Columbus Diocese Investigates Allegations Against Parish Priest

Columbus priest Fr. Ronald Atwood is placed on administrative leave while diocese investigates allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Atwood served most recently as pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Buttles Ave.(Photo: Courtesy of St. Francis of Assisi Church)
Columbus priest Fr. Ronald Atwood is placed on administrative leave while diocese investigates allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Atwood served most recently as pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Buttles Ave.(Photo: Courtesy of St. Francis of Assisi Church)

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus has placed a parish priest on administrative leave while it investigates allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

Bishop Frederick Campbell says a church panel will investigate whether 69-year-old Father Ronald Atwood sexually abused a minor between the years 1976 and 1979 while he employed as a teacher at Bishop Ready High School. The allegation was reported to the diocese on Monday and Father Atwood was placed on administrative leave the next day. The church also reported the allegation to Franklin County Children Services.

Since 1969, Atwood has served 7 Columbus-area parishes and taught at Bishop Ready. The diocese encourages anyone who may have experienced sexual abused by clergy to contact its victim assistance coordinator.

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