Saint Peter Damian priest, Father Ciomek, asked to step aside following sex abuse allegations from 3 decades ago

BARTLETT, Ill. (WLS) -- Cardinal Blase Cupich asked a suburban priest to step away from ministry because of allegations he sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago.

Father Christopher Ciomek was the pastor of Saint Peter Damian in Bartlett.

According to a letter sent to parishioners, he is living away from the parish while the matter is investigated.

"Allegations are claims that have not been proven as true or false. Therefore, guilt or innocence should not be assumed," the letter stated, adding, "In the days and weeks ahead, members of the Archdiocese's Office for the Protection of Children and Youth will be available to answer any questions you may have and provide you with support during this challenging time."

Father Curtis Lambert has been named to serve as temporary administrator of the parish. Father Lambert currently resides in retirement at Saint Peter Damian, but will attend to the needs of the parish community, according to the Archdiocese.

The allegation was reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State's Attorney, Cardinal Cupich said.

"The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages anyone who feels they have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee to come forward," he said.
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