Archbishop Rembert Weakland, OSB, who is obviously preparing for the book circuit to promote his upcoming memoir, has decided that he'll speak out vigorously against the Church's position on homosexuality. In a story posted today on the New York Times website, the archbishop points the finger of blame for his current state of semi-exile and disrepute at everyone else but himself. At the same time, he takes the opportunity to make some headlines and ensure that his book will get the publicity he needs to bring in the big bucks. Maybe he can pay back the $450,000 he took from the Catholics of Milwaukee when he decided to cover up his gay love affair all those years ago.
This is the kind of thing that makes disaffected Catholics go ballistic. I can hear the questions I'm going to have to answer the next time I see certain neighbors and friends who will, rightly so, take umbrage with the fact that an ordained Benedictine priest, who took a vow of obedience to the Benedictine Rule, which includes chastity and poverty, managed to sidestep all of that and land himself a very cushy retirement at a Benedictine abbey in the lovely landscape of western New Jersey. That's a pretty hard sell when there are good Catholics who desperately want to be part of their Church but cannot because of far lesser sins. (I'm thinking of some really holy people I know who are struggling with the tragedy of divorce and the desire to still have a marriage partner at some point down the road.) Somehow the idea that a man who broke all of his vows and paid out hush money with Church funds to cover it up can still celebrate Mass and hear confessions doesn't sit well with many in the lay state who are struggling with their own issues of broken vows.
Read the full story HERE, and prepare to be furious as the archbishop manages to find one excuse after another for his indiscretions, for his cover-up, for his decision to reassign pedophiles despite taking a hard line against other Church members who did the same. It's shameful, and it's disheartening for so many people trying to live good lives who do not get similar treatment because they do not hold the clerical clout of the archbishop.