James Jablonowski

Fully Restricted from Priestly Ministry

Assignments/Locations Year Start Year End
James Jablonowski  St. Patrick Parish (Milwaukee) 1968 1968
 St. Mary Czestochowa Parish (Milwaukee) 1968 1982
 Holy Assumption Parish (West Allis) 1982 1986
 St. Hedwig Parish (Milwaukee) 1986 1998
 Blessed Sacrament Parish (Milwaukee) 1998 2002

 

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James Jablonowski

On May 16 and May 21, 2002, two individuals reported that they had been sexually abused by Jablonowski in the 1970s. On May 23, 2002, these reports were submitted for review to the Milwaukee County District Attorney. The DA’s office determined that the reported abuse was beyond the Statute of Limitations and informed the archdiocese of such on May 31, 2002.

Jablonowski was advised of the need to meet with the vicar for clergy and did so on June 13, 2002. Jablonowski was told that he was to voluntarily step aside from parish ministry while the accusations were investigated by an independent adjudicator.

On June 14, 2002, Jablonowski retained legal counsel who advised the archdiocese that all contact was to be handled through him. The independent investigator conducted his inquiries with the two individuals who made the original reports. Jablonowski declined to respond to the reports. The investigator submitted a report of findings on August 21, 2002. Jablonowski was informed through his attorney that the reports were deemed substantiated and that further canonical action would be taken.

An announcement was made to the parish at the weekend Masses on August 24 and 25, 2002. Jablonowski was asked to resign as pastor, but he refused.

An additional report of sexual abuse of a minor by Jablonowski was made to the archdiocese on September 19, 2002. This report was also sent to the DA but, again, found to be beyond the Statute of Limitations.

In September, 2002, a parent contacted the archdiocese with concerns about how much time his son was spending with Jablonowski. The son said nothing improper had happened. Also in September, 2002, a caller said Jablonowski was still seen with a teenager.

In October, 2002, previous restrictions on ministry were formalized into a precept. Jablonowski was reported as being in violation of the provisions of the precept on various occasions in April, 2003.

On January 16, 2003, the formal canonical process for the removal of pastor was initiated with the sending of a formal written request for resignation. The second required request for resignation was sent on February 6, 2003. The canonical process was concluded and a decree removing Jablonowski as pastor was issued on March 28, 2003.

In April, 2003, Jablonowski took recourse against the decree with the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In March and April, 2003, each of the three individuals who had made reports engaged in the newly introduced pastoral mediation process and entered into settlement agreements.

In July, 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requested information on the removal of pastor process. In July, 2003, the archdiocese sent the requested information along with the formal petition for CDF’s intervention in providing for Jablonowski’s ex officio dismissal from the clerical state or another penal procedure to address the sexual abuse of minors of which he was accused. CDF requested that the Promoter of Justice submit a brief in the case.

In August, 2005, CDF reached a conclusion to reject Jablonowski’s request for recourse against his removal as pastor. They also authorized the use of an administrative penal process to address the issues of sexual abuse of minors.

In September, 2005, Jablonowski was informed that the process would be undertaken and was given one more opportunity to seek voluntary laicization.

In October, 2005, the administrative penal process was initiated. It concluded in January, 2006, and CDF was asked to issue a decree of dismissal from the clerical state for Jablonowski. The decree was issued June 30, 2006.


This narrative is based on facts contained in documents related to this Diocesan priest offender.

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