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Catholic Diocese of Evansville releases list of credibly accused priests

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Catholic Diocese of Evansville has released a list of priests with credible sexual abuse allegations against them.

According to an announcement in Sept. 2018, Bishop Joseph Siegel, said he would release the list of priests who were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, hoping the release would allow those who were abused to heal as well as keeping minors safe.

The diocese has also sought a private investigator to review church records to determine abuse since its 1944 founding.

The list will be amended as necessary. The following records are a result of the recommendations of Diocesan Review Board members.

Those who believe they have suffered abuse by a diocesan member are asked to call a toll free number at 866-200-3004.

The list is as follows:


Michael Allen

Date of Ordination: June 5, 1971

Action Taken: Not in public ministry, July 2002

Number of Credible Allegations: 1

Places Served:

  • 1971 – Associate Pastor, Sts. Peter and Oaul Church, Haubstadt
  • 1972 – Summer Ministry Program Director
  • 1974 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Curch, Princeton
  • 1975 – Associate Pastor, St. John the Baptist Church, Vincennes
  • 1976 – Administrator, St. Patrick, Corning
  • 1976 – Administrator, All Saints, Cannelburg
  • 1979 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 1980 – Associate Pastor, St. Simon Church, Washington
  • 1981 – Pastor. St. Mary Church, Washington
  • 1982 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 1984 – Military service, Assigned outside the diocese
  • 1995  –Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 1999 – Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Evansville
  • 1999 – Pastor, St. Theresa Church, Evansville
  • 2001 –Pastor, St. Celestine Church, Celestine 

 

John Breidenbach

Date of Ordination: August 21, 1987

Action Taken: Not in public ministry, March 14, 2014

Number of Credible Allegations: 1

Places Served:

  • 1987 – Associate Pastor, St. John the Baptist Church, Vincennes
  • 1990 – Associate Pastor, Holy Family Church, Jasper
  • 1992 – Diocesan Vocation Team
  • 1992 – Associate Pastor, Resurrection Church, Evansville
  • 1993 – Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Evansville
  • 1993 – Pastor, Corpus Christi Church, Evansville
  • 1998 – Sacramental Minister, Holy Trinity Church, Evansville
  • 1999 – Associate Pastor, Holy Rosary Church, Evansville with residence at Villa Maria on Lincoln Avenue next to Memorial High School
  • 2003 – Associate Pastor, St. John Church, Newburgh
  • 2004 – Pastor, Precious Blood Church, Jasper
  • 2010 –  Sacramental Minister, St. Mary Church, Ireland
  • 2010 –Sacramental Minister, Resurrection Church, Evansville
  • 2010 –Sacramental Minister, St. Theresa Church, Evansville
  • 2014–Not in public ministry


James Clements

Date of Ordination: June 12, 1954

Action Taken: Dispensed from the clerical state, April 18, 1977; deceased, 1996

Number of Credible Allegations: 1

Places Served:

  • 1954 – Associate Pastor, St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel
  • 1955 – Associate Pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Vincennes
  • 1959 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Evansville
  • 1962 – Associate Pastor, St. Mary Church, Washington
  • 1964 – Pastor, Blessed Sacrament Church, Oakland City
  • 1972 – Associate Pastor, Good Shepherd Church
  • 1974 – Medical leave
  • 1977 – Dispensed from the clerical state
  • 1996 – Deceased, December 21, 1996


Wilfred Englert

Date of Ordination: May 9, 1986

Action Taken: Removed from public ministry in 2005; convicted of sexual battery, October 3, 2006; served prison sentence; released from incarceration, January 15, 2008; dispensed from the clerical state, October 1, 2009

Number of Credible Allegations: 1

Places Served:

  • 1986 – Associate Pastor, St. John the Baptist, Vincennes
  • 1987 – Associate Pastor, Holy Family Church, Jasper
  • 1990 – Associate Pastor, St. John Church, Newburgh
  • 1993 – Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Evansville
  • 1999 – Associate Pastor, Holy Rosary Church, Evansville
  • 2000 – Associate Pastor, St. Agnes Church, Evansville
  • 2000 – Pastor, St. Raphael Church
  • 2002 –Administrator, St. Celestine Church
  • 2004 –Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 2005 –Removed from public ministry
  • 2006 –Convicted of sexual battery
  • 2008 – released from incarceration
  • 2009 –Dispensed from the clerical state


Mark Kurzendoerfer

Date of Ordination: May 8, 1981

Action Taken: Removed from public ministry, July 2, 2002; dispensed from the clerical state, November 1, 2009

Number of Credible Allegations: 4

Places Served:

  • 1981 – Administrator, St. Mary Church, Sullivan
  • 1981 – Associate Pastor, St. Simon Church, Washington
  • 1981 – Teacher, Washington Catholic, Washington
  • 1984 – Residence, Faculty House on Lincoln Ave., Evansville
  • 1984 –Teacher, Mater Dei High School, Evansville
  • 1986 – Administrator, Holy Angels Church, New Harmony
  • 1989 – Diocesan Vocation Board
  • 1992 –Diocesan Vocation Team,
  • 1995 – Sacramental Minister, St. Thomas Church, Vincennes
  • 1999 – Associate Pastor, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Haubstadt, and assisting at St. Joseph, Princeton, Blessed Sacrament, Oakland City
  • 2002 –  Removed from public ministry
  • 2009 –  Dispensed from the clerical state  

 

Arthur Mergen

Date of Ordination: June 4, 1976

Action Taken: Deceased; Left Evansville Diocese in 1988 without Bishop’s permission

Number of Credible Allegations: 2

Places Served:

  • 1976 – Associate Pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Vincennes
  • 1977 – Associate Pastor, St. John the Baptist Church, Vincennes
  • 1981 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 1981 – Pastor, St. Peter Church, Montgomery; Administrator, St. Michael’s, Daviess County, September 1, 19811976 – Administrator, St. Patrick, Corning
  • 1986 – Pastor, Holy Cross Church, Fort Branch
  • 1988 – Pastor, St. Mary Church, Washington
  • 1988 –St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes
  • 1988 –Left Diocese of Evansville without the Bishop’s permission
  • 1994 –Deceased

 

Othmar Schroeder

Date of Ordination: June 7, 1938

Action Taken: Deceased before sexual abuse reported

Number of Credible Allegations: 18

Places Served:

  • 1938 – Associate Pastor, St. Lawrence Church, Lawrenceburg
  • 1940–St. Clement Church, Boonville
  • 1942 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 1944 – Incardinated into the Diocese of Evansville upon its establishment
  • 1940s-1960s –Boy Scouts Ministry
  • 1947 –Pastor, Holy Family Church, Jasper
  • 1965 –Committee on Discipline, Magister Noster School, Evansville
  • 1975 –Pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Schnellville
  • 1988 –Deceased 

 

Richard Wildeman

Date of Ordination: May 13, 1977

Action Taken: Left ministry in 2002; dispensed from clerical state in 2007

Number of Credible Allegations: 1

Places Served:

  • 1977 – Associate  Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Jasper
  • 1977 –Associate Pastor, St. John Church, Newburgh
  • 1979 – Associate Pastor, St. Matthew Church, Mt. Vernon
  • 1979 – Chaplain, Boy Scouts
  • 1980 –Residence, Faculty House on Lincoln Avenue, Evansville
  • 1980 –Diocesan Director, Youth Ministry
  • 1980 –Weekend assistance, Corpus Christi Church, Evansville
  • 1981 –Weekend assistance, St. Clement Church, Boonville
  • 1980 –Weekend assistance, Corpus Christi Church, Evansville
  • 1982 –Associate Pastor, Holy Family Church, Jasper
  • 1987 –Pastor, St. Mary Church, Sullivan
  • 1987 –Administrator, St. Joan of Arc Church, Jasonville
  • 1991 – Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh County
  • 2000 – Granted permission for ministry in Haiti
  • 2002 – Left active ministry
  • 2007 – Dispensed from the clerical state

 

Jean Vogler

Date of Ordination: Feb. 28, 1970

Action Taken: Priest charged and convicted in U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana of Receiving Child Pornography in 1996 and sentenced to 366 days in federal prison. The priest was reinstated to active ministry in 1999 and retired in Sept. 2011.

Places Served:

  • 1970 – Associate Pastor, St. Theresa Church, Evansville
  • 1972 –Associate Pastor, Christ the King Church, Evansville
  • 1975 – Teacher, Reitz Memorial High School, Evansville
  • 1975 – Weekend Assistance, St. James Church, Haubstadt
  • 1980 –Pastor, Holy Redeemer Church, Evansville
  • 1986 –Pastor, St. Mary Church, Sullivan
  • 1986 –Administrator, St. Joan of Arc Church, Jasonville
  • 1987 –Pastor, St. Boniface Church, Evansville
  • 1990 –Pastor, Holy Rosary Church, Evansville
  • 1998 –Residence at Villa Maria on Lincoln Avenue next to Memorial High School
  • 1998 – Appointed as chaplain of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Evansville (appointment withdrawn before it became effective)
  • 1999 –Associate Pastor, Holy Trinity Church, Evansville
  • 2004 – Residence at Villa Maria on Lincoln Avenue next to Memorial High School
  • 2007 – Sacramental Minister, St. Joseph Church, Evansville
  • 2011 – Retired 2011
  • 2019 – Not in public ministry

 

Warren Heitz, O.S.B

Date of Ordination: May 1, 1966

Action Taken: Priest was removed from public ministry in 2002

Number of Credible Allegations: 2

Places Served:

  • 1973 – Associate Pastor, St. Mary Church, Huntingburg
  • 1977 –Associate Pastor, St. Benedict Church, Evansville
  • 1987 – Administrator, St. John Chrysostom Church, New Boston
  • 2002 –Priest was removed from public ministry

 

Robert Woerdeman, O.S.B

Date of Ordination: May 3, 1954

Action Taken: Priest was dispensed from his vows and laicized in 1975, died in 2005

Number of Credible Allegations: 1

Places Served:

  • 1960 – St. Benedict Church, Evansville
  • 2005 –Priest was dispensed from his vows and laicized in 1975 and died in 2005


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