Assignment Record– Rev. Ronald J. Atwood
Summary of Case: Ronald J. Atwood was ordained for the Columbus OH diocese in 1969. He assisted at and was pastor of a number of parishes and, for five years in the 1970s, he was in residence at Bishop Ready High School. In 1999 Atwood was arrested along with 42 other men at a park in a sting operation, after police received complaints of sexual activity by
there. Atwood pleaded no contest to public urination and was fined $150. He was kept in ministry. In July 2013 the diocese received a report that Atwood had sexually abused a minor btween 1976 and 1979. The abuse allegedly occurred during his time at Bishop Ready and continued during his subsequent two parish assignments. Atwood was placed on Administrative Leave; the Diocesan Review Board determined the allegation to be credible. In 2016 the diocese settled with a former Ready student who alledged sexual abuse by Atwood from 1975-80 at the school and on road trips to a number of states. The diocese was in the process of appealing to the Vatican for Atwood's laicization when he died in April 2016.
Died: April 14, 2016
Columbus bishop was John Joseph Carberry (1965-1968), followed by Clarence Edward Elwell (1968-1973).
|1973||St. Aloysius||Columbus||OH||2/2, 1/2, 2/2||St. Aloysius had a parish with 259-210 students.|
Edward John Herrmann succeeded Elwell (1968-1973), followed by James Anthony Griffin (1983-2004).
|1977||Bishop Ready High School||
• In July 2013 an allegation was reported to the diocese that Atwood sexually abusing a minor 1976-1979. The diocese settled in 2016 with a former Ready student who claimed Atwood sexually abused him from the age of 16, 1975-80. He said the abuse occurred at the school, and during road trips to places including IL, MI, KS and MO. It is unclear if this is is the same man who in 2013 reported abuse.
|OH||In residence 1972-73.||Bishop Ready had 771-569 students.|
|1977||1978||St. Stephen's||Columbus||OH||2/2||St. Stephen's had a school with 281 students.|
|1982||1991||Church of the Ascension||Johnstown||OH||1/1|
|1991||2003||St. Thomas the Apostle||
• Atwood was arrested and charged with exposing himself at a public park in 1999. The arrest was the result of a sting operation by police after complaints of persistent sexual activity by men in the park. Forty-three men were arrested. Atwood pleaded no contest to public urination. He was fined $150.
|OH||1/2, 1/1||St. Thomas' had a school with 250-112 students.|
|2003||2004||St. Joseph Cathedral||Columbus||OH||3/4|
Frederick Francis Campbell replaced Griffin as Columbus bishop (2004-).
|2013||St. Francis of Assisi||Columbus||OH||1/1, 1/2||
Atwood is not indexed in the 2014 Directory.
Atwood was placed on Administrative Leave in July 2013 after an allegation emerged that he had sexually abused a minor during 1976-1979. The Diocesan Review Board determined the allegation to be credible. The diocese stated that efforts were underway to have Atwood defrocked by the Vatican.
|2013||2016||Administrative Leave||Atwood died April 14, 2016.|
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons 1970-2014)
in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's
place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest
listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor)
and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4
means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample
page from the Directory.