Washington D.C., May 18, 2021 / 10:00 am
The Archdiocese of Chicago has reinstated a pastor who was accused of attempted sexual assault, after failing to substantiate the accusation.
Fr. Larry Sullivan, the pastor of Christ the King parish in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, stepped aside from ministry in April after a woman accused him of attacking her and attempting to sexually assault her in 1984, just before he entered seminary. The woman’s accusation was posted on the app TikTok.
Sullivan said that after the video surfaced, he forwarded it to the archdiocese which began an investigation. The archdiocese said it also reported the accusation to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney.
On May 14, Cardinal Blase Cupich issued a letter to the Christ the King parish and school communities, saying that the archdiocese would be reinstating Sullivan as they could not substantiate the accusation made against him.
“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,” said Cupich. “Therefore, I am reinstating Father Sullivan as your Pastor effective immediately.”
The letter was also posted online and sent to employees of the archdiocese.
Cupich stated that Sullivan “fully cooperated” with the investigation, and that “He has steadfastly reaffirmed the imperative for us as a Church to keep the protection and safety of our children as our priority.”
Cardinal Cupich said that it is imperative that Sullivan’s reputation be restored.