State

Stockton Diocese explains payments

Bishop Stephen Blaire asked all parish priests in the Stockton Diocese to read a statement regarding defrocked pedophile priest Oliver O'Grady in their weekend services, or make it available in printed form.

The memo came in reaction to a Bee story Friday about Blaire's decision to provide O'Grady an annuity worth $94,560 in exchange for O'Grady voluntarily leaving the priesthood before he was released from prison in 2000.

The annuity, in the amount of $778 a month, began Saturday -- O'Grady's 65th birthday. It will be paid for 10 years directly from the insurance company to O'Grady, who at last report was living in a hostel in Dublin, Ireland.

The story was picked up by media outlets across the United States and Ireland, in print and online.

The memo reiterates what Blaire told The Bee last week about what he called a "distasteful" deal. Blaire typically asks priests to share messages in this way only a handful of times a year, said diocese spokeswoman Sister Terry Davis.

To read Blaire's memo, click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com.

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