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."
>> Therefore it makes sense to me that when he became Christs disciple, she had already passed away.
That is nothing more than pure conjecture ... a guess. There is simply no justifiable Biblical reason to believe that Peter’s wife was dead. It is a forced interpretation as justification for contrived celibacy arguments that would be completely derailed if Peter’s marriage was not objectionable to Christ.
The passage I cited from 1 Corinthians, under most translations thereof, seems to indicate that Peter brought his wife along with him during his discipleship.
>> Well then. Cite please to show that the Vatican actually says that they are the sole representative of God on Earth. :)
The doctrine that the Vatican alone is endowed by the Almighty with doctrinal infallibility, so as to make decisions and proclamations on His behalf, would seem to indicate as much.
Thank you proving my point. You marginalize my opinion by calling it a rant. You don’t deign to argue since my response doesn’t rise to the level of your towering intellect. Your understanding of Catholicism is miniscule, yet you present yourself as an expert and, as an extra bonus, you insult me for my beliefs. Welcome to Free Republic President Obama. BTW-your tying deviancy, whether it was homosexuality or pedophilia, is still flawed and ignorant (but I’m sure you’ll still be able to come up with a pithy and insulting response anyway).
>> Thank you proving my point.
>> You marginalize my opinion by calling it a rant. You dont deign to argue since my response doesnt rise to the level of your towering intellect. Your understanding of Catholicism is miniscule, yet you present yourself as an expert and, as an extra bonus, you insult me for my beliefs.
I have never referred to myself as an expert on anything, and never touted my own intellect in the least. I am just your average Baptist (non-Catholic) observer. I haven’t insulted you ... and honestly haven’t even addressed you very much at all. I disagree with some of your beliefs wholeheartedly, and won’t pretend otherwise. If you regard that disagreement as an insult ... so be it.
>> Welcome to Free Republic President Obama. BTW-your tying deviancy, whether it was homosexuality or pedophilia, is still flawed and ignorant (but Im sure youll still be able to come up with a pithy and insulting response anyway).
You seem to be hankerin’ for a fight — not sure why, and I’m not really interested in any case. You disagree with me. You find me “flawed and ignorant”. Fine by me. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been disagreed with.
The Catholic Church’s decision (in the US anyway) to allow admittedly gay men into the priesthood was, is and always will be inexcusable. They now literally have their own private enclaves in som diocese, trading sex for power and position, and running anyone who challenges them out into the boondocks.
Pope Benedict needs to seriously purge the church of this infestation.
Sorry, but don’t agree with this. While the incident of Homosexuality is far higher in the priesthood than most leigh folk realize, the pedophile issue is mass hysteria over reality. Rates of catholic priests even accused of such acts are lower than the general population.
How the church has handled these incidents has been poor to flat out disgusting depending on the case, but the actual incident of cases is lower than the general population. The press generally doesn’t bother to point that out though, because of their hatred of anything that doesn’t buy into the anything goes mantra they desire.
>> and, as an extra bonus, you insult me for my beliefs.
For the record, the first sentence of your first post to me (before which I had never spoken to you), referred to me as “ignorant and moronic”. Thus far, you’re the only one that has been throwing around insults. This opening salvo is also why I characterized your little hissy-fit as a “rant”, and why I really haven’t bothered to speak with you at any length.
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Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland Admits He's Gay
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This is not true.
Seminarians now undergo a series of tests and interviews that would daunt the average career seeker.
It has been cleaned up. Do you know that there were more sexual attacks in public schools and in Protestant churches than in the Catholic Church last year?
Now stop believing the NYSlimes!
>> Really? How do you protestants plan to get rid of the homosexuals and pedophiles among your ministers, then?
We have our ways. Ted Haggard, for instance, was fired, excommunicated, forbidden from preaching anywhere in the State of Colorado ... and became a traveling insurance salesman.
Again, you never address anything in my argument. For the record, your statements were ignorant and moronic. You made broad and unsubstanitated statements which showed your ignorance. You made them about people you don’t know based on information gained from publications you know have a record of fabricating stories about people or groups they don’t like; that’s moronic. You don’t speak to me because I defend people you’ve already decided are beneath contempt. You’ve gone from referring to my argument as a rant and now you want to call it a hissy-fit. I’m glad you’ve decided to elevate the intellectual level of the conversation. You insulted a group of people that I happen to know personally and regard highly. If you weren’t prepared to back it up with anything other than schoolyard taunts, then don’t post here. I may not be as measured in my responses as I should have been, but you hit a nerve. That doesn’t mean I will not contimie to challenge you. What else do you have besides “I didn’t say they were pedophiles”?
Frankly, I’m not surprised to see that you are a Baptist. I’ve had a Baptist pastor tell my child she wasn’t a Christian because she was a Catholic. Beleive me, the exact opposite is being preached from the pulpits of my church. True evil divides true Christians. Always has, always will. I don’t know if you’ve read it here or not, but there is a war on our culture and our faith going on right now. Allowing ignorance (and it is ignorance) like this to divide us leaves a big hole for our common enemy to fill. Well at least this let’s me know where you are coming from.
>> Again, you never address anything in my argument.
I thought I was clear. I’m not particularly interested in a back-and-forth bitch-fest with you.
>> You made them about people you dont know based on information gained from publications you know have a record of fabricating stories about people or groups they dont like; thats moronic.
I didn’t make any statements about any individual, and never referenced any particular publication as the source of my opinions. Keep the insults coming, chief.
>> You dont speak to me because I defend people youve already decided are beneath contempt.
I don’t speak to you (with mixed success) because you’re kind-of a pain.
>> Youve gone from referring to my argument as a rant and now you want to call it a hissy-fit.
>> Im glad youve decided to elevate the intellectual level of the conversation.
It didn’t have anywhere to go but up.
>> You insulted a group of people that I happen to know personally and regard highly.
Who? Gay priests? Priests generally?
>> I may not be as measured in my responses as I should have been, but you hit a nerve.
Oversensitivity is not a virtue.
>> What else do you have besides I didnt say they were pedophiles?
Your initial argument was about placing a “Scarlet P” (for pedophile, I assume) on priests ... or something to that effect. It was a nonsequitur — I haven’t referred to anyone as a pedophile, or even referenced pedophilia at all ... thus your “scarlet P” argument doesn’t make any sense.
>> Frankly, Im not surprised to see that you are a Baptist.
>> Ive had a Baptist pastor tell my child she wasnt a Christian because she was a Catholic.
I haven’t said that. Your Salvation is between you and God.
>> Allowing ignorance (and it is ignorance) like this to divide us leaves a big hole for our common enemy to fill.
An unfortunate turn-of-phrase in a conversation about homosexuality in the church. Ignorance of what? Gay priests?
>> Well at least this lets me know where you are coming from.
Gutsy move ... a sweeping judgment of Baptists in the same paragraph that castigates a Baptist preacher for a sweeping judgment of Catholics.
First not all Lutherans are in the same denomination, so the abuse you describe may be in one particular or several but not all denominations.
The more important difference between the Lutherans and RCC is that the Lutheran churches, when this stuff is discovered, are able to remove their pastors at the church level by the Elders and/or the Congregation, and turn the matter over to law enforcement. There is no church hierarchy that exists like the RCC’s that had an unofficial policy of shuffling and hiding abusive priests and not involving law enforcement. Lutherans get rid of those that do this and have the power at the Congregational level to do that. The RCC historically has not, the bishops and archbishops have moved them around in their archdioceses and not told the places that were getting abusive priests what they were getting.
I know, I was in a church that got one of these guys and the senior priest in charge was never told. He began abusing boys while he was there, several wound up committing suicide because they were messed up from it. The abusive priest was Dan Burns, up in Sheboygan WI. One of the few who wound up in jail for awhile.
A widespread problem and possible cover-up may indicate a larger problem than does an individual fallen parishoner whose behavior is met with an immediate firing and excommunication.
If Haggard had not been fired, excommunicated, and run out on a rail, I would’ve expressed my own problems with the handling of the situation.
You kind of missed the whole ironic nature of my post, didn’t you. The “gutsy move” was meant to mirror what you’ve said. It’s obvious that you just want to goad me (and everyone else that has disagreed with you on this thread), so I’ll just leave you alone. Be sure to not to break anything falling off of that high horse of yours.