Priest finding support
STOCKTON - There's a wave of support for former Catholic priest Michael Kelly even after a civil jury found him liable for sexually molesting an altar boy more than 20 years ago.
Friday's verdict disheartened a slew of parishioners from St. Joachim Church in Locke-ford and other supporters even while advocates of the plaintiff rejoiced.
They said civil justice would have to suffice, since criminal charges couldn't be filed because of the statute of limitations.
The Diocese of Stockton removed Kelly from ministry Friday immediately after the verdict at San Joaquin County Superior Court.
"All the parishioners, everybody who knows Father Kelly, are devastated," said Christine Brandstad, a Linden resident who attends St. Joachim, where Kelly was pastor. "He is the most beloved priest we've ever known."
An emotional crowd gathered at the Lockeford church Friday to hear Kelly speak and reiterate that he has been falsely accused.
Kelly's removal is spur...
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50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.