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Assignment Record– Rev. Norman L. Heil

Summary of Case: Norman L. Heil was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1963. He had a very short career, assisting at St. Michael's in Sharonville and then St. John the Evangelist in Deer Park. By 1966 he had transferred to a Bismarck, North Dakota parish, while still a Cincinnati priest. He left the priesthood by 1967. At some point he moved to California. He died in 1988 at age 51.

In 2004 a woman sued the archdiocese, claiming Heil impregnated her in 1965 when she was 16 years-old. She said he would drive her home from youth group gatherings at St. John's in Deer Park, which is when he made sexual overtures. Further, he would hear her confessions and absolve her from her "sin" of pre-marital sex. When she became pregnant, Heil's accuser claimed the church sent her away and Heil and a nun pressured her into giving up the baby and to keeping its parentage secret. They were said to have told her that if she did not give up the baby, she would be cast out of the church and the baby would not be baptized.

The lawsuit was unsuccessful due to the statute of limitations.

Born: April 11, 1937
Ordained
: 1963
Died: July 31, 1988


     

Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1963

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Archbishop was Karl Joseph Alter (1950-1969).

1964 St. Michael's Sharonville OH 2/2

St. Michael's had a school with 254 boys and 246 girls.

 

1964

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

 

1965 St. John the Evangelist

Cincinnati (Deer Park)

In a 2004 civil lawsuit a woman claimed that, when she was a 16-year-old girl in 1965, Heil coerced her into a sexual relationship which resulted in her becoming pregnant. She said Heil's overtures started when he would give her rides home from youth group meetings at St. John's. Further, he would absolve her of her "sin" of pre-marital sex in confession.

OH 3/3

St. John's had a school with 318-238 girls.

Heil's accuser said the church sent her away after learning of the pregnancy. She also said Heil and a nun pressured her into giving up the child - a baby girl - and into keeping the child's parentage secret.

The woman said the nun told her she was at fault for the pregnancy and she should "suffer in silence." She also said the nun and Heil told her that if she did not give up the baby, the baby would not be baptized and she (the mother) would be cast out of the church.

1965

Diocese of Bismarck

Bishop was Hilary Baumann Hacker (1956-1982).

1966 Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Bismarck ND 4/4

The Cathedral had a school with 574 students.

Heil was still a priest of the Cincinnati archdiocese.

1966 1967 Retired       Heil is indexed in the 1967 index as "retired."

Per news reports, Heil left the priesthood in 1966. He is not indexed beyond the 1967 Directory.
1967 1988        

Heil died July 31, 1988. His last place of residence was Ventura CA.

The attorney for the woman who sued in 2004 said they had documents verifying her claims, including a love letter from Heil written on letterhead from a Bismarck ND parish.

A judge threw out the case, citing the statute of limitations. It was reopened on appeal in 2006, then rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2008. The court said the woman waited too long too file suit.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1964-1967).

Lawsuit Claims Priest Induced Teen into Illicit Affair, By Jay Warren, WCPO [Cincinnati OH], December 1, 2004
Suit Claims Local Priest Impregnated Teen in 1965, By Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer, December 2, 2004
Case against Church Reopened, By Dan Horn,, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 6, 2006
Woman Hopes Supreme Court Allows Her to Sue Catholic Church, By Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 5, 2007
Priest Abuse Lawsuit Rejected, By Dan Horn, The Enquirer, January 17, 2008
Norman Leo Heil Death Record, mooseroots.com, accessed November 30, 2016

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Heil's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on November 30, 2016.


 
 

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