Names of 16 accused priests in New Ulm Diocese released

Bemidji Pioneer
March 29, 2016

ST. PAUL -- The names of 16 priests accused of sexual abuse while working at the Diocese of New Ulm were released Tuesday morning.

The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and the Diocese of New Ulm jointly disclosed the names of 16 men during a news conference Tuesday morning in St. Paul. The men were mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priest.

The 16 names released include: Cletus Altermatt,Dennis Becker, Gordon Buckley, Robert Clark, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Joseph (Louis) Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy, David Roney, Douglas Schleisman, Michael Skoblik and Charles Stark.

“On behalf of the Church, I apologize for the grave offenses committed against the vulnerable by those who were ordained to serve ourcommunities. We are grateful to the survivors who have come forward already and encourage those who have not yet come forward to do so,”  said Bishop John LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm in the news release.

“The Diocese of New Ulm is demonstrating a willingness to be transparent about clergy who have abused children,” said attorney Jeff Anderson in the news release. “This agreement to release information is an important step in transparency and child protection and safety.  We will continue to work together to put this commitment into action, and we encourage other possible survivors to step forward.”

Four of the 16 men, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, Joseph (Louis) Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich and Harry Majerus, do not have credible accusations against them stemming from incidents reported to have occurred during their time in the Diocese of New Ulm, but have credible accusations from other dioceses.

Of these 16 men, 13 are deceased and all but one has previously been named in media reports.

The Diocese of New Ulm includes Catholic parishes and area faith communities in 15 Minnesota counties: Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Swift and Yellow Medicine.

Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse by a priest or another person in Church ministry is encouraged to immediately report such misconduct to local law enforcement. There is a deadline in 58 days set in the Minnesota Child Victims Act for individuals to file old claims.


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