Activists Demand Columbus Diocese Expand List Of Clergy Accused Of Abuse

By Adora Namigadde
WOSU Radio
August 27, 2019

Carol Zamonski is the Central Ohio coordinator for SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or Clergy.
Photo by Adora Namigadde

Advocates from SNAP gathered in front of St. Joseph Cathedral to demand the Catholic Diocese of Columbus add the names of three more ministers to its official list of clerics “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.

The Columbus Diocese in March published a list of 36 clergy, both alive and deceased, alleged to have sexually abused minors.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or Clergy says that Bishop Robert Brennan should add to the list Sister Lisa Zuccarelli, Father Stuart Campbell and Father Carleton Parker Jones – all of whom worked at one time in Central Ohio, but were accused of sexual abuse outside of Columbus.

SNAP’s Central Ohio coordinator Carol Zamonski says it is unknown whether these people abused anyone locally.

“But what we do know is if the pattern fits them, we should be letting people know here in Columbus that this person was assigned here, in case there's anyone here in Columbus who was abused by them or knows of them abusing,” Zamonski says.

Zuccarelli worked at Fisher Catholic High School in Lancaster in the 1980s. After an accusation of molesting a female student, she was reportedly suspended and restricted from unsupervised contact with formers students and minors. The accuser filed a report with Lancaster Police this July, but the claims fell beyond the statute of limitations, and she declined to pursue charges.

Campbell worked at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Zanesville in the late 1930s-40s, and was named in a 2003 lawsuit accusing him of abuse while he was in Fresno, Calif.

Jones was stationed at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Columbus in the 1990s. Jones was recently sued for allegedly abusing an 8-year-old boy in New York City about three decades go.

"We're asking that anytime anyone who lived and worked in the Columbus Diocese in a Catholic institution and was found later to be sexually abusive in any post that they held, we ask that the diocese list that on their website and publicly publish it in obvious places,” Zamonski says.

SNAP also called on Brennan to stop using a priest to field calls from accusers and include more details about credibly accused clergy on the church website.

Zamonski says whistleblowers and survivors should report potential abuse to law enforcement before church authorities.

"If you know anything about a perpetrator in the Roman Catholic Church or in any other church here in Columbus, please report first to the Columbus Police department, or the local police department where this crime occurred, and then pick up the phone and talk to the Catholic Church or any church,” he says.

The Columbus Diocese covers the counties of Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Licking, Madion, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Union and Vinton.

Below is the full list of accused clergy, including the year members were ordained and their current status.

I.  Clergy incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus against whom a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor within the Diocese was made and investigated while the clergy was living.

  • Fr. Ronald Atwood, 1969, Deceased
  • Fr. Thomas Brosmer, 1969, Removed from ministry
  • Fr. R. Michael Ellifritz, 1967, Laicized
  • Fr. Roger Emmert, 1962, Deceased
  • Msgr. Joseph Fete, 1974, Laicized
  • Fr. Michael Hanrahan, 1971, Laicized, deceased
  • Dcn. James Hutson, 1982, Deceased
  • Fr. Philip Jacobs, 1974, Laicized
  • Fr. Raymond Lavelle, 1957, Deceased
  • Fr. Frederick Loyd, 1970, Laicized
  • Fr. Robert Luchi, 1957, Left ministry
  • Fr. Bernard McClory, 1953, Deceased
  • Fr. Thomas McLaughlin, 1956, Laicized, deceased
  • Fr. Samuel Ritchey, 1973, Laicized, deceased
  • Fr. Francis Schaefer, 1955, Deceased
  • Fr. George Tumeo, 1965, Laicized
  • Fr. Martin Weithman, 1980, Laicized

II.  Clergy incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus against whom a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor within the Diocese was made after the clergy’s death.

  • Msgr. Harry Estadt, 1932, Deceased
  • Fr. John Geiger, 1957,  Deceased
  • Fr. Louis Hoffman, 1943, Deceased
  • Fr. John J. Ryan, 1959, Deceased
  • Fr. Robert Schmidt, 1943, Deceased
  • Fr. Ted Spires, 1961, Laicized, deceased
  • Fr. Alan Sprenger, 1960, Deceased
  • Fr. John Tague, 1951, Deceased  

III.  Clergy incardinated in the Diocese of Columbus against whom a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor at a location outside the Diocese was made and investigated while the cleric was living.

  • Fr. Carl Drake, 1964, Removed from ministry

IV.  Extern or religious clergy (clergy from other dioceses or religious orders) who served in the Diocese of Columbus who were credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors (alleged conduct occurred in the Diocese of Columbus). 

  • Fr. Hector Bellinato, PIME, 1935, No longer in Diocese
  • Fr. David Heimann, 1958 ,Deceased
  • Dcn. Gabriel Hernandez, 2008, Dismissed from the Josephinum, laicized
  • Fr. Robert Hunt, C.PP.S., 1954, Deceased
  • Fr. Timothy Keane, SS.CC., 1950, No longer in ministry  

V.  Extern or religious clergy who served in the Diocese of Columbus that were credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors elsewhere (alleged conduct occurred outside the Diocese of Columbus). 

  • Fr. Pierre Albalaa, MSM, 1995, Removed from ministry
  • Fr. Frank Benham, 1963, Left ministry
  • Msgr. Robert A. Brown, 1939, Deceased
  • Fr. Aaron J. Cote, OP, 1986, Deceased
  • Fr. Kenneth France-Kelly, OP, 1981, Deceased



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