You already knew former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland had some same-sex leanings, given the sexual (and financial) scandal that led to his resignation in 2002 after a 25-year tenure. But now he’s got a book to sell! And nothing gets juicier than uber-conservative religious types coming out.
In A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop, Weakland, now 82, not only discusses the secret $450,000 payoff to now-former university student Paul Marcoux that led to his ouster, but also his failings to keep other predatory priests out of the flock by refusing to banish known abusers. (Weakland denied assaulting Marcoux and never admitted wrongdoing.)
Interestingly, newly installed New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan — whose anti-gay extremes has him promising to use his pulpit to get involved in keeping same-sex marriage out of New York — arrived from, you guessed it, the Milwaukee diocese.
Weakland released a statement to Catholics ahead of the book’s publishing, warning them what was to come. So why publish now? Says Weakland: “What I felt was that people who loved me as bishop here, when they read the book will continue to love me. The people who found it difficult, I hope will be helped a little bit by the book. … Some people will be angry about the book, others will support it.”
It’s a sad coming out tale. And if you think about it, Weakland is set to profit from his crimes.