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Pilsen Catholic priest removed for ‘inappropriate’ relationship with woman

A Dominican priest has been removed from his post after an internal church investigation confirmed a complaint a woman first made to the archdiocese of Chicago about her relationship with him.

The Rev. Brendan Curran, who was pastor at St. Pius V Church in Pilsen, was suspended April 30 by Archbishop Blase Cupich after an investigation was completed by the archdiocese and the Dominican order, according to a statement from the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great, or the Central Province.

Curran committed to a vow of chastity in 1995, the statement said.

The statement said there was no indication or allegation of sexual misconduct with minors.

“Though the incident occurred a number of years ago and ended, Father Brendan acknowledged his actions were inappropriate,” the statement said. “Father Brendan affirms that this was an isolated instance, and he understands the consequences.”

Curran has since left the church and the Chicago area, the statement said.

He expressed regret in the statement, saying he should have admitted to the “immoral behavior” sooner.

“I failed to remember my ministry and my commitment as a priest, and for that I cannot apologize enough. I am heartbroken to know that my actions have caused pain to so many people,” Curran said in the statement. “From the bottom of my heart, I apologize and ask for forgiveness. I plan on trying to make amends by seeking spiritual healing and rededicating myself to God’s service.”

Curran also apologized to the woman, her family and the St. Pius V parishioners.

The specifics of the complaint were not released.

The woman first came forward privately to the archdiocese, then brought her complaint to the Dominicans, the Rev. Charles Bouchard, the head of the local Dominican order, said in the statement.

“She deserves a sincere apology, and we also have a responsibility to respect her anonymity and her privacy,” Bouchard said. “We admire her courage and we’re keeping her in our prayers.”

In a separate letter posted on the province’s website, Bouchard said Curran will live in a different Dominican community and “begin a program of spiritual healing and reconciliation.”

Curran’s removal was announced during masses Sunday, the statement said.

Bouchard said in his letter that he expects a new pastor to be named before July 1.

“We love and support Brendan and we will be here for him. But, at the same time, there is a purity of heart required to preach the Gospel with integrity and we know that only truth will get us there.”