The Diocese of Cheyenne (Latin: Dioecesis Cheyennensis) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church that encompasses the entire state of Wyoming. It is suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of metropolitanArchdiocese of Denver.
In June 2019, the Diocese of Cheyenne released the names of 11 priests who were accused of committing acts of sex abuse while serving in the Diocese. Gerald Chleborad, an accused former Jackson priest who was transferred to Colorado in at least the early 2000s, had previously been arrested in Wyoming in 1995 for displaying public lewdness and had been accused of molesting children in the Diocese of Cheyenne between 1984 and 1985 and between 1995 and 2003 as well. In July 2019, Bishop Steven Biegler acknowledged in a handwritten statement the history of sex abuse in the Diocese of Cheyenne and apologized. In August 2019, Cheyenne police recommended criminal charges be filed against former Bishop Joseph Hart. Pope Francis had authorized a canonical penal process against Hart by June 2019 as well.
The original list of “credibly accused clergy” included 30 victims, 29 of whom where underage male and female minors, with more victims coming out in August 2019 as well. Some of these victims were also abused on Diocese-issued trips in and outside Wyoming as well. Hart’s successor David Ricken, who wrote a letter defending Hart and who was later made Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, has also come under scrutiny for quite possibly obstructing a previous criminal investigation against Hart which occurred in 2002.
As of 2014, it pastorally served 54,995 Catholics (9.5% of 576,412 total) on 252,552 km² in 37 parishes, 64 priests (61 diocesan, 3 religious), 37 deacons, 17 lay religious (3 brothers, 14 sisters), 10 seminarians.