File of “Most Abusive Priest” Fr. Louis Heitzer Released Today

Father Louis Heitzer is believed to have abused young boys in every location he worked, ruining the lives of many, and was never held accountable for his actions. Ordained in 1942, Heitzer worked at several parishes during his 25+ years in the priesthood. He worked in cities including Winsted, St. Paul, Marshall, Sleepy Eye, Olivia, Winthrop, Clearwater, Heidelberg, Lexington, Union Hill, Forest Lake, Ivanhoe and Nevis, Minnesota.

At least three Archbishops knew of Heitzer’s inappropriate behavior with children and numerous parents sent letters to Church officials detailing accounts of sexual abuse by Heitzer.  Meetings were held in rural parishes with parents of several youths who claimed to have witnessed or experienced abuse by Heitzer.

At least a decade after allegations of inappropriate behavior surfaced, Heitzer was hospitalized and after one month of treatment was returned to ministry “with perfect safety.” In 2002, after more victims came forward alleging sexual abuse by Heitzer, then-Vicar General Kevin McDonough, in a September 24, 2002 letter refers to Heitzer as “perhaps the most abusive priest ever to be part of this Archdiocese. I believe he abused boys every place he went.