Skip to comments.Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland Admits He's Gay
Posted on 03/29/2010 2:17:12 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
A Roman Catholic archbishop who resigned in 2002 over a sex and financial scandal involving a man has written a memoir that describes how he struggled with being gay.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland, former head of the Milwaukee archdiocese, "is up front about his homosexuality in a church that preferred to ignore gays," Publisher's Weekly wrote in a review Monday.
The book, "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop," is set to be released in June and is described by the publisher as a self-examination by Weakland of his "psychological, spiritual and sexual growth."
The Vatican says that men with "deep-seated" attraction to other men should not be ordained.
Weakland stepped down quickly after Paul Marcoux, a former Marquette University theology student, revealed in May 2002 that he was paid $450,000 to settle a sexual assault claim he made against the archbishop more than two decades earlier. The money came from the archdiocese.
Marcoux went public at the height of anger over the clergy sex abuse crisis, when Catholics and others were demanding that dioceses reveal the extent of molestation by clergy and how much had been confidentially spent to settle claims.
Weakland denied ever assaulting anyone. He apologized for concealing the payment.
In an August 1980 letter that was obtained by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Weakland said he was in emotional turmoil over Marcoux and signed the letter, "I love you."
"During the last months, I have come to know how strained I was, tense, pensive, without much joy," Weakland wrote. "I felt like the world's worst hypocrite. So gradually I came back to the importance of celibacy in my life."
The revelations rocked the Milwaukee archdiocese, which Weakland had led since 1977. But when he publicly read a letter of apology for the scandal, Milwaukee parishioners gave him a a standing ovation.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee released a public statement last week alerting local Catholics that the book is soon to be published and that it deals in part with Weakland's relationship with Marcoux and the scandal.
"Some people will be angry about the book, others will support it," the archdiocese said.
Weakland, who has been a hero for liberal Catholics because of his work on social justice and other issues, will also address in the memoirs his failures to stop abusive priests.
In a videotaped deposition released last November, Weakland admitted returning guilty priests to active ministry without alerting parishioners or police.
Advocates for abuse victims said that Weakland's cover up of his own sexual activity was part of a pattern of secrecy that included concealing the criminal behavior of child molesters.
The archbishop did not respond Monday to an e-mail request for comment. Weakland, a Benedictine, plans to move to St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, N.J., this summer.
U.S. Catholics have long debated whether the priesthood had become a predominantly gay vocation. Estimates vary from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research on the issue by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood."
Cozzens, a former seminary rector, said in an interview that Weakland's acknowledgment of his sexual orientation "cuts into the denial that relatively few priests or bishops are gay."
But Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, questioned whether the book would have much impact.
"That one controversial archbishop acknowledges what everybody's known for several years," Shaw said, "I don't think that's going to make any big difference."
He was Annibale Bugnini’s right hand man, when he created the new Mass. He was the only other person to attend all the tests.
So does George Takei!
It seems blatantly obvious that the Catholic church environment attracts homosexuals and pedophiles into their priesthood.
Hardly breaking news.
What a fruit cup
Bingo! That's the only reason I posted this article. While I respect the church and its traditions, it's clear to me that the current Pope needs to resign and that they need to allow priests to marry so they can clean house of homosexuals and pedophiles.
Can someone who is Catholic please explain to me how it is that if you are celebate, you can be either straight or gay. It seems that if you give up sex, then it is a non issue.
The Catholic Church needs a better vetting process for priests, or demand that they marry and not other men. :)
Logic dictates that the celibate priesthood is a good hiding-place for men who are disinterested in women, and want to to avoid answering questions about their lack of interest in the fairer sex.
The RCC hardly ignores gays. Every male music director I’ve ever met is obviously homosexual. Homosexual men were one of the few demographics able to ‘handle’ the celibacy requirement to be a priest - no sexual attraction to women, no temptation to marry. Going after other boys and young men, however...
“Social Justice”: A term, like “gay”, whose meaning has been perverted.
I think that probably the worst single influence on the Church in America was Cardinal Bernardin, because he was extremely bright and subtle about his constant undermining of the Church. He led a lot of bishops astray.
Rembert Weakland did a considerable damage too, but frankly the guy was a jerk, not much good at hiding his dissident views. It was no surprise when that scandal broke, because it had long been pretty obvious what he was.
But at least it enabled the Vatican to force him to step down.
>> It seems blatantly obvious that the Catholic church environment attracts homosexuals and pedophiles into their priesthood.
Bingo! That’s the only reason I posted this article. While I respect the church and its traditions, it’s clear to me that the current Pope needs to resign and that they need to allow priests to marry so they can clean house of homosexuals and pedophiles. <<
Yep, and would it suprise you that the convents have a statisically larger number of lesbians than the average population, for the exact same reasons. Though because the ways a woman’s sex drive differs from men’s the number of abuse cases of priests (men) vs. nuns (women) is lower, thoguh it is still a very serious problem.
Delbarton, the highschool this Abbey is at, sent out a letter last year, that he Wasn't going to be there. I wonder if he is after all.
I ain’t a Roman Catholic, nor (obviously) do I agree with all their theology, but I must denounce this as a red herring. Lutherans, who do allow ministers to marry, see about the same rate of problems in their ministry.
>> Logic dictates that the celibate priesthood is a good hiding-place for men who are disinterested in women, and want to to avoid answering questions about their lack of interest in the fairer sex.
And Nunneries for the same reason for the opposite sex.
I'd bet dollars to doughnut holes that you're not Catholic.
>> I aint a Roman Catholic, nor (obviously) do I agree with all their theology, but I must denounce this as a red herring. Lutherans, who do allow ministers to marry, see about the same rate of problems in their ministry. <<
Are the Percentages higher for Non-married Lutheran Priests vs. Married Lutheran priests? I would liek to see som raw data if you have it.
Yeah, just think about all the rumors about Jesus.
< /s >
Yes, apparently you need to educate the Pope himself on his needs!
Indifference to women does not necessarily spell gay.
Sorry, but Protestants don’t get to shut down the monasteries twice.
I thinkt he Catholic Church needs a better process for allowing men to become priests, something like a “Ghey test”.
They are fine keeping the celebate single policy, but if they do so they will need to watch the prospective priests like hawks. I am not sure what test would be 100%, but soemthign coule be figured out, either that or force them all to take drugs to kill their sex drives to “help them out” with keeping their covenant with God and Church.
The question is, what do they do about it? Do they cover it up like this example?
No it isn’t obvious....
4000 Protestants church leaders are exiled annually for Dilldallying with their Flock....Male and female..
Classic I-know-better-than-God liberal do-gooder thinking.
A sizable minority in the gay camp (is that redundant?) like to portray “gay Christs.” They can’t imagine seeing the events of the New Testament through any other eyes.
>> Indifference to women does not necessarily spell gay. <<
True, but how can you argue that the Priesthood is 100% not a “hiding groud” for closeted homosexuals who will eventually fall and predate upon the choir boys?
unfortunately, men like this also also, in turn, force scores of young boys and parishners to also struggle with their gayness.
Hmmm. I wonder if it could be made easier, would it be less valuable?
It is the latter half of your statement that is the problem. The early church realized that a man with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained, but the "modern" church bought into the idea that "if they are celibate, gender orientation doesn't matter".....what they failed to realize is that someone sufficiently mentally ill to be homosexual is unlikely to have sufficient self-control to be chaste. But in the meantime, a lot of queer priests got into the church's bureaucratic infrastructure. It is going to take a long and persistent effort to dig them out and get rid of them.
The operative word there is "exiled". If the Protestants make six-figure payments out of the church funds, they do a better job of hiding it.
Until fairly recently it was very unchic...shameful...to be homosexual.It was something to be hidden.Given that a homosexual couldn't get "married" until a few years ago and couldn't "come out" until 10-20 years ago the priesthood was one of the "logical" places places for a Catholic male homosexual to go...particularly the ones who liked boys.
Today,homosexuals can live openly,*proudly*,get "married",adopt kids,find young boys on the internet.No need for any of them to enter the priesthood.Couple that with the fact that normal men just can't agree to live without a woman's companionship *for life* you understand why the typical seminary in this country (and,perhaps,Europe as well) is ordaining one or two priests a year.
If we don't allow priests to marry....*soon*...priests of *any* "persuasion" will be scarcer than hens' teeth.
Within *our* lifetimes!
Without the hierarchical structure that the RCC has, one mechanism for cover ups is absent there. Of course the congregation could be pro-gay, which produces another problem.
IF you give it up it is a non-issue.
It is a non issue. The real problem is homosexuality which is a grave disorder and promises of celibacy don’t seem to work for them. They may have good intentions but then the disordered personality takes over. That is why the church is now being diligent about keeping them out of the priesthood altogether.
Married ministers and teachers offend in greater percentage than all Catholic priests but because the Catholic Church is the enemy of the Communist state of the world, every imperfection is screamed throughout the world.
A comparison would be all the awful things that were said about Bush that the media kept quiet and now everything anti-Obama whether truth or not is a great crisis and Republicans are blamed.
Christ was an extraordinary man ... a man without sin, the one Son of God. Rumors are irrelevant, though I am quite sure there were people that thought many horrible things about Christ. They crucified Him.
But, He was blameless and sinless. Priests are not. Priests are just men (apparently to varying degrees) ... with all the proclivities, perversions, weaknesses, and sinfulness that that abound throughout society. Heterosexual priests no doubt have lustful and sinful thoughts, if not actions, about women.
The fact remains that priestly celibacy provides a good cover for a closet homosexual ... and apparently that convenient cover has not gone unnoticed by the closeted. It would not surprise me in the least if the proportion of homosexuals in the priesthood exceeded that of regular society, or at least of non-celibate Cathlics, Christians or clergy.
>> or force them all to take drugs to kill their sex drives to help them out with keeping their covenant with God and Church.
Hmmm. I wonder if it could be made easier, would it be less valuable? <<
Could consider the chemical equivalent of a cold shower. I knew someone who had to take simular drugs for a prostate condition, essentially a “chemical neutering”, before they had to have surgery on it, his sex drive went down to pretty much zero, he stopped lusting after other women and ended up developing several hobbies he soon dropped after he was able to get off of it. Sometimes he laments the “refound focus” the drugs gave him that he lost after stopping taking it.
Hey! Ricky Martin just did the same thing on another thread. What a coinkidink.
Exactly Doc....sin likes to hide...in this case in full view of the audiance under a deceptive mask.
My Jewish husband is more CATHOLIC than this FREAKY CREEP!!
Can you point me to your source on that?
“Gay” is a social construct that goes far beyond homosexuality. It includes things like “gay pride” and love of musical comedies (not that there is anything wrong with that). The church believed that you can have homosexual proclivities, lead a chaste life, and be in holy orders. That has proved to be a huge costly blunder.
However, when someone declares himself “Gay” he is placing himself in direct defiance of church teachings.
It is sad that this man was surrounded by Jesus (or at least the outward articles of faith), and yet he is/was lost..! (and I’ll bet his story isn’t alone)!