Accused Priest Lived in St. Meinrad Archabbey 10 Years After Abuse Was Reported

WFIE-TV in Evansville Contributed to This Report

ST. MEINRAD -- Saint Meinrad officials say they encouraging victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests to report the crime, and if the victims won’t, those officials say they will.

WFIE-TV reporting the Archabbey handled allegations of pedophile priests with its own review board when they came to light.

As we’ve been reporting, Robert Woerdeman and Warren Heitz were on the list of credible abuse cases released last week by the Evansville Diocese.

Heitz alleged abuse occurred back in the 1970’s.  Once incident was reported in 1999, the other in 2018.

He has since moved to a supervised residential facility for offenders, but, according to 14 News, he lived at St. Meinrad up to 10 years after the first case of abuse was reported.

CLICK HERE for the full list of accused priests, including several who worked in Dubois County.

See original story below.

DUBOIS COUNTY -- The list of priests accused of sexual abuse has been released and several of them worked in Dubois and surrounding counties.

Father Michael Allen admitted to one incident of child abuse and has been out of public ministry since 2002.

He worked as associate pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church in 1979, and again in 1982.

He left and came back again to St. Joe’s in 1995 and worked at St. Celestine as the pastor in 2001.

Father John Breidenbach admitted to sexual abuse of minors that occurred prior to his ordination as a deacon.

He was the associate pastor of Holy Family in Jasper back in 1990 and Precious Blood in 2004.

He’s not in public ministry as of 2014.

Father Wilfred Englert admitted to one incident of child abuse.

He was the associate pastor at Holy Family in 1987 and St. Joseph’s in 2004.  He was convicted of sexual battery in 2006, served time in prison and was dispensed from the clerical state in 2009.

Father Arthur Mergen had 2 credible allegations made against him. 

He worked as associate pastor of St. Joseph’s in Jasper in 1981.

Father Othmar Schroeder had 18 credible cases reported.

He served as associate pastor at St. Joseph’s in 1942 and Holy Family in 1947.

He died in 1988 before the abuse was reported.

And Father Richard Wildeman was dispensed from the clerical state in 2002.  He admitted to one case.

He worked at St. Joseph’s in 1977 and Holy Family in 1982.

These priests worked in other area churches outside of Dubois County as well.  Some in Washington, Vincennes and Loogootee.