Statement as issued by the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers:
Last week, on Monday June 10, 2013, Fr. Thomas O’Hara, CSC Provisional Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, U.S. Province of Priests and Brothers, received a letter from the legal representative on an adult individual.
The letter claimed Fr. Cornelius Ryan, CSC had sexually abused his client when he was a minor around twenty (20) years ago.
Fr. Ryan, a member of the U.S. Province of Holy Cross, was working as a priest at that time in Africa where the abuse was said to have occurred. Fr. Ryan is seventy six (76) years old and has spent a large portion of his ministry in Africa.
Father O’Hara immediately conducted an investigation of the claim and found it to be credible. As a result he notified Bishop Kevin Rhoades and Father Ryan was removed indefinitely from all public ministry. A more detailed and thorough investigation is underway as Holy Cross, and this claim will be addressed in a pastoral manner consistent with its long standing policies and mission.
Since the claim was made through a legal representative, and although no litigation has been initiated at this time, it remains a possibility. Therefore, Holy Cross has sought legal advice and it is premature to make any further comment on this matter. Holy Cross will do its best to bring this matter to a prompt conclusion with the welfare of any victim or abuse of any kind as its first priority.