Archbishop Chaput issues response to Denver and Philadelphia news reports

Denver Catholic Staff

This week, newspapers in Philadelphia and Denver reported on a situation that occurred in St. John Vianney Theological Seminary roughly 15 years ago and was reported to the archdiocese in 2007. The incident involved two adults, and the archdiocese promptly followed its Code of Conduct in its response and handling of the allegations.

Here is the statement the Archdiocese of Denver released on the situation: https://archden.org/archdiocese-statement-on-kent-drotar

In 2007, Archbishop Charles Chaput, currently in Philadelphia, was serving as the archbishop of Denver, and on Tuesday he released a column through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Philly newspaper with his response, where he states:

“Please note that this issue is more than a decade old and involved adult misconduct.  This in no way excuses or reduces its ugliness, but neither does it imply a systemic lack of vigilance on the part of Church leadership, or a disregard for the safety of minors and their families.  Any suggestion otherwise is simply not truthful.  Kent Drotar has never had an allegation before or since this matter.  I removed him from Denver’s seminary immediately upon learning of the issue from the seminary rector.  Father Drotar was then seen by multiple mental health professionals.  They determined he was not a threat and could return to ministry.

(The former seminarian) was represented by a civil attorney, but no civil or criminal action has ever been taken.  After (the former seminarian) appeared before the Denver review board, they considered, discussed and ultimately recommended Father Drotar’s removal.  I removed Kent Drotar permanently from ministry the same day.”

You can read Archbishop Chaput’s full column here: http://catholicphilly.com/2018/11/archbishop-chaput-column/facts-for-the-record/

 

COMING UP: Colorado Catholic bishops remember Columbine on 20th anniversary

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Colorado’s bishops have issued a joint statement recognizing the 20th anniversary of the April 20, 1999 shooting at Columbine High School that claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher. The full statement can be read below.

This week we remember the horrific tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School 20 years ago. In life there are days that will never be forgotten; seared in our minds and
on our hearts forever – for many of us in Colorado that day was April 20, 1999.

As we mark this solemn anniversary with prayer, remembrance and service let us not forget that there is still much work to be done. Violence in our homes, schools and cities is destroying the lives, dignity and hope of our brothers and sisters every day. Together, as people of good
will, we must confront this culture of violence with love, working to rebuild and support family life. We must commit ourselves to working together to encourage a culture of life and peace.

Nothing we do or say will bring back the lives and innocence that were lost 20 years ago. Let us take this moment to remember the gift of the lives of those we lost, and let us, as men and women of faith, take back our communities from the fear and evil that come from violence like we witnessed at Columbine. Our faith in Jesus Christ provides us with the hope and values that
can bring peace, respect and dignity to our homes, hearts and communities.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Columbine community and all those affected by violence
in our communities.