March 15, 2005

Lawsuit names former priest John Schmitz


DUBUQUE (AP) --- A lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of Dubuque by a woman who claims she was sexually abused in 1959 by John Schmitz, a former priest who worked in nine eastern Iowa parishes from 1957 through 1982.

The archdiocese had been told about the lawsuit, but had not yet received a copy, Monsignor James Barta said Monday. A court clerk confirmed that the lawsuit had been filed Friday but not yet recorded in the court's online database.

Schmitz, who died in 1991, was ordained Feb. 2, 1957, according to a statement released by the archdiocese. He served in nine parishes over the years: Immaculate Conception, in Lansing; St. Joseph, New Hampton; St. Joseph, Mason City; All Saints, Cedar Rapids; St. Mary, Manchester; St. Joseph, Greeley; St. Peter, Clermont; St. Anthony, Zearing; and St. Mary, Greene.

In 1982, parishioners complained to Archbishop James Byrne about Schmitz's financial skills and his relationship with an adult woman. Byrne removed Schmitz as a pastor and sent him to a treatment program. Afterward, the archbishop did not accept Schmitz back.

Posted by kshaw at March 15, 2005 06:56 AM