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Archdiocese of Denver
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Coat of arms
- Catholics (including non-members)
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||August 16, 1887|
|Cathedral||Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception|
|Patron saint||Immaculate Conception|
St. Francis of Assisi
|Archbishop||Samuel Joseph Aquila|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Jorge Rodríguez-Novelo|
|Vicar General||Randy Dollins|
|Bishops emeritus||James Stafford|
The Archdiocese of Denver (Latin: Archidiœcesis Denveriensis) is the Catholic Archdiocese of the Latin Rite that covers an area of 40,154 square miles (104,000 km2) which includes the city of Denver, Colorado, and the Colorado counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, and Weld. It is part of the XIII Conference Region and includes 113 parishes, 307 priests, and an estimated 550,000 lay Catholics. The seat of the archdiocese is the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 401 East Colfax Avenue.
The area that now comprises the Denver Archdiocese was part of the Diocese of Santa Fe. In 1868, Pope Pius IX split territory from the Diocese of Santa Fe in New Mexico and the Diocese of Grass Valley in California to form the Vicariate Apostolic of Colorado and Utah. In 1870, he changed the name to the Vicariate Apostolic of Colorado, and transferred the territory of Utah to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. August 16, 1887, Pope Leo XIII created the Diocese of Denver, which covered the entire state of Colorado.
On November 15, 1941, Pope Pius XII separated territory from the Diocese of Denver to form the Diocese of Pueblo and elevated the Denver Diocese to an archdiocese. On November 10, 1983, Pope John Paul II separated territory from both the Archdiocese of Denver and the Diocese of Pueblo to form the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
On May 29, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Samuel Joseph Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota as fifth archbishop of Denver. Bishop James Conley served as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese from the departure of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in September 2011 until the new Archbishop was installed July 18, 2012, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Reports of sex abuse
In 1996, Father John Stein, who was arrested for sex abuse charges in 1956, settled a sex abuse lawsuit on terms which were confidential. The man suing Stein accused Stein of molesting him hundreds of times over a three year period starting in 1953. Stein, who died in 2001, also had two other accusers as well.
On October 23, 2019, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released the results of an eight month investigation revealing that 43 Catholic clergy were credibly accused of sexually abusing at least 166 children throughout the state of Colorado since 1950. At least 127 of these children were molested by 22 clergy serving in the Archdiocese of Denver. The report also criticized Archdiocese's handling of cases involving Father Harold Robert White, who was referred to as "the most prolific known clergy child sex abuser in Colorado history." White, who was first accused of sex abuse in 1960, was transferred to different parishes throughout Colorado and was accused of sexually abusing 63 children. He was not permanently removed from ministry until 1993 and died in 2006. On October 16, 2020, it was revealed that all three of Colorado's Catholic Dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Denver, had paid $6.6 million in compensation to 81 victims of clergy sex abuse within the past year, regardless of how long ago the abuse happened.
On December 1, 2020, Weiser's final report revealed that there were an additional 9 credibly accused clergy and 46 alleged victims in both in the Archdiocese of Denver and its suffragan Diocese of Pueblo. A total 52 priests who served in the Archdiocese of Denver and its two Colorado suffragan Dioceses of Pueblo and Colorado Springs were named in the final report as having committed acts of sex abuse. Prominent Archdiocese of Denver priest Fr. Charles B. Woodrich, also known as "Father Woody," was among those listed. Father Woody was known for his work in local homeless shelters. Father Woody was among five priests added to the final report who were accused of committing acts of sex abuse while serving in the Archdiocese of Denver.
Bishops of Denver
- Joseph Projectus Machebeuf (1868-1889)
- Nicholas Chrysostom Matz (1889-1917)
- John Henry Tihen (1917-1931)
Archbishops of Denver
- Urban John Vehr (1931-1967), appointed Archbishop in 1941
- James Vincent Casey (1967-1986)
- James Francis Stafford (1986-1996), appointed President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and later Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary (elevated to Cardinal in 1998)
- Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap (1997-2011), appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia
- Samuel Joseph Aquila (2012–present)
Auxiliary bishops of Denver
- David M. Maloney (1961-1967), appointed Bishop of Wichita
- George Evans (1969-1985)
- Richard Hanifen (1974-1984), appointed Bishop of Colorado Springs
- José Horacio Gómez (2001-2005), appointed Archbishop of San Antonio and later Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles and subsequently succeeded to the latter see
- James D. Conley (2008-2012), appointed Bishop of Lincoln
- Jorge Rodríguez-Novelo (2016–present)
Other priests of this diocese who became bishops
- Hubert Michael Newell, appointed Coadjutor Bishop (in 1947) and later Bishop of Cheyenne
- Ralph Walker Nickless, appointed Bishop of Sioux City in 2005
- John Baptist Pitaval, appointed Auxilary Bishop of Santa Fe in 1902 and later Archbishop of Santa Fe
- Mount Olivet Cemetery, Wheat Ridge, consecrated 1892
- Saint Simeon Catholic Cemetery, Aurora, dedicated 2004 
- Medlin, Marianne (May 29, 2012). "Pope appoints Fargo bishop to lead Denver archdiocese". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Draper, Electa (May 29, 2012). "Vatican names Samuel J. Aquila Catholic archbishop in Denver". The Denver Post. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Murphy, Chuck; Kenney, Andrew; Sherry, Allison (October 23, 2019). "Who Are The Priests Named In The Colorado AG's Special Report On Clerical Abuse?". Colorado Public Radio News.
- Schmelzer, Elise (October 24, 2019). "Investigator finds 43 Catholic priests in Colorado sexually abused at least 166 children". The Denver Post.
- Vaughan, Kevin; Sylte, Allison; Oravetz, Janet; Newman, Zack; Vap, Nicole; Sallinger, Marc (October 24, 2019). "Report names 43 Colorado Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing at least 166 children since 1950". KUSA-TV.
- Padilla, Anica (October 16, 2020). "Catholic Dioceses In Colorado Pay $6.6 Million To Sex Abuse Survivors". CBS 4 Denver. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
- Schmelzer, Elise (December 1, 2020). "Further investigation into Colorado Catholic Church IDs 46 more victims, 9 more abusive priests — including Denver's Father Woody". Denver Post. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Sherry, Allison (December 1, 2020). "Final State Report Concludes More Than 200 Colorado Children Were Abused By Priests, Catholic Church Vows Reform". CPR News. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Paul, Jesse; Brown, Jennifer (December 1, 2020). "52 Catholic priests in Colorado, including iconic Father Woody, abused 212 victims, further investigation finds". The Colorado Sun. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- Padilla, Anica (December 1, 2020). "Father Woody Among 9 Additional Priests Named In New Colorado Child Sex Abuse Report". CBS 4 Denver. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Lopez, Ed (April 28, 2004). "New Catholic Cemetery, St. Simeon, Dedicated". The Denver Catholic Register. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article Denver.|