State­ment of Bishop Stephen Blaire

 

April 6, 2012

 

Today,  a civil jury found in favor of the plain­tiff in a case alleg­ing sex­ual  abuse by Fr. Michael Kelly in the 1980s. In light of this ver­dict, I  have made the deci­sion to remove Fr. Kelly from min­istry, effec­tive  imme­di­ately.

 

The Diocese’s deci­sion to defend this case was  based on a care­ful analy­sis of the infor­ma­tion avail­able and on a  gen­uine belief that the accu­sa­tions are not true. Our view of the  evi­dence has not changed, and Fr. Kelly con­tin­ues to deny the  alle­ga­tions against him. Nev­er­the­less, it is my belief that the jury  ver­dict must be respected, and I have taken action in accord with our  Church’s Char­ter for the Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple.

 

The  Dio­cese of Stock­ton takes all accu­sa­tions of sex­ual abuse with great  seri­ous­ness. We have in place poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to help us get to  an under­stand­ing of the truth, and we remain com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing and  main­tain­ing a safe envi­ron­ment for all our chil­dren and young adults.

 

 

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