Father Michael Kelly's Letter to Bishop Stephen Blaire

Lodi News-Sentinel
April 16, 2012

This afternoon, I was stunned to receive a letter from Fr. Michael Kelly informing me he had returned to Ireland in the midst of the civil trial in which he is a defendant.

We notified opposing counsel in the civil trial as well as law enforcement authorities in Calaveras County, where a criminal investigation has been underway since September.

I have tried to reach Fr. Kelly by email and by phone to implore him to return and see the trial through to its completion.

The letter I received is below.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dear Bishop Blaire,

By the time you read this letter I will be in Ireland with my family. I am sorry for any difficulty this may cause the Diocese, but my health can't take it anymore.

I have sat back and listened to the vicious false allegations that have been spread about me for the past four and a half years, and my health has suffered greatly because of it.

I have spent the last 39 years of my life serving God and the people of the various parishes of the Diocese of Stockton. Now I have not only lost my ministry, but this whole thing has taken its toll on my very being. I have lost everything I have worked for because of these false allegations.

I am mentally and physically spent. The stress of it all is causing my health to decline daily. Since the verdict, I am on two kinds of medication for my stomach, I am having chronic bowel problems, I am getting an average of one hour of sleep a night, and I am losing weight at an alarming rate.

I hope you will understand that right now I need to be with my family, whose support and love for me is unconditional. I also feel at this juncture that I need to begin the healing process in an environment where I can get the medical care I need with my family nearby.

Your faith in me has been unwavering, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Yours in Christ,

Michael Kelly


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