Personnel Bile #3: The Milwaukee Monster

Last week, lawyers in Milwaukee did what Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman has yet to do: release personnel files on child-raping priests who worked in the Diocese of Orange. The pederast in question is Siegfried Widera, who molested at least nine children while stationed at various Orange County parishes from 1977 to 1985.

What distinguishes Widera from the other pedo-priests in the Orange diocese roster of monsters is that diocesan officials irrefutably knew about Widera's past. I mean, you can't get more blatant than a 1973 conviction for sexual perversion, right? Or how about a 1976 note by Wisconsin officials that ended Widera's probation? Or maybe Orange diocese officials got a clue after Archdiocese of Milwaukee Bishop William Cousins called Orange Bishop William Johnson and warned him that Widera had a “moral problem” with a boy, the moral problem being Widera fiddling the kid during a fishing trip?

To this day, Orange diocese officials insist that they didn't know about Widera's past when they accepted him from the Milwaukee Archdiocese in 1977. The following documents should end that little lie quick.


Widera's July 2, 1973, conviction for “feloniously comitt[ing] an act of sexual gratification involving the sex organ of Frank Siegfried Widera and the mouth of [the minor].”

To read this .pdf file, click here.

Notes dated Sept. 3, 1973, on a conversation between Father Paul Esser and Father Rolland Glass, pastor at St. Mary's, where Widera served between 1972 until his conviction.

*In point No. 7, Glass notes, “A male grade school teacher saw Fr. Siegfried fooling around with the boys of another teacher. He said to [Widera] that if he fooled around in the same way with his students, he would punch [Widera] in the face.”

*Point No. 11 reveals that Widera “on at least one occasion had a boy sleep with him overnight in the rectory.”

To read this .pdf file, click here.

Aug. 13, 1976, release of Widera from his probation.

To read this .pdf file, click here.

A phone log kept by the Milwaukee Archdiocese on conversations related to Widera. Highlights:

8/20/76: On the day that Milwaukee archdiocesan officials find out that Widera violated his probation, he announces he is moving in with his brother, Hans, who lives in Costa Mesa (Widera still has family living in the county).

12/3/76: Archbishop Cousins contacts Bishop Johnson “to see if there might be something available for Widera.”

To read this .pdf file, click here.

The following year, Widera took up residence at St. Justin Martyr in Anaheim—and the rapes of Orange County innocents began.



Thanks to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests for the above documents. To visit their website, go to To find out more information about their next local meeting, call Minerva Guerrero at (562) 230-1484. Survivors of sex abuse or their relatives only, please.

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