San Francisco Diocese Cathedral
May 31, 2012
Martinez, Ca. 94553
Dr. Renee Duffey
Bishop of San Francisco
Diocese of San Francisco
1 Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, Ca.
RE: Response to your letter sent to me 5-31- 2012,
announcing new replacement of Diocese Victims Assistance Coordinator
San Francisco Diocese Professionals,
I am responding to a letter you e-mailed me today regarding the new replacement for a “Victim Assistance Coordinator” – Dr. Renee Duffey. You state in your letter that:
“Dr. Duffey is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice since 1995 and specializing in work with couples and individuals who wish to incorporate faith and spirituality into the therapeutic process. She has a strong background in pastoral ministry and spirituality through work as a Spiritual Director, High School Campus Minister, and her involvement with the permanent diaconate program as the wife of Deacon Rusty Duffey.”
As you already know, I am a victim of the San Francisco Salesian Priest Fr. Stephen Whelan, who I filed suit against in 2003. The Bishop of San Francisco at that time was Cardinal William Levada, and the Associate Bishop was John Wester. Fr. Whelan was in ministry as Associate Pastor at St. Peter and Pauls Church at the time I filed the molestation suit, and he had access to children at the kids club and the parochial grammar school at the same time. This is a SF Diocese owned parish.
Despite numerous protests, and several letters sent to the Diocese, Levada, Wester, Salesian Provincial and the former Victims Assistance Coordinator – Barbara Elordi, to demand the removal of Fr. Whelan from his position during the litigation, my requests fell on deaf ears. To make matters worse, the Diocese stated in writing that they had done two “Independent Review Investigations” into my claim, and found that the claim was not a credible allegation. Recklessly, my claim was not investigated by the so called “Independent Review Board at all.
I contend that this obviously means that the Diocese, the Salesian Provincial, Levada, Wester and Elordi, had all willfully, unprofessionally, and unethically lied to me; to shelter, protect, shield and support the sex abuser that was deliberately kept in ministry, despite the potential threat to children.
The Diocese then supported the molester Fr. Whelan during an extensive 5 year battle with me, which the abuser lost, in a court jury trial. They additionally lost several appeals, and finally lost n the California Supreme High Court of Appeals. During that time, Whelan was allowed to say mass, surround himself with children, administer weddings, baptisms, and carry on his clerical duties as a San Francisco priest, uninterrupted.
After the civil court jury verdict, Whelan continued to wear his collar, and maintained his presence in the Diocese. The Diocese, Levada, Wester, Salesians, and Elordi never apologized, admitted they were wrong, offered therapy, or showed any compassion at all. On the contrary, they continued to say Whelan was innocent, the jury was biased, and my family and I were continuously treated with disrespect and indignity.
Today you sent me a letter stating that there is a new Victims Outreach Coordinator. Is this supposed to be an insult, or an invitation to further mistreatment? Or is it perhaps, an attempt to show the media that you have reached out to a victim that you have thrashed for several years, and create a paper trail of supposed SF Diocesan Catholic sympathy?
The last time I spoke to Barbara Elordi, shortly before her passing away, she admitted to me that the Diocese had treated me terribly, and that there was nothing she could do about it. This is no consolation, nor is your letter today.
But I would like to seize this opportunity to point out a few observations, and ask important questions; not that you would consider them or care about them of course – given your proven inconsiderate track record.
- Barbara Elordi was a mandated reporter. What this means is that by California Law, she had a duty to report claims of child sexual abuse to the proper authorities when the claims were made to her. In my case, and others, she did not. She admitted this to a roomful of people at a meeting I attended with survivors of abuse. This is a violation of the law. I recommend that you take her files of sexual abuse claims she admitted to making, and forward them to child protective services.
- The new Victims Outreach Coordinator has the same legal responsibility. Forwarding claims to your own “review board” does not fit the definition of mandated reporting.
- According to your letter, the new coordinator: “specializes in work with couples and individuals who wish to incorporate faith and spirituality into the therapeutic process”. Does this mean that Dr. Duffy will not offer therapy to victims of sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, molestation and perversion by San Francisco clergy if the victim does not adhere to Christian faith and spirituality?
- Will the new victims coordinator disclose where Fr. Whelan is living right now, in order to protect children as she should, by warning concerned parents as to his secret whereabouts? I am sure the protection of children must be her top priority, don’t you agree?
- That said, where is Fr. Whelan now?
- Is the letter you sent merely a formality, or are you going to offer my damaged family therapy for your intentional thrashing that they suffered and endured for 8 years at the hands of the SF Diocese, and the SF Salesians you shielded?
- Do you think your “God” is proud of the behavior of the Diocese, Levada, Elordi, and the Salesians?
- Is the insensitive, intentional behavior of SF Diocese in the past any indication of how you will treat child sex abuse victims in the future?
- Will you ignore this letter, as you did with all of my other letters, and continue to treat me and my family as subservient, and worthless?
- Seriously, why did you really send your letter?