Cheyenne diocese struggles with abuse revelations about popular bishop


August 29, 2019

By Christopher White

Nearly three decades had passed since Martin last stepped foot inside a Catholic church.

Yet as he sat in the pews of the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Cheyenne for Good Friday service last April, he knew Bishop Steven Biegler was speaking directly to him.

“Over the last year, we have seen that the Church’s leaders have been weak and sinful,” said the bishop. “Yet, Christ still goes to the cross for us. His death is still stronger than all of our horrible sins. The blood and water flowing from Christ is the greatest force in the universe. So we can be reborn.”

“What does that reborn church look like?” he asked. “In a church reborn, those who have been harmed are restored. They experience their own re-birth. They are restored as we listen to their stories and tell them, ‘I believe you.’”

One year prior to that homily, Biegler had flown to New York to say those very words in person to Martin, a pseudonym, who after nearly two decades of unsuccessfully trying to convince both law enforcement and church officials that he was an abuse victim of Bishop Joseph Hart, finally felt some form of vindication by a bishop who believed him.

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