Priest under Investigation Served in Bremerton

Associated Press, carried in Kitsap Sun
July 30, 2007

Mercer Island

A priest who once headed a Bremerton parish is under investigation for his conduct with a minor and has accepted voluntary administrative leave, the Archdiocese of Seattle has announced.

The action involving the Rev. Dennis Kemp, pastor of St. Monica Roman Catholic Church on Mercer Island, was announced at weekend Masses and follows a police investigation, said Greg Magnoni, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

The current allegations are unrelated to Kemp's tenure in Bremerton, Magnoni said. Bremerton police detectives said Monday they'd received no complaints involving Kemp.

Kemp's first assignment following his seminary studies was at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Bremerton, where he was an associate pastor and priest from January 1976 to July 1978.

Archdiocesan officials notified police immediately after learning of an accusation against the priest, Magnoni added. He would not give further details, including when and how many times the conduct was said to have occurred.

King County prosecutors decided not to press criminal charges based on the police probe, and the archdiocese is now making its own investigation, Magnoni said, adding that Kemp has agreed to cooperate.

Kemp, 60, who has been unavailable for comment, has been pastor at St. Monica since 2002 after serving at St. Mark Church in Shoreline from 1994 to 2002. Kemp also was a campus minister and teacher at Kennedy High School in Burien from 1979 to 1994.


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