Second Lawsuit Accuses Ex-Priest of Molestation

The News-Sentinel
April 11, 1992

A second man has come forward saying he was molested by a Fort Wayne priest in the mid-1980s.

A lawsuit filed yesterday in Allen Superior Court alleges James Blume molested a boy over a period of more than two years, while Blume was a priest for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The lawsuit asks for unspecified monetary damages from Blume and the diocese on behalf of the man and his wife.

A lawsuit filed last fall in U.S. District Court accused Blume and the diocese of clergy malpractice, citing similar accounts of alleged child molestations by Blume against another boy.

According to yesterday's lawsuit, the boy was a 14-year-old student at St. Patrick's School when Blume came to the school to speak in late 1984 or early 1985. Blume struck up a friendship with the boy, using a common interest in sports and the boy's "vulnerability and desire for male companionship due to his (the boy's) father's absence from the home," the lawsuit states.

From 1985 until sometime in 1987, Blume "made improper advances" toward the boy, and "induced or coerced (the boy) to engage in non-consensual sex acts and sexually abused" him, the lawsuit states.

Blume was assistant pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at the time, and used his position to get the boy work as an altar boy and serving in weddings. Those jobs were used "as a means of bribing" the boy into sex acts, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit also alleges Blume told the boy to drink wine remaining in the church's chalice following ceremonies to "seduce" him.

The complainant married in 1988, but has had trouble in his marriage and distrusts people's motives, the lawsuit said. When the complainant read newspaper stories about the first lawsuit, the repressed memories of the sexual encounters returned, the lawsuit claims. The complainant has been in counseling since then.

The lawsuit filed in federal court claims Blume had sexual relations with another boy from 1982 until 1985, beginning when the boy was 14.

That complainant has been given psychological counseling by the diocese. Bishop John M. D'Arcy said he refused a request by Blume to return to ministry after receiving therapy. Blume resigned from the priesthood in 1989 and now lives in Ohio.

Christine Bonahoom, spokesperson for the diocese, said the diocese hasn't seen the lawsuit and won't comment until it does.


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