Former O.C. priest removed from ministry
Man accused of abuse a decade ago is ousted from church after another allegation.

May 27, 2002

The Associated Press


SANTA BARBARA -- A Roman Catholic priest who was accused in a sex scandal a decade ago has been removed from the ministry in Oregon amid another claim of abuse, it was reported Sunday.

The Rev. Gus Krumm, a 48-year-old Franciscan priest who formerly worked at parishes in Orange County, was removed Tuesday from his post as pastor of Ascension Catholic Church in Portland, the Santa Barbara News-Press reported.

Krumm had trained at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara in the 1980s. He declined to comment Sunday.

In 1995, the Franciscan Order paid an out-of-court settlement to a former student at the seminary who alleged that Krumm repeatedly molested him in the early 1980s, the newspaper said.

However, the Franciscans said those allegations were never substantiated, and Krumm was cleared to continue working in the order.

"Now I have a substantiated claim and I am acting on it." said the Rev. Finnian McGinn of the Franciscan Order. "The province wants to assure parishioners that no other incidents of sexual misconduct have been reported, and no other complaints have been received."

An allegation came in recent weeks from another former student at St. Anthony's who is considering legal action, according to Santa Barbara attorney David Nye.

Krumm's case has been turned over to the Independent Response Team of the Franciscan Province.

In 1993, a board of inquiry concluded that at least 34 boys were sexually abused there from 1963 to 1987. Two priests were convicted in the case.

The board identified 11 friars who were involved in sexual abuse of minors during those 23 years, about one-quarter of the friars on staff during that period, according to the board's November 1993 report.

About 20 former students filed lawsuits against the friars. Many of the cases were settled with pledges of confidentiality and cash payments of $90,000 to $1.7 million.

Four of the accused friars live in Franciscan communities and are restricted to internal work for the religious order or for the archdiocese.

Another friar has died, one has retired, and another is on leave, according to members of the order.

Several of Krumm's parishioners in Oregon said they were shaken by his removal.

"I am shocked, because to me he seems like such a man of compassion for humanity," said parishioner Fran Shultz.

Krumm left St. Anthony's Seminary in 1987, when the school closed for financial reasons. He then worked as an associate pastor at churches in Orange County from 1988 to 1998.

From there, he became pastor at Ascension Church.