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Canton Priest Removed For Alleged Sex Abuse

National Report Uncovers Thousands Of Abuse Claims

Mar 1, 2004

A priest of 10 years was removed from his parish by the Archdiocese of Detroit because of an alleged case of sex abuse, Local 4 reported.

The Rev. Richard Kelly, 59, was placed on leave from St. Thomas a' Becket Church in Canton pending the outcome of an investigation.

The archdiocese learned of the allegations against Kelly from civil authorities late last year, according to the station's reports.

On Friday, a panel of prominent Roman Catholics reported that U.S. bishops failed to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the last half-century, calling the leaders' performance "shameful to the church."

The comments came as the National Review Board, a watchdog panel set up by the bishops, issued two highly anticipated studies documenting the molestation problem from 1950 to 2002.

In one report, investigators found that there were more than 10,600 abuse claims between 1950 and 2002. More than 80 percent of the accusers were male, and more than half said they were between the ages of 11 and 14 when they were sexually assaulted.

Four percent of priests were accused, although most were not charged. However, not all the claims were proved and some of the accused died before the allegations could be investigated.

The report concluded that the failure to keep sexual predators out of the clergy allowed the "smoke of Satan" into the church.

While the national study doesn't break down the number of cases by dioceses, many bishops have released their local figures to demonstrate their commitment to fighting abuse.

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