During the years when reports of clerical sexual abuse were crossing the desk of the former archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, OSB – who resigned his post after revelations of his own homosexual predations and a payoff were publicly exposed in May 2002 – was pushing explicit sex education and pro-homosexual programs in his archdiocese.
One of the striking revelations in the 6,000 pages of documentation released July 1 by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is that the majority of complaints against offending priests – both current and those of a historical nature dating back decades – landed on Archbishop Weakland’s desk between 1979 and 1990.
Indeed, 29 of the 42 complaints of sexual abuse by archdiocesan priests that led to the archdiocese filing for bankruptcy in federal court were reported to Weakland in that period.
The first such report to reach Weakland, in April 1979, concerned Fr. William Effinger, from the father of a minor male who accused Effinger of molesting his son.