Held over for an indefinite run: Milwaukee and disgraced Archbishop Weakland’s “Oprah Ecclesiology.”

In many respects, Milwaukee still lives in Weakland World. What is that? It’s a particular (incorrect) interpretation of post-Vatican II Catholicism that veers sharply to the left. Weakland World is heavily influenced by political correctness, multi-culturalism, and an ecclesiology that stresses community and self over Sacrament and tradition. Think of it as Oprah Winfrey with a few Catholic symbols thrown in for kicks. Russell Shaw once brilliantly called it “Archbishop Weakland’s Oprah Ecclesiology.” Wish I’d thought of that one.

You could say that Milwaukee was the epicenter for this strange brand of Catholicism for several generations. Weakland World is not as bold as it once was. Resigning in disgrace tends to dim the lights of any kind of narcissistic legacy one is attempting to establish. To be fair, there are some positive signs around, especially in the younger priests who are doing great work against incredible odds. But the Weakland residue, especially in liturgy, is remarkably resilient and stubborn, sticking to our archdiocese like dirty gum on a nice pair of Italian shoes. It’s like that tipsy guest at a party who never leaves and annoys everyone. Folks would be more than willing to chip in for a taxi just so he’d leave. For some inexplicable reason, leaders of the archdiocese have been reluctant to reset the out-of-socket joint.

Read more

Editor’s note: Years after Cardinal Bernardin’s death, the Archdiocese of Chicago still suffers from many of the problems he created – and the appointments he made.

Some of the devastation homosexual Archbishop Weakland visited upon the archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Catholic Church.

Rembert Weakland was engaging in what the culture of appetite considers virtuous behavior, namely, homosexuality between consenting adults. In order to see why the pundits of the culture of control through appetite are promoting this sort of behavior among Catholic clergy, one need only view the devastation that Rembert Weakland has visited upon the archdiocese of Milwaukee during his tenure there.

Homosexuals, as I have said elsewhere (see my piece on Sir Anthony Blunt in Degenerate Moderns) are by nature of both their orientation and actions subversives.

The preliminary issue is homosexuality–both in action and orientation; the preliminary issue is also repentance, of sin in general and sexual sin in particular, as well as the amazing connection between the brain and the genitals which unrepentant sexual sin engenders. But the major and overriding issue the bishops need to address is the sexualization of the Church, something which has followed unconsciously on the heels of the general sexualization of the culture at large.

In order to propose solutions, the bishops have to have a clear understanding of the problem, and, as if moved by the hand of God, that is precisely what arrived on the scene on the eve of the bishops’ meeting when the case of Archbishop Rembert Weakland broke.

Read more

Cardinal Levada directly takes on the New York Times for its coverage of the Fr. Murphy abuse case in Wisconsin.

VATICAN GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a statement made by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Cardinal Levada directly takes on the New York Times for its coverage of the Fr. Murphy abuse case in Wisconsin. Commenting on the news story by Laurie Goodstein, Levada writes, “The point of Goodstein’s article, however, is to attribute the failure to accomplish this dismissal [of Fr. Murphy] to Pope Benedict, instead of to diocesan decisions at the time.”

Cardinal Levada has it just right. The wrongdoing in this case rests in Wisconsin. Why did the victims’ families wait as long as 15 years to report the abuse? Why were the civil authorities unconvinced by what they uncovered? Why did Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland wait almost two decades before he contacted the Vatican?

Weakland’s record in handling sex abuse cases is a matter of record. In 1984, he branded as “libelous” those who reported cases of priestly sexual abuse (he was rebuked by the courts for doing so). Ten years later he accused those who reported such cases of “squealing.” And, of course, he had to resign when his lover, a 53 year-old man, revealed that Weakland paid him $450,000 to settle a sexual assault lawsuit (Weakland took the money from archdiocesan funds). It’s a sure bet that if Weakland were a theological conservative­–and not a champion of liberal causes–the media (including the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal) would be all over him.

We also need to learn from Laurie Goodstein why she waited until Wednesday, March 30, to interview Fr. Thomas Brundage, the priest who presided over the Murphy trial. Brundage has said that the pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, had absolutely nothing to do with the Murphy case. And we need to know why Weakland never gave Brundage a letter he wrote asking him to call off the trial.

There’s dirt in the Murphy case, but it sits in the U.S.A.–not Rome.