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.

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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.