Columbus diocese adds names to list of priests accused of abusing minors

September 9, 2019

[with video]

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus has confirmed a credible allegation of abuse of a minor against a priest.

The diocese says the accusation was made against Father John Gamba, who died in 2009. Gamba served in parishes across central Ohio, including Columbus, Zanesville and Lancaster, starting in the 1950s.

Most notably, he was chaplain at Ohio State University Hospital from 1961-1969.

The diocese cannot confirm the parish where the accusation was made.

Gamba served at the following parishes:

  • St. Ladislas, Columbus (1949-50)
  • St. Nicholas, Zanesville (1950-51)
  • St. Mary, Lancaster (1951-54)
  • St. Peter, Columbus (1954-58)
  • Sacred Heart, New Philadelphia (1958-60)
  • Christ the King, Columbus (1960-61)
  • Chaplain at Ohio State University Hospital (1961-69) with residence at St. Margaret of Cortona (1961-62)
  • Our Lady of Victory (1962-69)
  • Pastor of St. Genevieve, Calmoutier and chaplain of Apple Creek State Institute from 1970 until his retirement in 1985

The diocese also moved the name of Msgr. Robert Brown to the list of priests who were credibly accused within the diocese after their death. He was previously on a list of priests who were accused of acts outside the diocese, but served in the diocese at one point.

Seven priests were added to the list of clergy who served in the Diocese of Columbus who were accused of abuse elsewhere.

  • Father Stuart Campbell, OP
  • Father Joseph Herlihy, OP
  • Father James Kilkenny, OP
  • Father Thomas McCarthy, OP
  • Father Joseph McGuiness, OP
  • Father Robert Pelkington, OP
  • Father John Powers, OP


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