Hereford Priest Accused of Abuse

Associated Press State & Local Wire
May 4, 2002

A priest in the Panhandle on Friday he has taken a leave of absence from his church following allegations of abuse by one of his former students.

Monsignor Orville Blum of St. Anthony's Church in Hereford, told Saturday's editions of the Amarillo Globe-News that the former student from Alamo Catholic High School said the abuse occurred in the 1970s.

The Amarillo Police Department and the 47th District attorney's office said no complaints have been made against Blum.

"Since the allegation is unclear, I have no way to defend myself at this time," Blum said in a letter to St. Anthony's parishioners. "We are seeking a clarification of the allegation in order to know better its actual content and to make a defense within the Church and in court."

Blum, 64, was a teacher and prinicpal at the school for 19 years. The school is now called Holy Cross Catholic Academy with grades six through 12.

John Yanta, bishop of the Diocese of Amarillo, would not comment specifically on the accusation.

"I regret that this is taking place," Yanta said. "I guess it's understandable in light of everything that's going at this time."

Blum has a 15-day period to respond to the allegation, Yanta said.

"We have to take each one on its merits," Yanta said.


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