Fr. John Knotek : Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Fr. John Knotek


  • 1938 – 1941: St. John Parish, Jefferson
  • 1941 – 1941: St. Joseph Parish, Cudahy
  • 1941 – 1941: St. Joseph Hospital, West Bend
  • 1941 – 1950: St. John Cathedral,  Milwaukee
  • 1950 – 1950: St. Mary Parish, Greenfield / Hales Corners
  • 1950 – 1954: St. John de Nepomuc Parish, Milwaukee
  • 1954 – 1968: St. John Parish, Woodhull
  • 1968 – 1972: St. James Parish, Menomonee Falls
  • 1972 – 1988: St. Joseph Nursing Home Chaplain, Kenosha

Knotek was ordained in 1938, and retired from active ministry in June, 1988, at the age of 75, as required by canon law.

In February,1994, Bishop Sklba received a letter from a victim regarding memories of abuse by Knotek in or around 1970, while a third grader at St. James School. The following month, when Bishop Sklba met with Knotek to confront him with these allegations, Knotek denied any improper contact with children.

Shortly after this meeting, Bishop Sklba wrote to Knotek stating that it would be best for all parties concerned if Knotek refrained from any unsupervised contact with minors pending final conclusion of the investigation. Thereafter, it was not until late June, 2002, that a victim reported to the archdiocese sexual abuse by Knotek in the early 1950s at St. John the Baptist Church, Woodhull.

Early the following month, a representative of the archdiocese wrote and advised the victim that they were not the first to report this kind of abuse from Knotek, and that his name had been maintained on record by the archdiocese as a perpetrator. Later that year, in December, apparently the same victim, who had reported abuse to Bishop Sklba in 1994, wrote to Archbishop Dolan, regarding an incident involving Knotek at St. James School during the late 1960s. The victim noted that Bishop Sklba had informed the victim that Knotek was being kept away from children. A representative of the archdiocese responded to a follow up letter from this victim a week later indicating that, as of that time, the archdiocese had not received any other abuse complaints about Knotek, clearly having overlooked the June, 2002, report.  In an exchange of correspondence with the victim in July, 2002, another archdiocesan representative acknowledged that the 2002 report had been overlooked in error.

In February, 2003, Archbishop Dolan contacted Knotek about the archdiocese having undertaken a review of priest files, noting that there have been problems in Knotek’s past of which he is well aware, and confirming restrictions on ministry in precept, including having no unsupervised contact with minors.

Knotek lived a life of prayer and penance until he died on January 6, 2006.

Pastoral Assignment Gathered From The Archdiocese of Milwaukee