Archdiocese Statement on Neil Hewitt

May 20, 2019

The Archdiocese of Denver is providing this release regarding Neil Hewitt, who previously served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Denver and has been the subject of recent media coverage.

Mr. Hewitt was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1962 and he served in a variety of assignments in the archdiocese between 1962 and 1980.  During Mr. Hewitt’s tenure, he served in Grand Lake, Sterling, Aurora, Leadville, Rangely and Denver.  He also served as a chaplain in the Colorado Air National Guard.  Mr. Hewitt’s faculties to serve as a priest were removed in 1980 after he requested permission to leave the priesthood and marry.  His request was granted, and Mr. Hewitt has not served in or been affiliated with the archdiocese in any capacity since then.

During the approximately 17 years that Mr. Hewitt was serving as a priest in the Archdiocese of Denver, the archdiocese never received a report or a complaint that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with minors, including sexual misconduct.

Any allegation that has been made against Hewitt during the decades since he left ministry will be part of the independent review currently being conducted by former U.S. Attorney Mr. Robert Troyer as part of a join agreement with the Colorado Attorney General. The results of the review will be published in October.

No matter how long ago an alleged incident of sexual abuse of a minor occurred, details of a horrendous evil being committed are heart-breaking to hear. When the archdiocese receives an allegation, our priorities are providing support for the survivor and making sure the allegation is properly reported to local law enforcement. Part of the current independent review is to analyze how the archdiocese handled allegations in the past, and to ensure our current policies are up to the highest standards for preventing and reporting abuse.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has made a commitment to this current review process to provide transparency, and some measure of justice and healing for any past victim.

If any individual knows or suspects child abuse by anyone acting on behalf of the Archdiocese of Denver or on behalf of the Catholic parishes and schools within the archdiocese, we urge them immediately to report the matter to law enforcement or to the Colorado Child Abuse Reporting Hotline at 844-CO-4-KIDS and also to notify the Archdiocese of Denver Office of Child and Youth Protection at 303-715-2047. To submit a report as part of the independent review, please visit: https://coag.gov/ReportAbuse