OH--Columbus predator priest passes away, Victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 6, 2016
A credibly accused Ohio predator priest has passed away. Now, we beg Bishop Frederick Campbell to aggressively seek out anyone else who may have been hurt by him” by using church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements so that the wounded may be consoled and learn that they aren’t alone.
And Campbell should explain why he basically kept silent for more than three months, despite his repeated pledges to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex crimes. Had Campbell done what many bishops do, and told the public about this predator priest’s passing, he might have brought comfort to some of the cleric’s victims.
We are glad that Fr. Raymond Edward Lavelle can no longer hurt kids. We’re glad too that his victims can hopefully sleep better at night knowing that he can’t assault any more children.
We hope that all of Fr. Lavelle’s victims – whether hurt long ago or more recently - find the strength and courage to step forward, get help, expose wrongdoing and start healing. And we hope they find consolation.
Now that he’s passed on, we hope Campbell Columbus Catholic officials will be more forthcoming about Fr. Lavelle’s crimes and about those who ignored, concealed and enabled them.
According to church sources, Fr. Lavelle worked in these assignments: 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). He reportedly retired from active ministry in 2000.
He apparently lived at Mohun Health Care Center for several years.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions in Columbus to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.