Columbus Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse One Day After Retirement

Sep 13, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus says it placed a priest on administrative leave after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. A diocese press release says the leave for Father Kevin Lutz, 69, is effective September 11, three days after he retired.

According to the diocese, the accusation was reported to the Chancery office one day after his retirement from St. Mary Parish in Columbus.

The accusation reportedly dates back to Lutz’s tenure at St. Christopher Parish between 1982-1986.

“A meeting of the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children will be convened in the near future to assess the results of the preliminary investigation and advise the Bishop as to whether or not it appears to be credible,” the release says.  “If an allegation is determined to be credible, the Diocese of Columbus will execute the necessary judicial and administrative processes. A determination of credibility is never to be considered proof of guilt.”

Lutz is retired, but the leave designation still carries weight in that it bans him from wearing clerical attire or otherwise identifying himself as a priest.

"Plans are underway to set up outreach in the Diocese, and once that effort is set up, more information will be provided to parishioners in the Diocese," the press release states.

Lutz has served as a priest in the Columbus Diocese since 1978. In addition to his most recent placement at St. Mary Parish, Lutz was the founder of Franklinton's Jubilee Museum, which the Vatican says is the country's largest diversified collection of Catholic art.

Columbus Diocese currently lists 48 priests "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor. The original list was published in March.