|Laurel Priest Suspended over Sex Charges
By Matthew Hay Brown
January 11, 2010
Accusations date to 1980s; clergyman denies them
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has removed a Laurel priest from the ministry while it investigates allegations against him of sexual misconduct during the 1980s, the archdiocese said on Sunday. The Rev. John Wielebski, 62, pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Church, has denied all of the allegations, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese revoked his authority to function as a priest in December. The misconduct is alleged to have occurred while Wielebski was at St. Dominic Church in Baltimore, where he was assigned from 1985 to 1988, and Monsignor Clare J. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, where he was assigned from 1988 to 1991. The archdiocese was investigating an allegation Wielebski had sexually abused a minor when it learned of additional allegations of sexual misconduct involving two young men, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese said it had been cooperating with civil authorities. As part of that cooperation, the archdiocese said, it had delayed disclosing the allegations until Sunday, when representatives of the archdiocese met with parishioners and staff at Resurrection of Our Lord Church to inform them of the allegations and to answer questions. Ordained a priest of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity in 1978, Wielebski joined the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1988. He had been assigned to Resurrection of Our Lord since 1999. In addition to Resurrection of Our Lord, St. Dominic and the O'Dwyer retreat house, he worked at St. Patrick in Cumberland from 1991 to 1996 and at Sacred Heart in Glyndon from 1996 to 1999. Before joining the archdiocese, Wielebski was assigned to Holy Trinity Monastery in Pikesville from 1981 to 1983, Redeemer House Shelter in Baltimore from 1983 to 1984, and St. Bernard in Baltimore from 1984 to 1985. He was an intern at Sacred Heart in Glyndon from 1974 to 1978. The archdiocese said it was working with the parish and staff at Resurrection of Our Lord to provide pastoral care, and counseling assistance had been offered to all those affected. The archdiocese urged anyone with knowledge of child sexual abuse to report it immediately to civil authorities. If clergy or other church personnel are suspected, the archdiocese asked that they also call the archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at 1-866-417-7469. The archdiocese asked anyone with information relevant to Wielebski to call the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 410-547-5599.
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