Attorney General launches review of Colorado Catholic Dioceses’ handling of sex abuse

DENVER -- Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Tuesday there will be a third-party review of Colorado's Catholic Dioceses and their handling of child sex abuse.

Weiser's actions are the latest move by attorneys general nationwide after a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation into the church's handling of abuse.

The review will be led by former U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.

"This is the process we will be going through to get to the bottom of the pain," Weiser said.

Weiser made clear during a news conference on Tuesday that state law does not allow him to convene a grand jury under these circumstances.

However, any criminal negligence found will be open to possible criminal prosecution, he said.

Denver's Archbishop Samuel Aquila was at the announcement and promised to accept the findings of the report, which is expected to be published in the fall.

"Helping people to restore their trust to live their faith is essential," Aquila said.

The archdiocese currently has a website aimed at informing Colorado Catholics about how it has addressed the sex abuse crisis.

The final report will detail the names of priests accused of abuse and how the Catholic dioceses in Colorado handled their accusations.

The archbishop announced the creation of a fund to pay any survivors of abuse. Payments will be determined by an independent review led by former U.S. Attorney Hank Brown.

For survivors of priest abuse, this news is a long time coming.

"Today is a major step forward," said Jeb Barrett, leader of SNAP in Denver, a priest abuse survivor network. "I have a record of over 30 priests abusers that I will turn over."

While Barrett is grateful for the process, he remains skeptical anything will change within the Catholic Church.

"People have been trying to change the Catholic Church for 1,000 years, so I am not very hopeful," Barrett said.

AlertMe
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.