February 22, 2019

Evansville Diocese: 12 Priests Credibly Accused Of Sexual Abuse Or Misconduct

Article origination WNIN-FM
St. Benedict's Cathedral in Evansville. - Nyttend/public domain

St. Benedict's Cathedral in Evansville.

Nyttend/public domain

Updated Feb. 22 at 1:35 p.m.

The Catholic Diocese of Evansville has released the long-awaited list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct involving children.

All but one of the 12 priests on the list were accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The other pleaded guilty to child pornography. None of the priests are still in active ministry.

The following names appear on the list:

  • Michael Allen, one credible allegation
  • John Breidenbach, one allegation
  • Joseph Clauss, 10 allegations
  • James Clements, one allegation
  • Wildred Englert, one allegation
  • Mark Kurzendoerfer, four allegations
  • Arthur Mergen, two allegations
  • Othmar Schroeder, 18 allegations
  • Richard Wildeman, one allegation
  • Jean Vogler, child pornography
  • Warren Heitz, two allegations
  • Robert Woerdeman, one allegation

Heitz and Woerdeman were priests in the Order of St. Benedict. The alleged abuse occured while they were serving in the Diocese of Evansville. The other 10 were diocesan priests. The men served in parishes throughout the diocese.

For an allegation to be credible, it must either be recommended by the Dioecesan Review Board and approved by the bishop, or the priest must admit to the accusations.

The diocese says the review board based its recommendations on the findings of a third-party, private investigator, who combed through records dating back to the founding of the diocese in 1944.

Bishop Joseph Siegel announced in September the diocese would publish the list.

The diocese says it is still investigating allegations against two other priests, Raymond Kuper and Dave Fleck.


This post has been updated with more information.

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