The moral bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Church continues to be revealed incrementally. The latest revelation comes from the memoirs of the former Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (WebCite cached article):

Weakland says he didn’t know priests’ abuse was crime

In the early years of the sex abuse scandal in Milwaukee, retired Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland says in his soon-to-be released memoir, he did not comprehend the potential harm to victims or understand that what the priests had done constituted a crime.

“We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature,” Weakland says in the book, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church,” due out in June.

Weakland said he initially “accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it.’”

Let me get this straight: A Roman Catholic archbishop didn’t know that child abuse is criminal? Really??? Does this guy honestly expect me to believe that?

This is unreal! And it’s absolutely inexcusable.

Weakland has more than a few skeletons in his own closet, independent of the priest-pedophilia scandal itself:

Weakland retired in 2002 after it became known that he paid $450,000 in 1998 to a man who had accused him of date rape years earlier.

How wonderful. He managed to remain in his office as archbishop for four years after paying off one of his own victims. How did the Vatican not know about this when the payment was made in 1998? Of course the Vatican knew … and it nevertheless left him there until he resigned of his own volition. This makes the Vatican nearly as culpable in his (mis)conduct, as Weakland was himself

Here’s a challenge to any and all Roman Catholics out there who may be reading this: What in hell are you thinking? How can you remain connected to this organization as it stands? If you want to stay in it, but reform it, what exactly are you doing to accomplish that goal (other than merely saying you’d like it to change)?

Or do you think that the Roman Catholic hierarchs are always right, no matter what they do, and that all their actions are automatically moral, merely by virtue of the office they hold?

If you accept that what the RC Church is doing is wrong, but do not remove yourself from it or work to change it, then you are in collusion with its immorality. If you accept that the hierarchy is always right, by definition and by office, then you are as morally bankrupt as they are. Either way it’s not a good reflection on you — and that makes me even prouder to be a lapsed Catholic (and therefore an apostate) myself.

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9 Responses to “Former Catholic Archbishop Reveals Immorality”
  1. [...] wrong, let’s talk about the R.C. hierarchy’s record in the matter of moral discernment. Former archbishop of Milwaukee Rembert Weakland admitted he’d been unaware that child abuse was wrong. While he’d been bishop of Bridgeport, retired Cardinal Edward [...]

  2. [...] the Catholic Church has use to justify the raping and buggering of children: All are links. What's wrong with abusing chiildren? asks Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland Devil-inspired, tempter children- Irish clergy Sexually assaulting children is not paedophilia [...]

  3. [...] we’ve heard this sort of claim from a Catholic hierarch, in spite of how inexcusable it is. Former Milwaukee archbishop Rembert Weakland made a similar admission, a few years ago. Other hierarchs have expressed a casual attitude toward abuse allegations. [...]

  4. [...] hierarchs who’ve said similar, if not identical, things are Rembert Weakland, former Arcbishop of Milwaukee, and Cardinal Roger Mahony, former Archbishop of Los [...]

  5. RuariJM says:

    "Or do you think that the Roman Catholic hierarchs are always right, no matter what they do, and that all their actions are automatically moral, merely by virtue of the office they hold?"

    No, don't be silly. Anyone who actually paid attention to even the most basic teaching knows that no-one within the Church is "always right". And before anyone goes and makes themselves look daft with a shallow and ill-considered comment about infallibility, take the time to read up on when it is used, in what circumstances, by whom – and, a rather interesting one, when was the LAST time the Pope spoke infallibly. You might be surprised.

    "If you accept that what the RC Church is doing is wrong, but do not remove yourself from it or work to change it, then you are in collusion with its immorality."

    Are you talking about the RC Church as the institution, the bricks and mortar, or the body politic?

    Are you REALLY going to hold a parishioner in Austria responsible for the errors of an Archbishop in the Mid-West of the USA? are you going to hold a bishop inGermany responsible for the disgusting self-indulgence of a fat Yank in Chicago?

    Are you going to place the full responsibility to change the organisation on the head of an elderly, devout lady in England?

    If so, then I charge you to pull American troops out of Afghanistan forthwith, to stop launching drone attacks on Pashtun weddings, to release all prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, to stop executing people – in Texas, especially – and to stop Goldman Sachs from sucking wealth out of every coffer they can pay their hands on. After all – you're American, aren't you? If you accept that what the American government and American institutions are doing is wrong, but do not remove yourself from it or work to change it, then you are in collusion with its immorality.

    "If you accept that the hierarchy is always right, by definition and by office, then you are as morally bankrupt as they are."

    If you think that is what Catholics believe then you are educationally deficient.

    " Either way it’s not a good reflection on you — and that makes me even prouder to be a lapsed Catholic (and therefore an apostate) myself."

    Articles like this are not a good reflection upon you. They exhibit shallowness of knowledge, lack of education, and more prejudice and bigotry than thoughtful consideration.

    • PsiCop says:

      Re: "No, don't be silly. Anyone who actually paid attention to even the most basic teaching knows that no-one within the Church is "always right".

      Anyone who actually paid attention to what I typed, knows that I posed the question as a hypothetical. If you accept that unthinking obeisance to all Catholic hierarchs is not required of Catholics, then there is no reason for Catholics not to stand up to those hierarchs when they've misbehaved. They have no reason not to confront them, rebuke them, or do whatever they see is needed in order to hold them accountable.
      Re: "Are you talking about the RC Church as the institution, the bricks and mortar, or the body politic?"
      I'm talking about both. Catholicism is the Catholics who comprise it … clergy and laity together.

      Re: "Are you REALLY going to hold a parishioner in Austria responsible for the errors of an Archbishop in the Mid-West of the USA?"
      Of course not. What I am saying is that each Catholic is responsible for his/her own portion of Catholicism. If one's own diocese and bishop have misbehaved, one is morally and ethically required to address it. My question is, why haven't midwestern Catholics done more to go after their own hierarchs? Why do they sit silently in the pews and listen to them kvetch and moan about how persecuted they are, and refuse to hold them accountable for their behavior?

      What you do not condemn and work against, you condone. It really is just that simple.

      Re: "If you accept that the hierarchy is always right, by definition and by office, then you are as morally bankrupt as they are."

      Again you appear to have missed the hypothetical nature of that statement (you see that "If" at the beginning of the sentence?).

      Re: "Articles like this are not a good reflection upon you. They exhibit shallowness of knowledge, lack of education, and more prejudice and bigotry than thoughtful consideration."

      Your insults are based on a fundamental lack of understanding what I said. I could, if I were doing what you do, leap to the conclusion that you're defending Mother Church at all costs and would rather perish than admit any of its hierarchs could possibly have done anything criminal. But I'm not doing that.

  6. RuariJM says:

    One response in four years – even after dedicated promotion across the blogsphere! How awful for such a one as you.

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