Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, 949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are saddened and disturbed to learn that despite a second allegation of abuse by Fr. Michael Kelly, Stockton Diocese officials still refuse to remove him from active ministry with children and families. Despite years of telling Catholics about child safety “reforms,” Stockton Bishop Blaire still cannot do the one easy and simple thing to keep kids safe. Our biggest fear is for the children who may have been put at direct risk of abuse after Kelly was reinstated into active ministry in 2008, despite the first credible child sex abuse allegation against him. We urge law enforcement to vigorously investigate and punish church employees who hurt kids or put them at risk.
If you have any information about child abuse by Fr. Kelly or any adult, please contact law enforcement and support groups like ours, NOT church officials.
We also urge Stockton Catholics to demand that Bishop Blaire adhere to his own child safety policies and the policies of his fellow bishops and immediately remove Kelly from active ministry until law enforcement can investigate the latest allegations.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
SACRAMENTO, CA – New allegations have come to light against a Lockeford priest.
The accusations against Father Michael Kelly were not specified in a statement release by Bishop Stephen Blaire.
Kelly was previously accused of molesting a child back in 1984. The accusations came to light in September 2007.
Stockton police and the dioceses tried to investigate the claim, but the alleged victim did not cooperate. With no evidence, Kelly was reinstated in March 2008.
Kelly will remain an active priest while the church investigates the claim, Blaire said. The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department is also investigating the claim.