February 20, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As many of you know, last Tuesday Archbishop Aquila, on behalf of all the Catholic dioceses in Colorado, announced an agreement we have reached with the Attorney General regarding the abuse of minors by priests. All three dioceses in our state are committed to transparency and increased accountability both to the faithful in our state and to all who have been harmed by the scourge of abuse.
To that end, after months of discussions and negotiations, our dioceses have agreed to an independent review of all priest personnel files by former U.S. Attorney Robert Troyer. His task will be to review all relevant files from each of the Colorado dioceses and issue an impartial report of his findings. This report will include the names of any priests who have had a substantiated claim of sexually abusing a minor. It is important for you to know that there are no active investigations of sexual misconduct with a minor by any priest in our diocese.
Transparency is not enough, however. In order to help survivors of abuse heal, we have also agreed to launch an independent survivor compensation program which will be administered by nationally recognized experts. The program will be overseen by an independent panel led by former U.S. Senator Hank Brown. The costs of the program will be funded by insurance and diocesan assets, not by parish funds, the Returning God’s Gifts Appeal, or Catholic Charities assets.
Of course, money cannot fully heal these wounds. It is my sincere prayer, however, that these steps can serve as a beginning to help survivors of abuse. The Church has much to atone for. We must recognize the evil that was perpetrated by those in a position of supreme trust. Only when this is acknowledged openly can survivors move towards peace and healing. More information about these initiatives can be found on our diocesan website at www.diocs.org.
Please join me in praying for all victims and for the efforts or all of our Catholic dioceses in Colorado to bring reconciliation to those who have been abused. All things are possible with God. He will never abandon his people.