Three Former Richfield Clergy on List of Priests Accused of Abusing Minors

Gilbert DeSutter, Louis Heitzer and Alfred Longley all served as priests or pastors in Richfield during the 1950s and '60s.

Priests accused of sexual abuse of minors.
Priests accused of sexual abuse of minors.

With reporting from James Warden

Three former Richfield clergymen are on a list of priests “credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors," according to an article in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis' newspaper, The Catholic Spirit.

Gilbert DeSutter, Louis Heitzer and Alfred Longley all served as priests or pastors in Richfield during the 1950s and 1960s:

  • DeSutter, 85, served as an associate priest at St. Peter's Catholic Church from 1964-68. He was permanently removed from ministry in 2003. He is believed to be currently residing in Mesa, AZ.
  • Heitzer, deceased, served as an associate priest at St. Richard's Catholic Church from 1967-68. He was permanently removed from ministry in 1969, and also died that year.
  • Longley, deceased, served as a pastor at St. Richard's from 1952-61. He was permanently removed from ministry in 1968, and he died in 1974.

The archdiocese published the list of 34 priests Thursday in the online edition of The Catholic Spirit. About half of the parishes in the archdiocese—92 out of 188 parishes—had one of the priests on the list there at some point, according to the archdiocese.

The publication was made in response to ongoing lawsuits against priests and the church arising from childhood sexual abuse cases. The archdiocese and Diocese of Winona originally sought to seal the list—which was created in 2004 and included 33 of the 34 priests named today, according to the Star Tribune.

The courts agreed to seal the list in 2009. But Archbishop John Nienstedt reversed course after the church was accused of shielding priests—allegations that gained extra fuel in recent months from a Minnesota Public Radio exposé.

The information being released comes mostly from reported incidents that occurred between the mid-1950s and 1980s, according to The Catholic Spirit

“All have been permanently removed from ministry or are deceased,” the article said.

The church says it is engaged in a comprehensive review of clergy files and will update the list as it makes additional announcements.

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Angela Wade December 05, 2013 at 07:51 PM
I hope parents and adults alike have heard enough of this stuff in the news, DON'T leave your little boys (or kids) alone with Catholic Priests!
Adam December 05, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Every organization has its deviants. Child abuse is pervasive in far more than the Catholic Church, but the media doesn't seem to care as much about that. The three largest insurance companies for Protestant churches say they, combined, get an average of aroun 450 cases per year. That's about equal to the number of cases reported involving the Catholic Church. Now let's compare that to the 28,000 yearly cases involving school employees and the 21,800 yearly cases involving family members. Should we also keep our kids out of school and away from their family for fear of such a thing happening to them?
Mike B. December 07, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Adam, you are correct. The liberal media, such as the Minneapolis Red-Star, is on a vendetta against the Catholic Church. They treat that hack attorney, Jeff Anderson, as a hero. With that said, I am glad the Catholic Church is much more careful now about weeding out homosexuals/pedophiles in the ministry.


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