Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Dies

By Julie Birkedal
The Globe Gazette
January 18, 2006

A former North Iowa priest accused of sexual abuse whom the Vatican directed to be disciplined has died.

The Rev. William A. Goltz, 80, died Jan. 7 in Prairie du Chien, Wis., said Monsignor James Barta, vicar general for the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

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 Catholic Church in Dumont from 1971 to 1973.

He was accused of sexual abuse against several boys as long ago as the 1950s, according to a report from the Archdiocese of Dubuque released on Jan. 4. Three lawsuits were filed in 2005.

The Vatican directed the Archbishop to impose "a penal precept upon the Rev. William A. Goltz, obliging him to lead a life of prayer and penance." Goltz was not to be permitted to celebrate Mass publicly, administer sacraments, wear clerical clothing or present himself as a priest.

Steve Theisen, Iowa Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), of Hudson, said in a news release that the organization sympathizes with Goltz' family and with those whose lives he allegedly devastated.

"We hope that his passing will prompt those who suspected or knew of his crimes and stayed silent to re-examine their consciences and speak up now, for the sake of the healing of his victims," Theisen said.


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