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February 13, 2023


For Immediate Release

Extensive investigations show no cause for charges

DENVER – After extensive investigations, including one done by a third-party investigator for the Archdiocese of Denver, the Deputy District Attorney of Jefferson County is not filing criminal charges against Monsignor Robert Kinkel. After receiving a recommendation from the Archdiocesan Review Board, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila is restoring Kinkel back into ministry, effective immediately.

Monsignor Kinkel was set to retire in 2022 after decades of service to the Archdiocese. He was always a priest in good standing. From the beginning of this process, Monsignor resolutely denied this allegation and conducted himself in a patient and respectful manner. Like everyone, he received his due process.

The Archdiocese of Denver takes every allegation of misconduct seriously and is fully committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community – children, youth, and at-risk adults.

You can read Archbishop Aquila’s letter in full below.


8 February 2023

To the faithful of St. Jude Catholic Church,

I am writing to you to inform you about the restoration of faculties for your former pastor, Msgr. Bob Kinkel.

As many of you know, an accusation was made last April that Msgr. Kinkel had inappropriately touched a minor in or around 2018. This incident allegedly occurred a single time in a public setting, with many other people present. When the accusation arose, the Archdiocese followed our protocol dedicated to the protection of children and young people and immediately removed Msgr. Kinkel from ministry and reported the allegation to law enforcement. We then waited for local authorities to conclude their investigation and make their determination before completing the Archdiocese’s own review process. Our process entails another thorough investigation, including interviewing the parties involved, potential witnesses, and others who might have helpful information regarding the allegation. The Archdiocesan Review Board, which is composed of lay experts as well as members of the clergy, then reviews the results of that investigation and makes its recommendation to me.

Of course, addressing any allegation of this nature is immensely difficult for both the accuser and the accused. From the beginning, Msgr. Kinkel maintained his innocence, denied the allegation against him, and conducted himself in a humble, patient, and respectful manner, understanding that our protocol had to be followed. The Archdiocese also made every effort to support the young person who made the allegation, including connecting them with our Victim Assistance Coordinator and making counseling services available to them. I’m grateful for the compassion and understanding of all involved throughout this very taxing process.

In early January, we were informed by the Deputy District Attorney of Jefferson County that they were declining to pursue or file any criminal charges against Msgr. Kinkel. The Archdiocese subsequently completed our internal investigation, and the Review Board reviewed the case thoroughly. The Review Board determined that no evidence had been found that Msgr. Kinkel engaged in the alleged conduct and that the accusation could not be substantiated, and it recommended that Msgr. Kinkel’s faculties be restored.

The Archdiocese of Denver continues in our commitment to take all allegations of misconduct seriously, and to ensure that the safety of our children and families is and remains a priority for our Church. We will always cooperate with civil authorities, and we will adhere to the protocol set forth in our Code of Conduct, which I assure you was diligently followed here.

Following the counsel of the Review Board, I have restored Msgr. Kinkel’s faculties to celebrate the sacraments and do public priestly ministry effectively immediately. Msgr. Kinkel, as a retired priest, will not be given an assignment, but he will be assisting at parishes in the Archdiocese per his own schedule.

I want to express my gratitude to Msgr. Kinkel for his patience and faithfulness during the challenging 9-month period of waiting for this matter to conclude. I also want to thank the parishioners who prayed for Msgr. Kinkel and for the light of truth to shine forth. Let us pray for peace and healing for all those involved, and for God’s grace to bless each one of us.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L.
Archbishop of Denver