Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Retrospective: The Unanswered Question behind the Rembert Weakland Scandal: Was the Implementation of Vatican II a Homosexual Fantasy?

I would say that my role and my legacy has been to keep the Catholic church very much alive within the bigger, larger community. There's a tendency in the Catholic Church now toward an isolationism. And that's part of the reform of the reform, a kind of return to what was called in the last century integrism, almost as if the church becomes a separate society. And I've avoided all of that. I've taken the risk myself, and I've kept the community aware that the Catholics are here to stay. - Rembert Weakland on his legacy as archbishop of Milwaukee

It was almost as if God took pity on the Catholic Church. Just as the media had succeeded in framing the sexual crisis which has plagued the Church ever since the close of the Second Vatican Council by falsely defining it as the "pedophilia" issue, the story of Rembert Weakland broke. Weakland, ordinary of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee since 1977, admitted not only to having an affair with an adult graduate student in theology shortly after assuming his duties as archbishop, he also admitted to paying a settlement of $450,000 to keep the incident quiet. That, of course, is precisely what he did not admit, at least not in the first few days of the scandal, but the conclusion, given the particulars in the case was inescapable. Paul Marcoux, the man who received the archdiocesan settlement in 1998, had no chance of winning an abuse case if the case had ever gone to trial because he was an adult when the sexual activity took place, and all the evidence points to the fact that it was consensual.

If he were simply interested in having the truth come out or saving the archdiocese money, Archbishop Weakland could have allowed the case to go to trial and would have been exonerated of any charge of criminal activity. In fact, the case probably never would have gone to trial. But if it had, the archbishop, in order to defend himself, would have had to admit that he engaged in consensual homosexual activity, and it was this threat of public exposure and not any worry about conviction that led Weakland to settle out of court with archdiocesan money. It was blackmail, pure and simple, and Weakland, by forking out $450,000 in archdiocesan money to keep his blackmailer silent, admitted 1) that homosexual activity was particularly heinous, so heinous that there was no point in defending a civil or criminal case if he had to use the consensuality of the act as his defense 2) that the settlement was motivated by a desire to save his reputation--his "legacy," as he used to say--and the power that went with it.  (more...)

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