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St. Bernadette Priest Steps Down Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Rev. Gary M. Miller resigned from St. Bernadette's after allegations that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor over 30 years ago at another parish.

Rev. Gary M. Miller, the senior pastor at has stepped down from his duties as pastor amid sexual misconduct allegations with minor over 30 years ago.

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced on its website that Miller resigned as of Sunday, Sept. 23, and has been removed of all ministerial duties.

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The allegation was made to the Archdiocese of Chicago on June 30, 2012, that Miller had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.

According to Archdiocese officials, the allegation was immediatley reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Miller was asked to withdraw from the ministry after an Archdiocese Independent Review Board determined there was reasonable cause to suspect that the sexual abuse of a minor occurred, Archdiocese officials said.

Francis Cardinal George has accepted the review board’s determination and recommendation. Miller is said to be residing in a private setting away from the parish, Archdiocese officials said.

Miller has also agreed to participate in the Prayer and Penance Program administered by the Archdiocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Youth.

Notification of Miller’s case has been sent to the Vatican in accordance with canon law and policies of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. The Archdiocese is awaiting further instruction from Vatican for Miller’s possible permanent removal from the ministry.

Any parishes where Miller previously served are also being notified so that other possible victims of abuse may step forward, Archdiocese officials said.

“Sexual abuse of children is a grave sin and a crime,” the Archdiocese press statement read. “The Archdiocese of Chicago reports every allegation to the civil authorities and cooperates with them.  The Archdiocese continues to reach out and work for the healing of all those affected by the tragedy of child and adolescent sexual abuse.”

Miller served as pastor of St. Bernadette since 2001. His name, contact info and “Father Gary’s Musings” are still listed on the parish’s website.

A staff person who answered the phone at St. Bernadette's said all news media inquiries were being directed to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The priest has not yet been charged with wrongdoing, according the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Information about reporting allegations of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan clergy, deacons or lay persons, no matter when the abuse occurred, can be found on the Archdiocesan website, or by calling:

  • Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review, 312-534-5205 or 1-800-994-6200
  • Office of Assistance Ministry, 312-534-8267 or toll-free at 866-517-4528

Cardinal George is expected to appoint a new pastor for St. Bernadette before Oct. 1.

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TM September 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I think Hypocrisy Hater may have had a bad experience at a parochial school. And yes he should be ignored and maybe the Patch needs to erase his comments as he is offensive and completely off the mark
Lorraine Swanson September 27, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Hypocrisy Hater, I removed one of your comments because of the abbreviated F-bomb, which was in violation of Patch's Terms of Use, evergreenpark.patch.com/terms.
Lorraine Swanson September 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM
While HH has expressed some very strong opinions, I think for the most part she is in line with our terms of use.
james j. kennedy October 08, 2012 at 05:55 AM
I wonder at the Church of Rome's chewing of toenails over how to handle the very few pedophiles among their clergy. Could we consider a similar situation? A large bank with many branch offices has caught a teller helping himself to the depositors' money. What would the bank's top supervisory crew do? Would they cover up the embezzlements? Would they quietly shift that sticky-fingered teller to another branch office of their bank? And not tell the new branch manager or that branch's customers that their $$$ will be handled by someone who has betrayed their trust in the past and is more than likely to do so in the future? Or is my analogy too simple-minded to allow the comparison? Perhaps the analogy lacks compassion or some other important consideration that the Church CEO's haven't told us about. Poor me! Perhaps I fuss too much over betrayals of trust!
williams December 28, 2012 at 06:44 PM
For everyone talking shit about father gary, you all need to grow up ! I am 23 yrs old and father gary wasva great priest none of us know the real story so stop assuming !! He gave me a great experience at the catholic school i went to . If it is true my condolences go to the victim but if it isnt youll all feel like assholes for all the shit you all talked . Let go and let god! This is two peoples lives were talking about !

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