Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Priest flees country on eve of testimony in California sex-abuse case

Catholic World News - April 17, 2012

A priest of the Diocese of Stockton, California, has abruptly returned to his native Ireland, just before he was scheduled to testify in a sex-abuse lawsuit. Father Michael Kelly left a letter for Stockton’s Bishop Stephen Blaire, informing him that he had left the US because of deteriorating health, which he blamed on “vicious false allegations” against him.

Father Kelly had been suspended from ministry after a jury found him liable for sex-abuse damages. He was scheduled to testify on April 17 regarding the plaintiff’s charge that the Stockton diocese should also be liable for damages.

The plaintiff had also sought testimony from Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, who had previously served as Bishop of Stockton. Bishop Blaire voiced his shock that Kelly had fled. The plaintiff’s lawyer in the case was angry that the accused priest would not testify after having received a subpoena requiring his presence in court. “I’m not going to let this go,” the lawyer said. “He is not going to get off that easy.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($32,869 to go):
$35,000.00 $2,131.25
94% 6%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Apr. 17, 2012 3:12 PM ET USA

    I have followed this case for quite some time, and Fr. Kelly really got steamrolled. Investigations by both secular and Church authorities found nothing. He passed TWO polygraph tests. But the accuser hired a ruthless attorney by the name of John Manly. The polygraphs weren't allowed as evidence, but Manly was allowed to enter the totally discredited theory of "repressed memory." The jury was duped into believing "repressed memory" was real. Fr. Kelly is devastated, and his parish is crushed.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Challenging Times? 1 hours ago
Reality 101: The fat between our ears 2 hours ago
Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO September 1
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8