Archdiocese Releases Report on Abuse Investigations

By Julie Birkedal
The Globe Gazette [Iowa]
January 6, 2006

The Archdiocese of Dubuque detailed efforts to protect children and outlined recent sanctions against two men once priests in North Iowa in a report this week.

Investigations of several priests have been conducted by the Archdiocese and results submitted to the Vatican, it said. Some cases are still in process and some await determination by the Vatican.

The Vatican directed Archbishop Jerome Hanus to impose "a penal precept upon the Rev. William A. Goltz, obliging him to lead a life of prayer and penance," according to the report. Now retired and advanced in age, Goltz was disciplined earlier according to church law. He is not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly, administer sacraments, wear clerical clothing or present himself as a priest.

Goltz served at Visitation Catholic Church in Stacyville and St. Mel in McIntire in 1953 and 1954, and at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hampton and St. Francis in Dumont from 1971 to 1973, according to information from the Archdiocese.

After studying the investigation report concerning the Rev. William T. Schwartz, Pope Benedict XVI, dismissed him from the clerical state. The decree was communicated to Schwartz in November 2005. Final details were completed in December 2005, the report said. Schwartz became a priest in 1958. He had many assignments including a number of North Iowa churches. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he served Sacred Heart in Rockwell, St. John in Cartersville, St. Lawrence in Swaledale, and St. John in Clarion.

During 2005, notices and articles were published in the Archdiocesan newspaper, The Witness. News releases were issued to inform the public about instances where individuals have come forward claiming abuse as minors in past decades. Accusations were made against the Revs. William Roach, William Schwartz, Patrick McElliott, John Schmitz, Albert Carman, John Peters, William Goltz, Robert Reiss and Albert Forster. The information about when and where these priests served may be found on the Web site of the Archdiocese ( under Protection of Godís Children.

A change in the Policy for Protection of Minors was recommended by the Archdiocesan Review Board and approved by the Archbishop concerning adults coming forward to report sexual abuse as a minor by church personnel.

"Some victims argued strongly that by requiring their situation to become somewhat public by notifying civil authorities, they felt they were being victimized again," the report said.

Revised wording states that a report to civil authorities will not be made in cases where an adult reports he or she was abused as a minor, the statute of limitations has expired, and the individual signs a request that the case not be reported to civil authorities within 30 days of filing a report of abuse.

"This does not preclude a church investigation from proceeding," the report says.

Lawsuits have been filed in recent months against the Archdiocese in connection with the Revs. Carman, Forster, Goltz, McElliott, Peters, Roach, Schmitz and Schwartz. Legal and professional fees for these cases amounted to $101,132 during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005, the report said..


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