More news on the priests connected to the murder on Cape Cod. Fr. Bernard Kelly, the pastor who is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with the prime suspect, Paul Nolin, has now resigned from his parish.
Fr. Kelly had been suspended by the Diocese of Fall River, but on Thursday he resigned “from the diocese,” according to the newspaper, a term which is imprecise and has no canonical meaning. Maybe the reporter means he requested a leave from active ministry altogether. As he is 70 years old, it could be a permanent leave.
Kelly testified before a grand jury two weeks ago, even though he claimed priest-penitent privilege. He relented and testified only on certain subjects. As others have point out, if the privilege existed at all, from a canonical standpoint, Kelly would not have been able to testify at all. It’s likely he just didn’t want to answer awkward questions about his relationship with Nolin.
The other priest involved in this mess, Fr. Donald Turlick, Nolin’s psychologist from the criminal institution where was jailed and later his landlord and pal, has yet to testify. He was out of state for several weeks at a conference. Nice conference. Wish I could get work like that.
N.B. Kelly’s lawyer’s name is O’Boy. Appropriate name for a lawyer. “You’ve been convicted.” “O’Boy.”