Fr. John Francis Stein: Substantiated Claims of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Fr. John Francis Stein

Ordained, Unknown

Notes: Fr. John Stein was a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver. Purportedly, in 1946, Fr. Stein was arrested in Golden, Colorado, and charged with “taking indecent liberties” with a minor boy. Fr. Stein was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 18-months in prison. The Archdiocese of Denver reportedly bailed Fr. Stein out of jail, worked to minimize publicity, and ultimately won an exception for him so that he did not have to serve his sentence. Sometime in the 1950s, Fr. Stein allegedly sexually abused three minor children while he worked at St. Catherine of Siena in Iliff, Colorado. Fr. Stein openly and repeatedly confessed to sexually abusing one of the three minors and admitted he knew he had “no will power, especially with [his] thoughts concerning young boys.” Sometime in 1956, Fr. Stein was arrested again on child sexual abuse charges. The Archdiocese of Denver purportedly sent their legal counsel to convince local law enforcement to drop the charges. The Sterling Police Department reportedly agreed to release Fr. Stein as long as he left Sterling permanently. Fr. Stein’s file reflects that he sexually abused at least four victims in New Mexico after the Archdiocese of Denver got his charges for sexually abusing a minor dismissed. In November 1958, Fr. Stein was laicized. Prior to his laicization the Archdiocese of Denver had sent Fr. Stein to the Servants of the Paraclete, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse. Fr. Stein was included in the Colorado Attorney General’s Special Master’s Report on “Roman Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse of Children in Colorado from 1950 to 2019.” According to the Special Master’s Report, the Archdiocese of Denver received three separate child sexual abuse reports made against Fr. Stein in 1956, 1991, and 2002. Purportedly, on February 27, 2019, the Archdiocese of Denver reported to law enforcement the child sexual abuse allegations made against Fr. Stein in 2002. Fr. Stein’s whereabouts and whether he had access to children from 1959 until his death are unknown.

Assignments within the Archdiocese/Diocese(s) in Colorado: Denver


1944-1945 St. Vincent de Paul, Denver, CO (DEN)

1946 Unknown

1947 Absent on Sick Leave (DEN)

1948 Unknown

1949 Sacred Heart, Cheyenne Wells, CO (DEN)

1950 Absent on Sick Leave (DEN)

1951-1952 St. John the Evangelist, Loveland, CO (DEN)

1953-1958 St. Catherine of Siena’s, Iliff, CO (DEN)

1959-2000 Unknown

2001 Died