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SF archdiocese says Myers cannot act as priest

Church silent on review board's investigation of former St. Raymond pastor

The San Francisco Archdiocese declared the findings of its independent review board (IRB) investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by a Menlo Park priest a "personnel issue" and thus confidential. However, a spokesman confirmed that Father William Myers can no longer act as a priest.

During his time as pastor at St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Menlo Park, Father Myers was put on administrative leave a month after the church learned about an incident on April 19, when the priest followed a 17-year-old boy into a dressing room at a Ross Dress for Less in San Francisco, according to the church.

Describing the encounter as a "boundary violation," George Wesolek, spokesman for the archdiocese, said no physical contact occurred. The San Francisco District Attorney's Office said it decided not to press charges against Father Myers for lack of corroboration, and that no further allegations had surfaced during the investigation.

Mr. Wesolek said the pastor admitted struggling with a sexual addiction to adults and receiving therapy for sexual identity issues while serving in Stockton when confronted by church officials. More than a month passed before the church found out about the incident via a source who tipped off the archdiocese on May 26.

The Almanac obtained church assignment records showing that Father Myers took leave from the Diocese of Stockton from 1996 to 2000, but the records don't say why.

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton said that while the diocese knew Father Myers had undergone therapy, "at no time was it suggested or otherwise reported to the Diocese that the therapy was in any way related to sexual conduct with minors." According to church officials, he also received treatment following his removal from St. Raymond.

Ordained in 1988, Father Myers joined St. Raymond four years ago after transferring from St. Brendan Church in San Francisco. The archdiocese repeatedly refused to confirm whether he kept an apartment in the city in addition to his parish lodgings in Menlo Park.

"What can be said is this, William Myers cannot act as a priest," Mr. Wesolek said via email. "More importantly, he will not return to St. Raymond's."

Comments

Posted by Judy Jones, a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Hopefully others, who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Myers, will have the courage to report it to police not to church officials.

Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others. Also know that you are not alone, and there is hope, help, and a chance for healing.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
snapjudy@gmail.com
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.
Web Link


Posted by Local native, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I am pleased to hear that the correct decision was finally made regarding this troubled man! It is however very unfortunate that it took this long to determine that his personal challenges were such that it would not be appropriate for him to serve as a priest.

In my opinion, overall screening and performance reviews need to be strengthened, and conducted on a more regular basis by the archidiocese. We all know that employee reviews and oversight, on a routine schedule, is critical to maintaining high standards by personnel of any entity. Accountability and transparancey is what is important to securing the trust of the people in any good operation.


Posted by bob, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 24, 2011 at 7:34 am

Typical behavior of the catholic church...say nothing


Posted by Local catholic , a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Dec 24, 2011 at 7:51 am

I would like to point out that there seem to be no victims of Fr. Williams to warrant the comments this man is receiving. All indications are that he wants to have a sexual relationship with adults - which goes against being a priest. The SF District Attorney found no cause to prosecute and the diocese removed him from St Raymond as soon as they were made aware of the unusual situation. Perhaps we could find a new villain for Christmas.


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