Statement Regarding Louis Heitzer File Release

From Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Documents from the priest file of Louis Heitzer given to the court earlier this year were released today by Jeff Anderson and Associates. This release is in the interest of public disclosure and accountability.

The archdiocese received reports of sexual abuse of minors by Heitzer prior to Heitzer’s death in 1969. Between 1991 and 2004 the archdiocese received additional reports of Heitzer’s sexual abuse of minors decades earlier.

The archdiocese’s goal is to help victims/survivors of minor clergy abuse and their families heal. The archdiocese recognizes that the healing process is unique for each person and family. The archdiocese, however, has come to understand that for many people it is important to know that abuse will not happen again. Verbal assurance will not suffice; concrete action is necessary. The archdiocese will continue to develop concrete steps such as new procedures to address reports of abuse. Another such step is public disclosure of the identity and assignment history of the clergy member against whom accusations of sexual abuse of a minor have been substantiated. Heitzer’s assignment history was first released by the archdiocese in December of last year and is now updated with additional assignment information for 1967 up to his death in 1969.