials, the court was unable to find evidence strong enough to merit a judgment that Father Stepek had sexually abused a minor. Father Stepek is therefore a priest in good canonical standing in the Church.
In the course of the investigations for the trials, however, the court also found that Father Stepek had engaged in behaviors inappropriate for a priest. Father Stepek therefore will not have a ministerial assignment, and his faculties to minister are restricted.
Father Stepek has requested to retire from active ministry for health and family reasons, and Cardinal George has granted him early retirement.