Former Assistant Pastor at Massillon's St. Mary's Church Removed from Priesthood

The Independent
July 20, 2010

A former Massillon priest has been removed by the Vatican from the priesthood.

Rev. Thomas Crum was removed from active ministry in 2009 amid accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor. Crum then asked to be removed from the priesthood.

He served as an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 726 First St. N.E., in the mid-1970s.

In June 2009, Crum, while the pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Canton, was placed on administrative leave because of a “credible” allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that took place more than 30 years ago.

Upon release of the first case of sexual misconduct, two other victims stepped forward. It was unclear when and where the alleged misconduct took place.

“They were from around the same time period of the 1970s,” said Nancy Yuhasz, chancellor of the Diocese of Youngstown.

No criminal charges were filed because the statute of limitations had expired, Yuhasz said. She said victims are encouraged to report alleged sexual abuse to the diocese and civil authorities.

“Any report we get is reported to civil authorities. People are also encouraged to report it themselves,” Yuhasz said.

According to a press release from the Youngstown Diocese, removal from the priesthood means that in accordance with canon law, Crum may not function as a priest anywhere with the exception of officering absolution to the dying.

“The Diocese of Youngstown continues its commitment to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse,” the release states. “We are deeply sorry for the pain suffered by survivors of abuse due to action of some members of the clergy, as nothing is more important than protecting children.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims of any denomination, urges anyone who has knowledge of Crum’s misdeeds or has been harmed by him to contact law enforcement.

According to a release issued by SNAP, often when one victim of a predator discloses the abuse others sit back and feel like the obligation to report it is somehow lessened. SNAP said it’s important for everyone with information about clergy sex crimes to come forward.


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