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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