Samuel Aquila, archbishop of the Denver diocese of the Roman Catholic Church left heading to a news conference in February. Yesterday a report released showed that at least children had been sexually abused by Catholic priests in Colorado since Sabbaticals, hospital or military chaplaincies and other transfers for vague conditions referred to as 'tensions' were frequently used as a cover for dioceses to move a priest when allegations of sexual abuse were first made, the report said. The damning report detailed how the church operated a 'long history of silence, self-protection, and secrecy'.
The damning report has revealed horrifying details of sex abuse carried out by priests over 70 years. It found ritualistic acts were performed on one boy while some victims were taken on trips, then plied with alcohol and gifts. One extract of the shocking document describes how Father John J. McGinn allegedly 'fondled all over' an eight-year-old girl in the s, and was disturbed by a housekeeper walking in as he forced her to perform a sex act on him. Father Delisle Lemieux allegedly raped a year-old boy during a four-day golf and fishing weekend in He threatened to make sure the boy's mother lost her job at the church and the family lose their house if he reported the abuse, the report said.
Father John V. Holloway allegedly groomed a vulnerable boy with special treatment including, cards, calls, professions of love and protection, presents, long talks, alcohol, trips, and his 'spiritual guidance'. He was raped around 50 times, the report stated, as Holloway performed 'ritualistic sex acts' on him in motels during the early s. The priest told him he was evil and this must be removed through these sexual rituals if he wanted to go to heaven. White was never placed on restricted ministry or sent for a psychiatric evaluation, and he never underwent an investigation, the report says.
In June , one priest identified only as 'Father I' went on a trip to Europe, despite the the Bishop not giving him permission, and he took 'an Indian boy from Ignacio, who had been his constant companion', the report said. Later Father I was granted a leave of absence in June of for 'health reasons' and he brought a young boy back to New York with him.
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Father I's brother in New York wrote to the Pueblo Diocese Bishop of this young male companion's arrival: 'I will make every effort to solve the matter of the boy remaining with Father; he realizes the association is not a good one although he is convinced there is no immorality. It revealed how euphemisms such as 'boy troubles' or a youngster suffering from 'nervousness', were deployed to shroud reports of clergy sex abuse.
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Church personnel in Colorado generally stopped using these terms 15 to 20 years ago, investigators found. Father White, who died in at the age 73, served in six parishes from until he was removed from the ministry in The report found he groomed victims by buying them alcohol and taking them on trips, where he forcibly fondled children, forced one girl to violate herself with a ruler and engaged children in masturbation.
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In relation to the allegations against White, the report states: 'When he had sexually abused enough children at a parish that scandal threatened to erupt, the Denver Archdiocese moved him to a new one geographically distant enough that White was not known there. One victim was called a liar and ostracized in his school after reporting abuse to arch diocese authorities, while others were told to conceal White's 'problem', the report stated. A report was made in and the diocese received the second allegation in , several years after Beno had died.
A financial settlement was reached between the Pueblo Diocese and the first victim. Most of the abuse took place decades ago, although one case found to be 'arguably still viable for prosecution' has been referred to authorities for further criminal investigation, the review said. The alleged offender was not identified. He told him 'this is what God wants' and that the devil would 'get him' if he did not cooperate, according to the report. The case was recently reported to the Colorado Attorney General's Office and the Denver Archdiocese, but it is not known if the abuse was being investigated by the archdiocese.
Also named in the report was Father Thomas Barry, who allegedly sexually abused a year-old girl in the early s. But it 'appears the Denver archbishop either failed to document or ignored Victim 1's allegation of child sex abuse when it was brought to his attention in ', the report author wrote. Barry's faculties or ministry or access to children was not restricted and the Denver Archdiocese did not report the abuse to police. The abuse took place long before Colorado law mandated abuse of minors had to be reported to police in Archbishop Samuel Aquila front watching in February as a plan was revealed to have a former federal prosecutor review the sexual abuse files of Colorado's Roman Catholic dioceses in Denver.
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Yesterday, as a damning report was published, he apologized to the victims. Jeb Barrett, leader of the Colorado chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was abused in another state and fights for victims' rights in Colorado. Father John Holloway was also named in the report as having groomed six victims during the early s.
Sold on the spirit – The Denver Post
He allegedly raped one boy of between 11 and 13 as many as 50 times during 'ritualistic sex acts carried out at motels in which he told the victim he was evil and that his evil must be removed through these sexual rituals if he wanted to go to heaven. The boy was raped around 50 times, the report stated, as Holloway performed 'ritualistic sex acts' on him in motels during the early s. He told 9News : 'The things they want to protect besides themselves is their secrets.
I have never address my own abuse until I found people who would listen and believe me. The priest told him he was evil and that this must be removed through these 'rituals' if he wanted to go to heaven. When the most recent Holloway child sex abuse allegation was reported in , the Denver Archdiocese assured the Vatican that the allegation was not substantiated, after making no effort to investigate it, the report author wrote.
Father Neil Hewitt was defrocked in after allegedly admitting seven of the eight incidents of child sex abuse described in the report when interviewed by investigators. The document goes on to claim that one of Hewitt's victims was driven to suicide as an adult, writing in his suicide note of the abuse he endured from Hewitt as a boy and how during the abuse he was 'scared to death and afraid to move'.
It described 'tremendous guilt of going to hell' and the loss of his religion and faith in God. Hewitt's sexual abuse of children as a priest ended when he voluntarily left the priesthood in The most recent clergy child sex abuse was happened when a Denver priest sexually abused four children in Over two-thirds of Colorado's child victims were sexually abused during the s and s. Priests abused nine children in the s and at least 11 children in the s, according to the findings. In documenting the church's failure to protect its youth from predators, the report cited the example of one now-deceased Denver-area priest, George Weibel, who investigators concluded had molested at least two girls under the guise of teaching them to swim or ice skate.
One victim reported the abuse to another priest, who failed to notify church superiors because he was good friends with Weibel, according to the report commissioned by the state attorney general's office. As a result, the Denver Archdiocese did not take any action against Weibel,' the report said. The special report featured a warning on the front page stating it contained 'graphic and disturbing accounts of the sexual abuse of children'. Colorado AG Phil Weiser gave details of the special report published on Tuesday into child abuse among the Catholic clergy of Colorado.
The Denver Archdiocese may have erroneously believed that if an allegation was made in a public lawsuit it did not have to report the case to police, as it was mandated to do after , the report said. The report's release came eight months after the three dioceses agreed to open up their personnel files to Troyer's team of investigators and set up a compensation fund for victims.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a press conference yesterday as he detailed the findings: 'It's unimaginable. And the most painful part for me was that we have had stories told of victims coming forward and they weren't supported.
In a statement following the release of the report, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila apologized to the victims, but said his words could not ease their suffering. This was not an easy task for anyone involved. The report is very difficult to read, but I said without reservation we would openly share his [former US Attorney Robert Troyer] report and adopt his recommendations.
He told 9News : 'The things they [the church] want to protect besides themselves is their secrets. The culture has promoted and allowed this to happen. The Colorado report said that of the known victims, the 'vast majority' were boys, and most were between the ages of 10 and In a statement, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAP urged Colorado lawmakers to pursue legislative action to help prevent abuse and ease statutes of limitations that have barred many victims from coming forward with claims of past abuse.
The report presented by former US Attorney Robert Troyer, named 40 of the 43 priests accused of sexually abusing children over seven decades at the Archdioceses of Denver and Pueblo in Colorado. Archdioceses of Denver:. Father Leonard Abercrombie status not known - allegedly abused 18 boys.
The investigation found 'strong circumstantial evidence' that the Denver Archdiocese knew Abercrombie was sexually abusing children as early as The scope of his crimes is not fully known, according to the report. His alleged abuse of a year-old boy began when Brown ingratiated himself with the boy's family, and the sex assaults began on a ski trip.
Father Rafael Jairo Calle not known - allegations made by two boys. Evans was sentenced to 14 years to life, two years to life and four years for charges including sexual assault of a child, assault of a child by a person in a position of trust. He allegedly sexually abused three boys from to Father Edward Fraczkowski dead - allegations made by one girl. The victim reported abuse to the Denver Archdiocese in but it did not report the alleged abuse to police and or conduct an investigation 'presumably because Fraczkowski was already dead', the report author said.
Father Harold Robert White dead - 63 alleged victims. Father George Weibel dead - two alleged victims. Father Robert Banigan not known - allegations made by one boy. Father Neil Hewitt defrocked in after allegedly admitted abusing seven of the eight known victims during an interview - eight alleged victims. Hewitt allegedly abused at least eight boys between the early s and when he voluntarily left the priesthood in to marry an adult woman he had a relationship with.
The Denver Archdiocese received a report about the abuse in but did not report it to law enforcement. Father Delisle Lemieux dead - one alleged victim. Father John J. McGinn status unknown - one alleged victim. McGinn allegedly abused an eight-year-old girl in the late s or early s. Father Francis Pettit dead - one alleged victim. Father James Rasby not known - allegations made by two boys. The Denver Archdiocese 'did nothing' in response to the first report of abuse in , the report stated. Father Leonard Scezney not known - allegations made by one girl. Father John Harley Schmitt dead - two alleged victims.
Denver Archdiocese reported one victim's allegations of sexual abuse to the police in but did not report the second allegation law enforcement. Father Lawrence St. Audience Thur.
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