Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Former Archbishop Weakland gets to stay among his victims

WISN's Mark Belling and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are reporting that former Milwaukee Archbishop Weakland will not be moving to the abbey in New Jersey as he hoped. (Ht: Dad29.)

Weakland said he rescinded his plans to move to St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, N.J., on May 18 after Abbot Giles Hayes expressed concerns about his presence in the wake of a New York Times story recounting revelations in his forthcoming memoir.

"It seemed evident to me that they thought my presence there might be a negative element for the school and monastery," said Weakland, who discusses his homosexuality and his handling of clergy sex abuse in the book, "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church," which is due out this month.

St. Mary's is home to Delbarton School, a prestigious boys college preparatory school operated by the Benedictine monks of St. Mary's, about 35 miles from Manhattan.

Giles, who is the former headmaster of the school, said Weakland changed his plans without explanation a week earlier, and that he had no reason to believe controversy surrounding the book played a role.

Weakland said that the day he sent the e-mail offering his withdrawal, the Benedictine community was scheduled to meet to discuss concerns about his move.

"I put in the option that I would withdraw if it was a problem," he said.

Weakland, 82, said he would remain in Milwaukee.

As the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha pointed out to me, this means that when Weakland's book does come out he gets to live among the people he wrote about and victimized.

I can well imagine that St. Mary's might have legitimate concerns about having someone who excused and covered-up for pedophiles living close to "a prestigious boys college preparatory school." He certainly would not be considered a positive influence.