Thursday 16 July 2009

Beyond parody...

The former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee, who resigned in 2002 in a sex and financial scandal, admits in an upcoming memoir that he is a practising homosexual.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland said he wanted to be candid about "how this came to life in my own self, how I suppressed it, how it resurrected again".

His new book A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop has just been published.

Appointed archbishop in 1977, Weakland stepped down in May 2002, soon after Paul Marcoux, a former Marquette University theology student, revealed he was paid $450,000 out of Diocesan funds by Weakland to settle a sexual assault claim he made against the archbishop more than two decades earlier.

Weakland was later compelled to apologize for concealing the payment and to resign. Weakland was also accused of moving around the diocese priests suspected or accused of abusing minors.

Weakland is now 82, and is planning a move to St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey, from the private house he has occupied since his retirement.

Weakland admits to several such affairs whilst he was the Archbishop. Earlier he had already admitted in court papers that he had assigned a priest convicted of abuse back to active ministry without notifying parishioners.

Weakland has been an enthusiastic supporter of liberal moral, social and liturgical causes and has publicly defend many dissident practices and has warmly praised numerous disloyal Catholics.

Many critics during his pontificate have been proved right, despite Weakland's earlier denials, but Weakland has shown no sorrow or remorse toward them nor has he apologised for his deception and devious misconduct.

On the contrary, Weakland even goes so far as to blame the Church for his own failings accusing the Church of being too rigid and conservative. Apparently, this excuses his taking nearly half a million from Diocesan funds to cover up his own sexual misconduct.

There does not appear yet to have been any apology from either the Archdiocese or from Rome to the Catholics of Milwaukee Diocese, still less to those critics of Weakland who were so marginalised and railed against by him and his allies during his pontificate.

Weakland's case again demonstrates how there is one rule for the orthodox laity and clergy and quite another for the heterodox and abusive clergy, especially if they occupy high rank in the Church.

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that corruption of a high order runs like a vein through parts of the modern Church.

It will remain so unless and until Rome applies proper discipline to abusive and heterodox clergy. They will continue laughingly to thumb their nose at the Church and to abuse and oppress the orthodox, loyal Faithful, for the most part with almost complete impunity.

That the open scandal of such corruption is causing immense damage to the Church need hardly be stated, so obvious is it.

Yet there are still some who think that the chief problem for the Church today is the return of the traditionalists.

You can bet your boots Rembert Weakland thinks so, too!

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us!



Patrick Sheridan said...

I expect that sincere Catholics, who are by inclination unfortunately homosexual, and who try to live chaste and orthodox lives according to the teachings of Mother Church, who is by no means a mistress of slaves (as this Orc claims), must be even more appalled by the misconduct of such men than even the deepest revulsions of the rest of us. Imagine having willingly accepted the teaching of the Church, and living an austere and chaste life according to the best of one's inherent ability (and with the Grace of God) only to have such an honest life ridiculed by such a man! God help that unfortunate diocese.

Tribunus said...

Eloquently put, sir, most eloquent. And very true.

Stephen D. said...


I can see the compassion in your comment, and it is to be commended. However, it seemed to me that, though it was perhaps inadvertent, you echoed some of our contemporary culture's mistaken assumptions about sex. Must a life without marital intimacy be, by definition, an "austere" and joyless journey? Are relationships of love and affection between people of the same gender impossible because they should not include the sexual intimacy that God ordained for marriage? Hopefully the answer to both of these questions is no.

I think that, especially given the messages of contemporary culture, those who seek to discipline their sexual activity according to Church teaching will feel pain partly because we live in a world affected by original sin and concupiscence, but also because of the belief that something precious is being lost in giving up what is being given up. Though I certainly don't claim to understand the fullness of this reality, I try to believe that the cross of Christ reveals to us that He intimately suffers with us because of His love and can bring new life through the power of His resurrection, revealing that whatever is perceived as being lost is not ultimately lost.

A succinct way of stating why I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism would be that I attained a growing understanding that the Catholic Church, because of the very nature of what it is, has a greater grasp on the ramifications of the Incarnation. Struggles with sexuality are struggles to understand the meaning of manhood and womanhood and the spiritual realities that God wants us to experience through physical gender.

To take the circumstance of a man who deals with homosexual temptations, perhaps one dimension of the resurrected life that Christ can bring out of that particular cross is a greater revelation of how He is Our Elder Brother who leads us to Our Father, which can lead to male relationships on the human level in which the joy of fatherly, filial, or brotherly love can be more profoundly understood and experienced.

Brad Evans said...

One of the worst things about this is that Weakland was able to get $450K simply by asking only one other person; nobody ever knew where they money was or had gone until there was a public scandal and he was forced to open the books.

Tribunus said...

I think God does not take away with out giving back even more - usually "pressed down and running over" as Scripture says.

So if He gives you a particular "thorn of the flesh" then, if one struggles against sin, He will compensate with greater gifts elsewhere.

Look at St Paul, for starters, who tells us that he was buffeted by a "thorn of the flesh". And he became the great Apostle of the Gentiles and one of the greatest of saints.

The Church teaches that same-sex attraction is a disorder but then lots of people have disorders of one kind or another and, indeed, we all suffer from the disorder of Original Sin.

Every Christian who is worthy of the name will have compassion on his brother who suffers from a disorder and will wish to pray for him and help him (or her).

Equally, we should take care not to pander to our disorders lest they lead us into sin.

One of the ironies of this particular disorder is that one rarely knows those who have succeeded in overcoming it because they are the ones who never need to say so. It is those who remain yet in thrall to their disorder who will insist upon making an unwisely big issue of it.

Archbishop Weakland seems (so far) to be of the latter kind. Let us pray that he will one day become one of the former kind.

We shall never know in this life but it is said that St Aelred of Rievaulx was one who struggled with such a disorder. He offered his struggle to God and so became a saint.

For those with that disorder he would seem to be a good saint to pray to.

Bryan Dunne said...

Here is Archbishop's Weakland's condemnation of Ecclesia Dei.

Liturgical Renewal:
Two Latin Rites?

by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B

an extract:

"Just at the moment when the situation was beginning to settle down and the deeper and more spiritual aspects of the renewal were becoming possible, a whole new battle began, one in which the renewal itself was brought into question or where everyone seemed free to project his or her personal views on how the renewal of the council should have taken place. As well-meaning as that decision to broaden the Tridentine usage was, one cannot emphasize enough how devasting the results have been. Not only was the liturgical renewal of the council called into question; the impression was created that, with sufficient protest, the whole of Vatican Council II could be reversed.

Moreover, since the conferences of bishops around the world were involved in the post-Vatican II liturgical implementation, they are now under suspicion; their wisdom and authority are placed under a cloud of mistrust. We have entered a truly "cafeteria" period in Catholicism, in which one can pick and choose from Vatican Council II what one likes and what one dislikes. The disunity that Pope Paul VI sought to avoid has come to pass.

Copyright © 1999-2007 American Catholic Press. All rights reserved.
Leaflet Missal® is a registered trademark of ACP.
16565 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473
Phone: (708) 331-5485 Fax: (708) 331-5484