Chicago pastor removed due to possible conduct violations involving minor, Cupich says

CHICAGO -- A well-known Chicago priest from Hermosa was removed from his parish pending the outcome of an investigation into an allegation of code of conduct violations involving a minor, Cardinal Blaise Cupich announced Monday.

In a letter to parishioners at San Jose Luis Sanchez Del Rio Church, Cupich said Rev. Gary Graf was being investigated, but did not specify what the allegation was. Cupich said Graf agreed to step aside while the investigation continues.

The 17-year-old parishioner and church employee, who made the allegations spoke to WGN about what he said were a serious of uncomfortable interactions starting on July 1 when Graf came to St. Philomena as a priest.

Bishop Alberto Rojas will serve as administrator of the parish effective immediately.

"Please know that I am close to you in prayer," Cupich said in a statement. "My simple request is that God grant you the grace of patience as we work to evaluate this allegation. Only in this way can we remain true to our promise to safeguard our parishioners, especially children and youth, our most important concern."

Cupich said the Archdiocese will continue to keep the parishioners informed about any updates.

Graf has served churches in Chicago and Lake County.

Chicago police said they have a noncriminal complaint against Graf and investigators are looking into it.

Graf went on a hunger strike earlier this year because he said there was a lack of action from Congress for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Fr. Gary Graf Removal by WGN Web Desk on Scribd