Oct. 25, 2019
By Anthony A. Mestas
Pueblo politicians who worked with the late Rev. John Beno — and undoubtedly many people in the community — were shocked when they heard the sex abuse allegations levied against the popular and well-known Catholic priest, who also was a former state senator.
Beno was one of 43 Catholic priests named in the Colorado Special Master’s Report on child sexual abuse that accused them of sexually abusing at least 166 children in Colorado since 1950. The report was initiated by the Colorado Attorney General’s office, in cooperation with the Catholic dioceses in Colorado, including the Pueblo Diocese.
As a two-term state senator, Beno, a Democrat, served on the state’s Joint Budget and Senate Appropriations committees. He first was elected to the Senate in 1978 and left office in 1986.
The Pueblo Chieftain reached out to several people who worked with Beno politically. Most did not want to comment about the news because they weren’t entirely familiar with the report, but they did express shock.
The news also rocked Pueblo Catholics, many of whom sent emails to The Chieftain.
Mary Beth Corsentino, leader of Pueblo County Democrats, said Friday that the news hit her hard.
“My earliest memories of Father Beno were as an elementary student. I was a student at St. Therese (a former Pueblo Catholic elementary school at the Shrine of St. Therese),” Corsentino said.
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