Retired Ill. priest accused of sex abuse

Aug. 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A longtime priest has been suspended for the alleged sexual abuse of a child, the Joliet, Ill., Catholic diocese said.

The Rev. James Nowak, 75, who is now retired, was accused Wednesday of abusing a child more than 25 years ago, the Chicago Tribune reported. A diocesan spokesman couldn't say whether there would be a criminal investigation but the case had been forwarded to the Vatican for review.

Nowak was most recently the parish priest at Sts. Peter and Paul church in Naperville prior to his retirement. The priest who replaced him there said in a letter to parishioners the alleged abuse did not happen during Nowak's time at the Naperville church.

While on suspension, Nowak is not permitted to officiate mass or offer sacraments.

Nowak celebrated 45 years of ordination in May, the Tribune reported.

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