Priest removed from duties after sex abuse allegation

Blase Joseph Cupich, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, speaks during the press conference following a summit on "The protection of minors in the Church" on February 18, 2019, at the Vatican. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has removed a priest from pastoral duties in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse that took place two decades ago.

In a Saturday letter to members of two South Side parishes, Cardinal Blase Cupich says the Rev. William McFarlane was asked to step aside from ministry after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state's attorney's office revealed the allegation.

McFarlane formerly worked at the Nativity of Our Lord and St. Gabriel Parish. The archdiocese says Deacon Robert Boharic has been appointed as pastoral coordinator at the parishes.

The archdiocese said it wasn't known if the person accusing McFarlane was a minor at the time of the alleged abuse in 1997.

Attempts Sunday to reach McFarlane by telephone for comment were unsuccessful.