DENVER (CBS4) – An updated report through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office names nine more priests accused of sexual allegations from many years ago. One of those named, Father Woody, was well known in Denver for his work with those down on their luck.
The late Rev. Charles B. Woodrich, who died in 1991, was described as the “patron saint of the poor, hungry and homeless.” Now he is accused in the report through of abusing young boys.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told reporters, “I can’t imagine the horror and pain that someone has been through. Some people found this process of disclosure to be healing.”
The report details claims from three victims of Father Woody. He allegedly took them to his private residence at Holy Ghost Church at 19th and California Streets in downtown Denver and had sexual encounters with them, one over a period of years.
CBS4 spoke with one woman, Victoria McCabe, who, with her family, knew Father Woody very well.
“Absolute shock. Having my own’s son history… it was shocking, and truthfully I would have to say unbelievable.”
Her son, Shannon, told CBS4 he spent a lot of time at a vulnerable age with Father Woody and never did the priest do anything improper.
Father Woody’s aid to those in need extended from food to letting the homeless sleep in the pews. Every year there has been a Father Woody’s Christmas Party.
So powerful was Father Woody’s work long after he died, the Haven of Hope was opened in his name.
“In June when we heard more that he was part of an investigation, and it was sexual in nature there were no further details. We were as surprised as everyone else when we heard the news today,” Tawnya Trahan, the director of the Haven of Hope, told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.
Father Woody’s name has now been removed, but the type of work he did for the less fortunate goes on.