Fr. Russell Banner – Diocese of Phoenix

| Jan 14, 2020 | Catholic Church, Sex

Father Russell Banner 

Diocese of Phoenix

Ordained: 1967

Placed on Leave: 2002

Laicized: 2015

Assigned as Follows:

  • Prior to ordination Children’s Village of St. Vincent de Paul (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1967-1970 St. Joan of Arc (Chagrin Falls, OH)
  • 1970-1974 Children’s Village of St. Vincent de Paul (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1974-1975 St. Martha’s (Akron, OH)
  • 1975-1979 Holy Family Parish (Stow, OH)
  • 1979-1982 Epiphany Church (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1979-1982 St. Catherine’s (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1982-1983 St. Patrick’s (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1983-1984 Absent on Leave
  • 1984-1986 St. Clare’s (Lyndhurst, OH)
  • 1986-1987 St. Daniel the Prophet (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • 1987-1989 Ascension Church (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1989-2002 Annunciation (Cleveland, OH)
  • 2002-2009 Administrative Leave 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Russell J. Banner: 

In 2002, Father Russell Banner was placed on administrative leave while an investigation was conducted from accusations of abuse occurring prior to his ordination. He had also previously received evaluation and treatment and then returned to active ministry.

In 2004, new allegations were made by a man who claimed that Father Banner had sexually abused him as a boy at Children’s Village in Cleveland, Ohio. The man said he later served as an altar boy for Banner’s ordination. Russell Banner was finally suspended due to the allegations of sexual abuse.

His laicization was announced by the Diocese of Cleveland in March of 2015. He was last known to be residing in Florida with his sister.

A simple review of Banner’s assignment history suggests that there were red flags of sexual abuse occurring before the Cleveland priest was first assigned in the Diocese of Phoenix, including a leave of absence.  Such a notation in one’s assignment history is consistent with a suspension and removal pending an inpatient evaluation of a priest accused of sexual abuse.  Of course, we cannot be certain absent a full review of Banner’s personnel file, but it would certainly be the subject of inquiry during litigation against the Diocese of Phoenix.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at 888-283-9922 or email us at [email protected] today.