CA - Victims blast Stockton Bishop: Remove accused priest

  • Despite second allegation of abuse, he remains in ministry
  • One case against cleric heads to trial later this year, and
  • Newest case involves young boy, police investigating
  • Follow your own policies and the policies of your fellow bishops, SNAP demands
  • SNAP to Catholics: Donate elsewhere until diocese officials protect kids

What:  Holding signs and photos of themselves at the age they were abused, victims will demand Stockton Diocese officials remove a priest from active ministry who has been accused of abuse by a second child in four years.  They will also:

-- Beg diocese officials to reach out to potential victims of abuse at every parish where Fr. Michael Kelly has worked,
-- Release Kelly's secret personnel file to law enforcement, and
-- Apologize to parishioners at Kelly's current parish, where children may still be at risk.

They will also:

-- Urge Catholics to donate elsewhere until Bishop Stephen Blaire can follow his own child safety policies, and
-- Ask anyone who has been abused, or who has seen or suspected abuse, to call law enforcement, NOT the church

Where: 

Outside of the new Stockton Diocese headquarters
212 N San Joaquin St (at Channel) in Stockton


When:
Wednesday, September 28 at 12 pm

Who:
2 - 3 sex abuse survivors and their supporters who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (SNAPNetwork.org, the nation's largest support group for men and women who have been abused in religious institutions.

Why:
On Tuesday, Stockton diocese officials announced that Lockeford priest Fr. Michael Kelly has been accused of abuse for the second time in four years, this time by a boy who was ten years old at the time of the abuse in 2000.  Kelly, who is the subject of an active sex abuse and cover-up civil lawsuit, is scheduled to go to trial later this year http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_b95b09e8-6c19-11e0-8aff-001cc4c03286.html 
Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire has said in press reports that Kelly will remain in ministry despite this latest allegation.
After the first allegation in 2007, Bishop Blaire reinstated Kelly in 2008. Diocese officials have never publicly released the findings of their own internal investigation, nor have they publicly released Kelly's secret personnel file.  http://www.modbee.com/2008/03/15/240393/stockton-diocese-says-no-base.html.
Victims are upset and outraged that diocese officials are not adhering to their own child protection policies.  They urge Catholics to donate elsewhere until Blaire removes Kelly from active ministry.  SNAP is also demanding Bishop Blaire release all information and files he has on Fr. Kelly to law enforcement, as well as personally visit every parish where the cleric has worked and reach out to potential victims.  SNAP fears that children in Lockeford may be at direct risk of abuse and victims are still suffering in shame and silence.
SNAP is also begging law enforcement to vigorously investigate the latest allegations.
Contact:
Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director, 949-322-7434jcasteix@gmail.com
Tim Lennon, SNAP San Francisco Director,  415-312-5820 sflennon@gmail.com
Barb Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003SNAPdorris@gmail.com
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Our most powerful tool is the light of truth. Through our actions, we bring healing, prevention and justice.



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