University of Colorado Removes Honors from Accused Priest
Following an updated report on clergy sexual abuse from Colorado’s attorney general, the University of Colorado revoked an honorary degree it had bestowed on a Catholic priest that the report revealed had multiple allegations against him. We applaud this move and hope that other institutions follow suit for any wrongdoers that they have honored.
Now that Fr. Charles Woodrich – aka Fr. Woody – has been exposed an abuser, Catholics and secular leaders in Colorado must reckon with how these crimes remained hidden for so long.
For parishioners, they must ask their bishops and leaders who knew what when. For Colorado politicians and other secular leaders, they must ask how they can reshape Colorado laws to better serve their citizens and prevent future children from experiencing the horrors of sexual abuse.
While we applaud this decision by the University of Colorado, the fact is that the AG's report does not expose the full scope of Catholic clergy abuse in Colorado. In a key omission, the report contains no information about abuse by religious order priests, which means there are probably other Fr. Woodys out there wearing the robes of the Capuchins, Jesuits, Franciscans, or others.
Now that this report has been released and has demonstrated unequivocally that a cover-up occurred, Coloradans have to finish the job. They must find a way to get all of the names out into the public realm so that victims can feel free to come forward and so that the dark underbelly of what occurred in Colorado's Catholic establishment can be examined and changed.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)