2 Priests, Deacon Put on Misconduct List

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
July 10, 2004

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson has added two priests and one deacon to a public list of clergy with "credible" accusations of sexually abusing minors against them.

The addition of the Rev. Thomas Warren , the Rev. Anthony Jablonowski and Deacon Ron DeChant brings the list to a total of 28 priests, two deacons and one nun.

The diocese created the list in 2002 after reaching a multimillion- dollar settlement with 10 men who said they were abused by four members of the local clergy during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

The diocese's Sexual Misconduct Review Board, also created after the 2002 settlement, recommended that the diocese inform parishioners where Warren, Jablonowski and DeChant served.

Warren was a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who died in 2001. He was identified this year by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as having had allegations of sexual misconduct with minors made against him.

In the local diocese, he worked at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Solomon between 1984 and 1989 and at Sacred Heart Parish in Parker between 1989 and 1991.

Jablonowski is a priest from the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, who was identified by the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo., this year as having had allegations of sexual misconduct with minors against him.

He is currently in prison in Wyoming. In the local diocese, he worked at St. Theresa Parish in Patagonia between 1994 and 1997.

DeChant was assigned to St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson between 1981 and 1984. He died in 1984.

The diocese learned from local law enforcement that DeChant had been arrested in 1984 after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.

"You are well aware of the dilemma the diocese faces in trying to heal the pain of victims while continuing the mission of the church," Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas wrote in a June 24 letter to parishioners at churches where the men served.

"This dilemma has led me to consider the possibility of Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) as a way to provide a fair response to all victims. & Obviously we are becoming aware of additional allegations against persons who have served in the diocese. This only reinforces the need to find an orderly way for the diocese to respond justly and equitably to those who have been hurt."


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