Monday, December 20, 2010

More Reflections from the Past: My Response to the Resignation of Archbishop Rembert Weakland

Another selection from a journal entry of mine from the past.  This one comments on the resignation of Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee after it became public that Weakland had had a consensual sexual relationship with an adult male, and had used diocesan funds to pay his former lover hush money when the affair soured.  I actually wrote this journal entry in Milwaukee, where, as it happened, Steve had a job interview at the same time that Weakland resigned.

2 June 2002: Various columns in today's paper re: the Weakland affair.  He made a public apology on Friday evening, which we saw (excerpts of it) only on CNN late that night.

It all leaves me cold.  I can't feel much of anything, because I feel very much cut off (emotionally cut off) from the shenanigans of the hierarchy.

Well, that's not entirely true.  I have thoroughly enjoyed, in what I hope is a poetic-justice kind of way and not a Schadenfreude one, the discomfiture of that Evil Eminence Bernie Law, who's done such evil to so many good people, including Roger H.  And I've taken satisfaction in the exposure of Bishop Curlin and Abbot Placid.

With Weakland, I feel cold.  Yes, I admired him and saw him as a champion of the "right" cause in the church.  But I was dismayed when he said, a year of so ago, that the conservatives in the church deserve a hearing and have a valid contribution to make.  Theoretically true, but politically and tactically nonsensical: you don't let down side when the battle's raging.

Above all, I felt keen disappointment in Weakland when I saw him on t.v. a few years back confessing his love for beautiful women and his desire to have married and had a family, had he not chosen priesthood.

I feel, now, the weight that never leaves me, of a system run totally amok, which will never speak truth about homosexuality or permit gay voices to count.  When I read in Newsweek yesterday an editorial by Kenneth Woodward re: the abuse crisis, saying gay priests are more likely to be pedophiles and psychologically immature, I felt the weight even more.  Gays won't come out of this crisis vindicated or feeling accepted.  We're in for a fresh round of increased homophobic activity in the church.

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