Priest Abuse and Archbishop Weakland

Archbishop Rembert Weakland, OSB resigned his post as Archbishop of Milwaukee in disgrace in 2002 after revelations surfaced that he had secretly paid Paul Marcoux $450,000 to keep quiet about their sexual affair. After the revelations surfaced, Marcoux spoke to the media and told his side of the story. According to him, the relationship was more akin to date rape and its cessation caused him financial hardship.
Now, Weakland is set to publish his memoirs, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church” where he writes about the sexual abuse scandal and his own struggle with homosexuality. In the book, scheduled to hit newsstands in a few months, Weakland states that he knew sexual abuse was a moral evil but didn’t understand the criminal nature of the acts. In pleading ignorance, Weakland defends his inaction concerning abusive clergy in the memoir.
However, victim advocacy groups are releasing documents that refute these claims. In one letter to a nun concerning a sexually abusive priest, Weakland wrote, “So far, we have succeeded in preserving his reputation, and I hope we are able to do so in the future.” The priest, Rev. Lawrence Murphy has been accused of multiple child rapes including the rapes of numerous boys at the St. John School for the Deaf in St. Francis.
Once again, a bishop’s self-excusing testimony doesn’t coincide with the historical facts that are revealed in documents and letters from the time. In their attempt to re-write history, the bishops, including Weakland forget there’s a paper trail of documents lingering in secret archives of dioceses and archdioceses around the world. These are the documents that tell the true story of what actually happened.
As in the recently concluded priest sex abuse trial in Seattle, the only way to find the truth is to bring the abusers and the officials who covered for them into a courtroom. Under penalty of civil law, the truth is revealed and church officials can’t hide behind the public relations machine or their personal/spiritual charisma.