Former seminarian speaks out about Denver seminary abuse

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DENVER — A Catholic priest from Denver accused of sexually abusing an adult seminary student was temporarily placed in a parish after officials learned of the allegations over a decade ago but later removed.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on the case Monday after former seminarian Stephen Szutenbach went public partly because he is upset Rev. Kent Drotar wasn’t officially defrocked.

In a statement, the archdiocese said former Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP’-yoo), now archbishop of Philadelphia, immediately suspended Drotar from the seminary as officials investigated but assigned him to a church following a psychological evaluation. He was removed after Szutenbach testified before a church panel and Drotar was ordered not to present himself as a priest.

In his weekly letter to Philadelphia Catholics, Chaput says the archdiocese’s policies were followed at all times in the case.

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