Fr. John T. Wielebski – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Fr. John T. Wielebski

Archdiocese of Baltimore/Trinitarians

Ordained: 1978

Incardinated: 1988

Removed: 2009

Assignment History:

  • 1974-1978: Sacred Heart (Glyndon, MD)
  • 1978-1981: US Penitentiary (Marion, III)
  • 1981-1983: Holy Trinity Monastery (Pikesville, MD)
  • 1983-1984: Redeemer House Shelter (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1984-1985: St. Bernard’s Church (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1985-1988: St. Dominic’s Church (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1988-1991: Monsignor Clare J. O’Dwyer Retreat House (Sparks, MD)
  • 1991-1996: St. Patrick’s Church (Cumberland, MD)
  • 1996-1999: Sacred Heart (Glyndon, MD)
  • 1999-2009: Resurrection of Our Lord Church (Laurel, MD)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father John T. Wielebski

Fr. John T. Wielebski was ordained a Trinitarian priest and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2012, Fr. Wielebski was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Fr. Wielebski.

According to the AG’s report, in 2009, a man reported to a counselor that they had been sexually abused by Fr. Wielebski after seeing him for counseling related to prior sexual abuse. According to the allegations, Wielebski took the victim on out-of-state trips while the victim was 16 years old and sexually abused him. During the late 1980s, when the victim was 17 years old, Wielebski was transferred to the Msgr. Clare J. O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. Wielebski arranged for the victim to work and stay at the house on weekends, where the sexual abuse continued. The victim eventually moved out because he felt the relationship was getting too intense. When the victim was around age 20, Wielebski helped to get him out of jail and set him up with housing and a job at St. Patrick’s where Wielebski was ministering at the time. The man also alleged that the sexual abuse continued into his adulthood.

During the investigating the initial allegations, another man reported having been sexually abused by Wielebski in 2009. He had been referred to Wielebski for counseling when he was 15 years old, and during weekly counseling sessions, Wielebski began to sexually abuse him. At the age of 15 or 16, Wielebski took him and another boy on a trip with to Wisconsin, where they engaged in use of marijuana and prescription medications. While travelling, Wielebski purchased a pornographic film to watch with the boys in bed. Following the victim’s later arrest, he was released into the custody of Wielebski, where Wielebski continued to abuse him.

According to the Attorney General’s report, the other boy on the trip to Wisconsin began seeing Wielesbki for counseling at the age of 18, when Wielebski sexually abused him during those sessions. Wielebski would also use “hugging” as part of their “therapy” which would last from 10-20 minutes and sometimes both would be naked. The individual stated that the last time he saw Wielebski was at his apartment in Towson where Wielebski was naked in a hot tub. Wielebski hugged him while he was naked. Wielebski also told him that if he ever told anyone about their “therapy,” that it would just be “your word against mine.” 

A fourth boy, who was a close relative of the second victim, was also abused by Wielebski after being referred for counseling at the age of 17 or 18. The victim suffered from depression as a result of the murder of his brother. The allegations state that Wielebski sexually abused the boy over the course of about 5 years.

An unsigned and undated handwritten note was also found in Wielebski’s personnel file which included references to several more allegations against Wielebski that were received prior to 2009. According to the report, in 2009, Wielebski was confronted by the Archdiocese of Baltimore with the allegations against him, and he agreed to retire from priesthood and surrender his faculties in order to protect his pay and benefits. The diocese also agreed to subsidize the moving costs for Wielebski to move to Nevada.

On September 15, 2009, the archdiocese issued a Decree prohibiting Wielebski from ministry, from living at the Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, and from any contact with minors. In December 2009, the archdiocese confronted Wielebski about three reports of abuse. He admitted knowing all three, taking trips with all three and corroborated other details of their stories, but denied any sexual abuse. At the conclusion of the meeting, he was removed from ministry and his faculties were revoked.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.