The following statement was released by the Archdiocese of Denver to media outlets who were reporting on an alleged situation between Kent Drotar and a former seminarian. We want to emphasize that the archdiocese had no knowledge of the allegations until a third-party reported them in 2007, and then the archdiocese acted promptly and followed the policies in our Code of Conduct that ultimately lead to Mr. Drotar’s removal from active priestly ministry. We also want to emphasize we have never received any other reports of wrong-doing by Mr. Drotar.
November 13, 2018
More than 11 years ago, in January 2007, an alleged situation from a few years earlier was reported to St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver that Kent Drotar had engaged in inappropriate physical conduct with an adult seminarian and was endeavoring to involve him in a relationship before the seminarian left formation in 2004. The allegations, including reported physical embraces between two adults, were not criminal in nature. At that time Mr. Drotar was the vice-rector of the seminary. Apart from this issue with the seminarian, the archdiocese has never received a report of any type of misconduct by Mr. Drotar.
The seminary immediately began an investigation into the alleged misconduct and reported the matter to the archdiocese. On the same day Archbishop Chaput was notified of the situation, he suspended Mr. Drotar from his position at the seminary, had him removed from the seminary premises, and prohibited his other activities on behalf of the archdiocese while the allegations were investigated.
The Archdiocese of Denver’s Code of Conduct states that any employee accused of sexual misconduct, which includes grooming behavior, will be immediately removed from ministry. In cases where the conduct is not criminal, the employee will be professionally evaluated to determine if he is suitable for further assignments. The archdiocese followed these steps as specified and Mr. Drotar received comprehensive psychological assessment and counseling to determine suitability for future ministry. This process also included an additional review by the archdiocese’s Conduct Response Team (CRT), a group of professionals that includes members of law enforcement, judges, lawyers and mental health experts. Based on the positive outcome of Mr. Drotar’s psychosocial evaluation and the recommendation of the CRT, Mr. Drotar was temporarily assigned to parish ministry.
The archdiocese invited and encouraged the seminarian to tell his story to the CRT. With the active involvement of his legal counsel, the seminarian ultimately scheduled and met with the CRT for the first time on November 2, 2007. That day, based on the seminarian’s recounting of events and with the recommendation of the CRT, Archbishop Chaput restricted Mr. Drotar’s priestly faculties and he has not been permitted to publicly function, dress or present himself as a priest within the Archdiocese of Denver or elsewhere since then. Mr. Drotar’s ministerial faculties have never been restored.
The Archdiocese of Denver expects and requires its priests, deacons, seminarians, employees and volunteers to always immediately report anything of a criminal nature to local authorities. In cases of other possible misconduct, there are many reporting mechanisms inside and outside of the archdiocese to ensure that concerns are addressed. In the specific case of seminarians, they are encouraged to report issues to the Seminary Rector, a diocesan Vocation Director, the diocesan Vicar for Clergy, the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Denver, or an official from a neighboring diocese.
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