The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued a canonical rebuke of former Cheyenne Bishop Joseph Hart, 89, “for his flagrant lack of prudence as a priest and bishop while being alone with minors in his private residence and on various trips,” CioceseOfCheyenne.org reports (January 25). Hart resigned in 2001.
Originally, Hart had been accused of homosexual abuse against minors below the age of 16, and of solicitation in confession, allegations which a lawyer for the diocese called "credible" in 2018.
Diocesan staff with "professional background" including the Vicar General reviewed six (!) of the accusations and called Hart guilty “with moral certitude,” before the Vatican started the process.
The Vatican's final decree exonerated Hart of seven accusations while five other accusations could not be proven with moral certitude. Two allegations were not considered of criminal nature because the male partners were 16 and 17 years old and thus no minors.
One case of a male below 16 years reported to the Congregation and considered credible by the diocese was not even mentioned in the decree. Cheyenne diocese is run by pro-homosex Bishop Biegler.