November 14, 2018
The Diocese of Phoenix learned on November 8, 2018 that the Diocese of Youngstown in Ohio placed Fr. Frank Zappitelli, a retired priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, on a list of “Clergy of the Diocese of Youngstown whom credible, substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been made.” Upon learning this Bishop Olmsted immediately removed Fr. Zappitelli from public ministry.
Fr. Zappitelli, 84, was ordained a priest on May 26, 1962, for the Diocese of Youngstown. He moved to Arizona and was incardinated into the Diocese of Phoenix on April 15, 1983. He was assigned in the following parishes in the Diocese: St. Maria Goretti, St. Louis the King, Resurrection, Christ the King, St. Jerome, and St. Daniel the Prophet. Since his retirement in 2001 he assisted at Ascension Parish in Fountain Hills as a retired priest.
The allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor occurred in the mid-1970s in the Diocese of Youngstown. The Diocese of Phoenix is in communication with the Diocese of Youngstown regarding this allegation. The recent posting indicating there was a credible and substantiated allegation by the Diocese of Youngstown resulted in his removal from ministry. The Diocese of Phoenix has also contacted the authorities regarding the allegations.
The Diocese of Phoenix takes accusations of sexual misconduct seriously and urges anyone who may know of such misconduct, or who may have any relevant information regarding Fr. Zappitelli, to contact local law enforcement and the Diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at (602) 354-2396.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and the Diocese of Phoenix encourage anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct or abuse by a member of the clergy or by any employee or volunteer of the Church to make a report to local law enforcement and to contact the Diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection.