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Parish stunned by pastor's 'boundary violation'

Original post made on Jun 6, 2011

St. Raymond parishioners said they felt hurt and betrayed by the actions of their pastor, Father William Myers, after the revelation that the pastor has been on administrative leave since May 27 following an incident with a 17-year-old boy.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 6, 2011, 10:27 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Menlo Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm

[Post removed; off topic]

Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Watch the language used...... Anytime they don't use normal english is a give away.

Red Flags should be flying

Posted by Joelle Casteix
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

We salute the parent who did the right thing and demanded that store employees call police.

If you have seen abuse, suspected abuse, or are a victim, please call law enforcement, not the church. Predatory behaviors do not occur in a vacuum. There may be other victims, and we encourage them to come forward and seek help.

Church officials in San Francisco and Stockton must come clean and be transparent about everything they know about Myers. Until then, we cannot be assured that any child is safe in either diocese.

Joelle Casteix
SNAP Western Regional Director
[email protected]

Posted by Marie Movery
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Jun 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

We should show some compassion and pray for Father Myers

Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

As a cradle Catholic, I read these stories with near anguish for everyone involved: the church at large, the Magesterium that is losing credibiity as a moral authority about everything, the victims/survivors & their families, our local church leaders, and all priests & deacons, be they faithful but hiding the secrets of other clergymen, or those living double lives. This is devastating for everyone.

Leaving it as it is (covering it up) is a no-win. We pew people must become involved in bringing health to our church. A cancer exists in the Roman Catholic church, a systemic disease affecting the Whole Body.

The protection of, and the refusal to address this cancer *by pew people* has caused dysfunction on a level that has already resulted in $2 billion in payouts in the USA alone. Not to mention the loss of trust world-wide. About trust, there is no price. About the devastation caused to people, there is no price. Sexual abuse of any minor (particularly by a clergyman) is a non-visible disease, creating fallout that can last for generations.

I do believe there is a refreshing light at the end of the tunnel, at least on the local level. Archbishop George Niederauer is to be commended for acting so quickly in this case, for being open and transparent with the faithful in this particular instance.

Further, he and the other two bishops that work with him, are
reaching out to survivors of past abuse from the Bay Area. I do believe theirs is a good faith effort, and sincere.

I have followed the issue of sexual abuse of children/teens and the sexual exploitation of adults by Catholic clergy, for 10 years, since right after the news broke in Boston. I was able to meet survivors, and the professionals at the Archdiocese of SF and in the Diocese of San Jose. Barbara Elordi of the Archdiocese of SF is a skilled, compassionate advisor for the Archdiocese.

The climate now is different from when Cardinal Levada was in SF. Jim Jenkins on the local review board, resigned in disgust back then. (online references available) Former Governor Frank Keating resigned from the national review board, also disgusted, comparing the bishops (as a whole) to the Mafia. Unfortunately, the national level remains the same (a la, the John Jay Report).

The problem with the clerical mindset (almost a kind of inbreeding) is larger than just here in the US. That mindset is worldwide.

World news this week from Ireland reports that an Irish archbishop is speaking out for survivors there, and he has some important tips to share with everyone.

It's important for pew people to know that potential perps are usually very charming. If the intentions are not honorable, after the fact one can recollect that charm is really "grooming". It's always best to have one's guard up, particularly when it comes to children and young teens, and that goes for anyone: clergy, friends, neighbors. We really need to be aware and to know people first.

I applaud the father in this article that protected his 17 year old son. I also applaud Joelle Casteix who wisely posted that in the case of abuse of any minor (by anyone, ordained men included) go first to law enforcement.

Many victims of pre-adult abuse never live to become survivors. They often commit suicide first. We must have healthy, God-honoring change in the Roman Catholic Church. It does not have to be like this. Our church is sick. The remedy is there - we just need a few good people to step to the plate, and go to Rome, calling for change.

Posted by Pete
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

The archdiocese asked that any allegations of sexual abuse involving Father Myers be reported to the police and to its [archdiocese's] victim assistance coordinator.

Why shouldn't victims or witnesses contact both the police and the archdiocese?

Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Pete - It's a good idea to go to law enforcement first, in order to have it documented by civil authorities. In the past, some (not all, but some) dioceses discouraged reporting to any civil authority, considering it a matter the diocese themselves can resolve.

Many suvivors were then ignored or given the run around. It's not so much like that anymore, since this has been newsworthy for over 10 years. But in the case of an under-aged person being violated, while it's a "sin" for a church, it's also a "crime" needing to be reported to civil authorities, and ASAP.

Below is a link to a local case from Burlingame, several years ago. A whistleblower priest found himself ostracized, for doing the right thing. He later sued the Archdiocese of San Franciso (under Cardinal Levada's administration) and won. Cardinal Levada was also made to give a public apology to this good priest. It's different now- from what I can see. But it's still prudent to go to authorities first.

Posted by James Campbell
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I know that that Bishop Justice claims that nothing happened between the young man and this priest; but it seems clear that the boy's father intervened before this priest could do anything. I also keep hearing that his sex addiction are only to adults....a 17 year old is still a minor, as I have a 17 year old and I consider him still just a kid. I wonder if the church computers have been seized by the authorities as someone with these sexual problems tends to also be involved in pornography. I also heard from someone who attended the meeting that this priest was allowed to have his own apartment in San Francisco. Many red flags that were ignored by his superiors.

Posted by Meg O'Reilly
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Why is the church just suspending him....he needs to be terminated or are they planning to send him to another unsuspecting parish. As for what posting..."an apartment in San Francisco", if in fact this is true I am really disappointed with the the San Francisco Archdiocese. Whatever they find on his computer will be covered up or destroyed.

Posted by JoAnn
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I was raised a Catholic. I keep reading about Cardinal William Levada. I want to make sure you all realize that Levada is now working for the Holy See as the person who is the ultimate authority on priest sex abuse cases in the world. Before him the current Pope was in that position. They both are very invested in covering up and moving pedophile priests from one parish to another. Look at this case--we know of two other parishes he was at and KNOWN as a sex addict. WHAT? I encourage everyone to see the documentary "Deliver Us From Evil" about the pedophile prient Oliver O'Grady who was placed in all kinds of parishes around California, approved and moved by Cardinal Levada. They are both in the film and O'Grady admits on screen that he raped and molested over 150 boys and girls through the years. Cardinal Levada was in charge of California at the time and with the blessings of the current Pope (in his position at the time as the one in charge of the world's priest sex abouse cases) just moved this horror around. Ruining many lives. In the film O'Grady lets us know that he has moved back to his native Ireland and with free rein is able to seduce other children. AND the US Catholic Church gives him a stipend. THIS is what was done by Levada and the Catholic Church as a whole. Why is this man and Father Myer not in jail? I pray that others in this case come forward and let everyone know. But how many live a life of shame, how many have killed themselves? None of us know. These are the people who cannot come forward. Does anyone know why the boy's father in this case (the son's hero I hope) didn't tell the parish? It's not like you have to prove that someone did this to your son. This is the only confusing part of the story--every other part is too familiar. And Marie Movery--pray for Myer? How about praying for this young boy--he's probably been groomed by the priest for a long time--any other child would have gotten freaked out. This young man is a victim--we should be praying for him. What is wrong with you people that along with the church you want to protect and pray for the priest. The whole story makes me horrified. After the 10 years this is out in the open, in fact NOTHING has changed. Of course St. Raymond's has to do something, imagine the parents of the private school there knowing they had covered this up. But tell me, why hasn't he been fired? Oh I forget "we're praying for him." Give me a break. I'm a counselor and every day I work with people who are the victims of such crimes. They frankly never get back their full lives. There is a place inside that just is empty or broken. Especially if the perpetrator is someone they knew and trusted. I suppose this will never end because us Catholics (and by the way many other religions have these same horror stories) are groomed ourselves to not question, especially a priest. I pray for that young man. As the ads say "it gets better" check it out.

Posted by GBullough
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2011 at 4:21 am

The reason for reporting ONLY to law enforcement is that the Church, once "tipped off," will often disrupt the police investigation by alerting the alleged perpetrator.

Law enforcement will alert the Church once they have secured their evidence.

Also, the Church has been known to "pull strings" to manipulate the outcome of investigations to which they become privy. They will always pursue their interests first, and those may not coincide with those of the victim.

Posted by Grethchen McKinnon
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2011 at 6:50 am

JoAnn brings up a good questions...Why didn't the family call the Archdiocese or the school. Perhaps they did not know he was a priest at the time as he was probably in plain clothes and only gave his name as William Myers.

Posted by Ericka Welch
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

My mother belonged to this parish up until a few weeks ago as she moved out of state. She told me that she donated many times to the Orphanage in Nicaragua that Father Myers was President of. I hope those children were not harmed by this sick man. Here is the the website where you can see Father Williams in photos with the children, etc. The police need to get not leave this to the church.

Web Link

Posted by Scott Bell
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I'm always surprised at how surprised we are when these stories make their way to the surface(for the record, I was shocked at the proximity). The church, like many major institutional systems, is reaching the point where reform and policy promises arrive too late. At some point, replacement will overcome reform.....especially as populations age. . Would Jesus seriously agree to the policy statement that there was a "boundary violation?". Or, would he walk into the temple and address the leaders directly asking them "why are you continuing to use this model boys?" and then bust the place up? Maybe it's time for the sisters to raise a little hell and take the helm. Faith does not ebb away. It just transforms.

Posted by Ben Slater
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Has the Archdiocese contacted the organization in Nicaragua and the other members listed on the website ? Someone needs to make them aware of what is going on with this priest. He represents the church when he travel abroad and when he asks for the donations for his charity. I hope the Almanac puts forth an investigation as the press are the only ones who do not have a vested interested in a cover-up.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Compare this matter with that of a congressman

The issue is Weiners lying about his behavior.

He claimed that it was a “vast right wing conspiracy”

Then he claimed that someone had hacked his accounts.

Any CEO of a public company would be fired without severance pay and escorted by guards out of the building ASAP for the same behavior that Weiner shown repeated times.

The internet behavior was sleazy

It is the public lying that has ended Weiners political career

Another example of Hubris to Nemesis

Also of concern is that he made himself open to blackmail and endangering national security.

If he were a federal rest room attendant– no one would care about his sleaze or lying to the voters and taxpayers who pay his wages.

If an RC priest engaged in the same behavior as Weiner then the priest would be out of a job, under investigation by the FBI

–and what ever diocese or archdiocese he was from would be facing many 10s of $ millions in litigation

Posted by mpdiapers
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

sharon copies the same post everywhere about the Congressman

When followup posts ask about what laws were broken, she ignores the question.

When followup posts ask her opinion of David Vitter, a sitting US Senator, who admits to felony violations of soliciting prostitutes, even making calls to the DC Madam four times from the floor of Congress, FOUR times during actual votes on laws, Sharon refuses to answer.

Sharon: what's worse?
- the pastor above
- Anthony Weiner texting photos, apparently to consensual partners
- Dave Vitter, a hypocrite who ran on a family values, abstinence-only-education platform, who frequents prostitutes

Web Link

At least Larry Flint gives Gov Mark Sanford a pass - that family values hypocrite apparently did it for love.

Posted by Missy Thayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

Here is an interesting article someone just sent me from the Modesto Bee regarding the history of this priest.

Web Link

Posted by William Chandler
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I just read the article in the Modesto Bee that the last post is referring to. So it sounds like the priest locked himself in the dressing room with this boy and the father was trying to pound the door down to get to his son which alerted the employees who then called the police. The article is worth reading and gives more information per the representative of the church. This man should have been charged and put in jail.

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