News - December 28, 2011

SF Archdiocese says Myers cannot act as a priest

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

by Sandy Brundage

Although the San Francisco Archdiocese declared the findings of its independent review board (IRB) a "personnel issue" and thus confidential, a spokesman confirmed that Father William Myers can no longer act as a priest.

A pastor at St. Raymond's Catholic Church, 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, when confronted by church officials, admitted struggling with a sexual addiction to adults and receiving therapy for sexual identity issues while serving in Stockton. 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."


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