Credible Allegation of Abuse Determined in Priest Inquiry
Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus
October 3, 2013
COLUMBUS – As part of a diocesan inquiry, a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been determined regarding retired priest Father Raymond E. Lavelle, 83.
This action and announcement are made in accordance with the Catholic Church’s Charter and Norms for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Diocese’s published Policies for Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Minors and Response to Allegations Thereof.
An accusation of sexual abuse of a minor, allegedly occurring during Father Lavelle’s tenure at St. Agnes Parish, Columbus, from 1971-1980, was reported to the Chancery Office on September 3, 2013. The allegation was then promptly reported to Franklin County Children Services.
On September 16, the Review Board met and concluded that the allegation was credible and warranted further investigation. A finding of credibility is not proof of guilt, but the Diocese of Columbus will execute the judicial and administrative options necessary to conclude its inquiry.
Information will be forthcoming regarding outreach efforts to be conducted in those places where Father Lavelle served in order to determine if other persons wish to come forward and seek help.
Father Lavelle has been a priest of the Diocese of Columbus since 1957. His assignments have included: Assistant Pastor, St. Agnes Church, (1957-1961); teacher, Holy Family High School, Columbus (1958-1961); Assistant Pastor, St. Dominic Church, Columbus (1961-1963); teacher, Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus (1961-1963); Assistant Pastor, St. Mary Church, Lancaster (1963-1968); priest in residence, St. Timothy Church, Columbus (1969-1969); priest in residence, St. Phillip the Apostle Church, Columbus (1969-1970); counselor, Bishop Hartley High School (1969-1970); Spiritual Director, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus (1969-1970); Pastor, St. Agnes Parish (1971-1980); Pastor, St. Matthias Church, Columbus, (1980-91); Associate Pastor, St. Brendan Church, Hilliard (1992); Pastor, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Mt. Vernon (1992-1996); Associate Pastor, St. Joan of Arc Church, Powell, (1996-2000); sacramental and pastoral administrator, St. Catharine Church, Columbus (2000). Retiring from active ministry in 2000, Father Lavelle has been in extended nursing care for the last year.
The Diocese of Columbus encourages anyone who may have experienced sexual abuse by clergy or others associated with the Church to contact the diocesan Victim’s Assistance Coordinator at 614-224-2251, 866-448-0217, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to notify civil authorities. Forms for reporting abuse are available in Catholic parish and school offices and can be accessed from the diocesan website (www.colsdioc.org).