Seattle Archbishop to Make Recommendation to Vatican on Mercer Island Priest's Case

By John Iwasaki
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
November 12, 2007

Seattle Catholic Archbishop Alex Brunett will make a recommendation to the Vatican regarding the case of a Mercer Island priest accused of improper conduct with a minor.

A review board of the Archdiocese of Seattle, which includes clergy and several experts on sexual abuse, has finished deliberating the case following an investigation of the Rev. Dennis Kemp, Brunett told parishioners at weekend Masses at St. Monica Catholic Church.

Brunet did not disclose his recommendations. Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Magnoni said the case is confidential at this point.

A decision from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome could take weeks or months.

Kemp, pastor of St. Monica since 2002, agreed July 26 to go on voluntary administrative leave until his case is concluded. Brunett said then that the archdiocese had alerted law enforcement authorities but that the King County Prosecutor's Office decided no charges would be filed at the time.

Brunett met with Kemp on Thursday to tell him of his recommendation. Under canon law, Kemp can file an appeal that will be included in the case file headed for the Vatican.

Kemp served at St. Mark in Shoreline from 1994 to 2002 and at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton from 1976 to 1978. He taught and served as campus minister at Kennedy High School in Burien from 1979 to 1984.

John Iwasaki can be reached at 206-448-8096 or


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