Father Walter Buetzler
Diocese of Pueblo
Assigned as follows:
- 1943-1947: Unknown
- 1948-1952: St. Patrick’s (Crested Butte, CO)
- 1953: Our Lady of Guadalupe (La Junta, CO)
- 1954: St. Joseph’s (Monte Vista, CO)
- 1955-1958: On Duty Outside the Diocese; St. Joseph’s Cathedral (San Diego, CA)
- 1956-1968: On Duty Outside the Diocese; San Diego College for Men (San Diego, CA)
- 1969-1987: Retired
- 1955-1956: On Duty Outside the Diocese; University of San Diego (Alcala Park, CA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Walter Buetzler:
Fr. Walter Buetzler was ordained a priest in 1942, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Pueblo. According to media reports, in October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of child sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses. For the first time, Fr. Walter Buetzler was publicly identified as a priest with a documented report of sexual abuse.
According to the documents reviewed by the investigators, Buetzler abused a fifth-grade boy at St. Joseph in Monte Vista. He both touched the boy and engaged him in sexually explicit discussions during confession.
The alleged incident occurred in 1953. The boy immediately told his parents, who met with the parish council and Bishop to report the incident. It is not clear if any action was taken following that report, but Buetzler did leave the Diocese of Pueblo in 1954.
According to media reports in Southern California, Buetzler relocated there and secured a new job: professor of classical languages at the San Diego College for Men, then part of the University of San Diego. The German native taught on the USD campus until at least 1961. He is believed to have served as a priest in the Diocese of San Diego until 1963. According to the San Diego Diocese, Buetzler returned to Germany in 1968.
Buetzler died in 1988.
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