Catholic Diocese of Columbus releases names of clergy accused of sexually abusing a minor

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A Roman Catholic diocese based in Ohio's capital city has made public the names of 34 priests it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The Diocese of Columbus said it reviewed the files of nearly 2,000 clergy who served in the diocese since its formation in 1868.

The list includes allegations investigated while priests were still living, after they had died, and whether the abuse happened inside or outside the diocese.

Click here for the list of names

The diocese also included the name of a 35th priest whose alleged abuse is outlined in lawsuits but has yet to be confirmed by religious authorities.

The Cleveland, Steubenville and Youngstown dioceses have released names of credibly accused priests.

Letter from Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I am releasing today a list of the names of clergy who have served in the Diocese of Columbus, and who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. I share with the faithful of our diocese sorrow, sadness, and anger over such behavior.I apologize to all victims for the abuse suffered, and hope that these disclosures will help bring healing to all victims and their families. The Diocese of Columbus is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all children and youth, and I am hopeful that the release of this information will help restore the confidence of all faithful in the Church and in its clergy. I urge anyone with claims of abuse by clergy or Church personnel to contact law enforcement immediately and also our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator at 614-224-2251, 866-448-0217, or helpisavailable@columbuscatholic.org.

In compiling this list, Diocesan staff reviewed the files of nearly 2,000 clergy who served in the Diocese of Columbus since its beginning in 1868. The list is organized into five sections:

  • The first section contains the names of clergy incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus (officially a member of the Diocese’s clergy) against whom a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made and investigated while the cleric was living.
  • The second section contains the names of clergy incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus against whom a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made after the cleric’s death. This distinction recognizes that an allegation received after a cleric is deceased does not provide the opportunity for the accused cleric to be questioned.
  • The third section contains the name of one priest incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus who was credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while on assignment outside the Diocese.
  • The fourth and fifth sections contain the names of extern (incardinated outside the Diocese of Columbus) or religious (members of different religious orders) clergy who served in the Diocese of Columbus and who were credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, separated based upon where the alleged abuse occurred.

The most recent credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a clergy member incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus involved alleged conduct that occurred in 1992.

The Diocese of Columbus is committed to full compliance with civil law and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests, Deacons, or Other Church Personnel, as established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. The Charter and Essential Norms contain a comprehensive set of policies and procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, ensuring the safety of our children and youth, and creating an environment of transparency, accountability, reconciliation and healing. Furthermore, the Diocese of Columbus is committed to providing law enforcement officials its full cooperation with all matters of criminal behavior by anyone acting on behalf of the Church. The Diocese continues the practice of reporting information, credible or otherwise, about abuse of minors it receives to legal authorities, a practice adopted in 2002 prior to the creation of the Charter and Norms. Also, since the initiation of the Charter and Norms, as called for by those documents, the Diocese has trained more than 62,000 through the Protecting God’s Children program, and more than 93,000 criminal background checks have been done on people working with minors.

I want to thank everyone at all levels who dedicate themselves to assuring the safety of our children and young people. As we move forward together into the future, let us all be strengthened by our loving Lord in the continuing work of assuring safe environments for all children and young people.

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