The M+G+R Foundation
Archbishop and Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
No Longer Hidden Record
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.
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
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 --
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).
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
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]
Point Man on Abuse Was Sucessfully Sued by Whistleblowing Priest --
Himself Accuses the Church Administration
Levada through the
San Francisco Weekly
C. Meet Levada
the San Francisco Chronicle
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