Another Priest Sued for Sex Abuse

By Pat Kinney
The Courier [Waterloo and Cedar Falls IA]
March 2, 2005

WEST UNION --- An anonymous man alleges a now-retired Catholic priest sexually abused him in Oelwein more than 50 years ago.

The suit, filed Friday by Waterloo attorneys Chad Swanson and Tom Staack for a plaintiff identified as John Doe, alleges the Rev. William Goltz abused him in the summer of 1954, when the plaintiff was 13 and the priest was assigned to Sacred Heart Church in Oelwein.

The Fayette County suit alleges Goltz asked the 13-year-old to help him wash a car. "Goltz requested they drive the vehicle to allow it to dry," the suit states, and they drove to a rock quarry outside Oelwein, where Goltz sexually abused the boy.

"Also at that time, Goltz had possession of illicit photographs of young boys in his vehicle's glove compartment, and showed these photographs to plaintiff," the suit states.

The suit states then-Dubuque Archbishop Leo Binz instituted "a formal church or canonical trial" against Goltz after the incident was reported to the archdiocese. Only one such trial has been held in the archdiocese's 168-year history, archdiocesan officials have said.

"Following an investigation and trial, (the) plaintiff believes that Goltz was found guilty, and that Archbishop Binz imposed penalties and restrictions on Goltz, including taking away his ability to celebrate Mass, hear confessions, removing him from all parish offices and responsibilities, and requiring him to live under supervision in a house of penance" in New Mexico, according to the suit.

The suit indicates after about 12 years, after being on sick leave at abbeys and rectories in Wisconsin and Ohio as well as Iowa, Goltz was reassigned to other parishes within the archdiocese, including St. Patrick's in New Hampton in about 1972-73 and St. Joseph's Church in Waterloo from 1978-80. Archdiocesan directories list him as retired by the early 1990s.

The archdiocese "either knew, or should have known of Goltz's propensity to and intention to sexually abuse young men," and "either intentionally or negligently failed to take action against Goltz," the suit states, seeking unspecified actual and punitive monetary damages.

Archdiocese attorney Brendan Quann of Dubuque had not yet seen the suit Tuesday and could not respond. A out-of-state telephone directory listing for Goltz reported his number is unlisted.

Eight Catholic clergy sex abuse suits are outstanding in state or federal courts within the archdiocese. All but one has been filed by Swanson and Staack. Four of them, including the Goltz suit, were filed within the past week and a half.

Pat Kinney can be contacted at (319) 291-1484 or


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.