June 2007: The Diocese of Phoenix was recently notified by the Franciscan Friars of Oakland, CA, that Louis Ladenburger, 70, was arrested May 30 in Bonner County, Idaho, and charged with molesting two teenage boys he counseled. He is charged with three felony counts of sexual battery with a minor while he was working at Elk Mountain Academy in Clark Fork, Idaho. The alleged crimes occurred in February, March and April of 2007 at Elk Mountain Academy where Ladenburger had worked since last September as a mental health therapist. The Academy became aware of the allegations on May 5, immediately terminated Ladenburger and notified law enforcement agencies.
Ladenburger is a former Franciscan priest who served in the Diocese of Phoenix for short periods in the mid-60s and early-90s. He worked as a teacher at St. Mary High School in Phoenix from May 1965 to April 1967; was in retreat ministry at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale from July 1990 to May 1992; and was in residence at St. Mary’s Basilica from the fall of 1992 to June 1993 while helping out at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Phoenix. Ladenburger left the priesthood in March 1996.
The Diocese of Phoenix urges anyone who knows of any sexual abuse by Ladenburger or has any information on the former Franciscan priest to contact the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at 602/506-3411 and the Franciscan Order’s Province Pastoral Outreach Coordinator Angelica Jochim at 1-800-770-8013.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and the Diocese of Phoenix also encourages anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct or abuse by a member of the clergy or any worker of the Church to make a report to law enforcement and to contact Jean Sokol at the Office of Child and Youth Protection at (602) 354-2396.