The M+G+R Foundation

Former San Francisco's Archbishop and Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

William Levada's No Longer Hidden Record

The Highlights


The purpose of this page is to bring to light the no longer Hidden Record of the man who, appointed by Benedict XVI, is supposed to be the Guardian of the Catholic Faith.

For those who are not familiar with U.S. Law and customs - if what has been published by Levada in the main line press were not true, a simple phone call from the Archdiocese's attorneys would have the offensive and defaming statements removed immediately from the public domain. They have been on, some of them since the year 2002, and they remain available to one and all.


A. Renew your acquaintance with Levada through recently published details of his "difficulties" with the law. (1)

We quote from "Vatican's Point Man on Abuse Was Successfully Sued by Whistle blowing Priest" (1)

....choosing Levada to bring justice to the Vatican was always problematic, given his record as archbishop of San Francisco and before that, Portland, Ore. Levada used the same tactics of other bishops in sheltering perpetrators, which spurred civil lawsuits and bad headlines. Moreover, Levada stands alone among American bishops in having been sued, successfully, by a whistle-blowing priest, Jon Conley, who reported another priest to the police for making sexual advances on a teenage boy. Father Conley received a six-figure settlement from the archdiocese. Conley's struggle offers a cameo of what's wrong in the Vatican today.

Conley, now 66, was an assistant U.S. attorney in Michigan who decided on a career change in the late 1980s, and entered seminary in San Francisco. In 1997, as he entered his rectory, he saw the pastor, Father Gregory Aylward, crawling toward the back door. A flustered 14-year-old boy had just resumed his post as phone receptionist. Suspecting the boy was too embarrassed to admit that the priest had been making sexual advances, Conley met with an auxiliary bishop (Levada was out of town) who told him, "We usually keep these things in-house." As a former prosecutor, Conley knew that this was wrong, and that it was illegal. He personally notified the San Mateo District Attorney's Office, which ordered an investigation.

.... No charges were filed. Conley nonetheless told the chancery he couldn't live with a man he considered to be a pedophile, and moved into a hotel. A chancery priest told Conley not to say "pedophile" or mention the accusations to anyone. The boy quit his rectory job. Conley met the family. The mother wept, saying she just couldn't force her son to testify about Aylward's advances, which had been going on for months. When Conley met with Archbishop Levada and a chancery monsignor, he knew the archdiocese was closing the wagons around Aylward.

When I interviewed Conley in 2005 for San Francisco Magazine, he told me that Levada used the word "calumny" when discussing the accusations against Aylward. Since a monsignor was also present, taking notes, Conley pulled out a tape recorder to avoid being set up as a scapegoat. "You don't trust me?" said Levada. Ordered to turn off the tape recorder, Conley refused, he said. "I'm placing you on administrative leave," said Levada. "Think about obedience."

Levada's behavior is striking because he should have known better -- much better.

In the early 1980s he worked under Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as a staff theologian, before pedophilia cases were a big issue.

In 1985, as a newly named California auxiliary bishop, Levada, at the behest of Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, met with three men who had written a pioneering document warning the bishops about an impending crisis, with guidelines to remove priests, reach out to victims, and deal openly with law enforcement and the media. The authors were Father Thomas Doyle, an American canon lawyer then serving at the Vatican Embassy; Father Michael Peterson, a psychiatrist who founded St. Luke Institute in Suitland, Md., a treatment hospital for clergy; and F. Ray Mouton, an attorney in Lafayette, La., who was handling criminal defense of Father Gilbert Gauthe, the first pedophile priest to make national headlines. The confidential report warned that absent a solid policy, the church could face $1 billion in losses.

In May 1985, Levada met the three men at the Marriott Hotel at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Years later, in a deposition with plaintiff attorney Jeff Anderson, Levada said: "I was there as a point of reference, as a listener, to bring back a report ... to Cardinal Law. I don't recall whether I told them I thought [the report's plan] was a good idea or not ... I tried to do my assignment. But I did not have enough information to make a judgment about this issue at that time."

In Portland, he did have information, and his strategy offended the church's general counsel. Robert McMenamin represented the archdiocese from 1983 to 1989.

When Levada arrived in 1986, an Oregon priest named Tom Laughlin was in jail after molesting altar boys. Three previous archbishops had known about Laughlin but never restricted his ministry or notified the police. McMenamin urged Levada to tell church officials of their obligation to report to authorities (as the 1985 report insisted). Levada declined.

McMenamin resigned as church counsel and changed his legal practice. Later he filed lawsuits on behalf of abuse victims. Levada petitioned the Oregon State Bar Association to disqualify McMenamin from such cases, but the state Supreme Court dismissed Levada's claim. McMenamin wrote to his legal successor at the archdiocese: "You speak of loyalty. If this means I should not help victims who have been turned away by church authorities, then I think your statement is ridiculous and inhumane. I have loyalty to both my religion and the confidences of former clients, but not to church officials who deny justice to victims."

We recommend a thorough review of the entire well documented article (1) so that those who still doubt our accusations directed to the Roman Catholic Church Administration (2) be assisted in the opening of their eyes before it is too late. Yes, there will be a time when "it will be too late", if not, why didn't Divine Mercy save the virgins who did not have oil for their lamps? [Matthew 25: 1-13]

(1) Vatican's Point Man on Abuse Was Sucessfully Sued by Whistleblowing Priest -- Politics Daily
(2) Jesus Himself Accuses the Church Administration

B. Meet Levada through the San Francisco Weekly

On Ziemann, Levada, and Mahoney: | Bishop Bad Boy | 2003-03-19

On Levada and the Scandal: | See No Evil | 2003-05-21 | Prosecutors' Patience Wears Thin With Levada, Mahony | 2003-06-25 | Nailed? | 2003-06-25

All other stories/letters/publications may be accessed Through HERE.

C. Meet Levada through the San Francisco Chronicle

Expert on dealing with abuse accused / Bay Area priest faces molestation charge

Archdiocese apologizes to victims / Archdiocese apologizes to priests' victims / Promises to safeguard youth

Bishops meet under scandal's shadow / Recent black eyes mar church's effort to regain credibility

CATHOLIC CHURCH / Levada's Oregon history surfaces / Lawyers question S.F. archbishop's role in molest cases

Levada takes heat over abuse inquiry / Panel member resigns, says church suppressed results

To access well researched and supported details of Archbishop Levada's Trajectory - Click Here

May those who have Eyes, See and Ears, Hear!

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