Disclosures of Names of Priests Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor
In March 2016, the Diocese of New Ulm, working in close cooperation with the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, disclosed the names of 16 men they mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priests.
The disclosure of names is the result of discussions and sharing of information between the Diocese of New Ulm and Jeff Anderson & Associates, which both recognize that the disclosure of names is an important part of the healing process for many victims and survivors of abuse.
Of these 16 men, 13 are deceased and all but one has been previously named in media reports.
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 in the Diocese of New Ulm. However, the four men have been credibly accused of abuse in other dioceses and all four men worked at some point in what is now the Diocese of New Ulm.
The Diocese of New Ulm and Jeff Anderson & Associates will continue to work closely together to promote healing for victims and survivors and protect children and young people.
To find out more, please see the joint statement released on March 29, 2016.
These men have been identified as having credible accusations of abuse against them.
You may see a man’s assignment history by clicking on his name in the list below.
- Fr. Cletus Altermatt – deceased 1978
- Fr. Dennis Becker – removed from ministry in 2015
- Fr. Gordon Buckley – deceased 1985
- Fr. Robert Clark – removed from ministry in 2002
- Fr. J. Vincent Fitzgerald – deceased 2009
- Fr. John Gleason – deceased 1998
- Fr. Joseph (Louis) Heitzer – deceased 1969
- Fr. Rudolph Henrich – deceased 1992
- Fr. Harry Majerus – deceased 1995
- Fr. Francis Markey – deceased 2012
- Fr. William Marks – deceased 1979
- Fr. John Murphy – deceased 2001
- Fr. David Roney – deceased 2003
- Douglas Schleisman – laicized 1994
- Fr. Michael Skoblik – deceased 1989
- Fr. Charles Stark – deceased 1991
The following men have been named in lawsuits against the Diocese of New Ulm and/or parishes in the Diocese. These lawsuits allege sexual abuse of a minor and were served in advance of the May 25, 2016 deadline. That date marked the closure of the open window on the civil statute of limitations on historic claims. These claims will be analyzed through the litigation process.
- Fr. Edward Ardolf – deceased 2016
- Fr. Joseph Balent – deceased 1986
- Fr. John Cooney – deceased 1988
- Fr. Richard Gross – removed from ministry
- Fr. Samuel Wagner – removed from ministry, pending investigation
- Fr. James Devorak – returned to ministry
- Fr. Bernard Steiner – removed from ministry 2016; returned to limited ministry 2018