See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Memorializing the scandal... Archbishop Weakland, Protector of Children.


Mary Mother of the Church and the Weakland memorial.
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The artwork is stunning - I think it is beautifully executed.  The relief of Archbishop Weakland could be that of a saint... but a protector of children?  That seems to be how it is being interpreted.  One of the artists responded to a growing number of critics:
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The relief bronze panel below Mother Mary depicts the diversity of the Milwaukee Catholic community. It is ,indeed, the tower of St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in the background and St. John is on the right with Archbishop Weakland on the left. The young mother in the foreground represents Mother Mary with today's children and Christ Child. The elderly woman praying represents St. Anne. The portrait of Father Last (current rector of the Cathedral) is also depicted in the background. You are correct that our intention was to merge the biblical message with contemporary reality. - Anna Koh Varilla
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Opponents to the Weakland memorial are asking why a dissident archbishop is permitted to speak in his former cathedral for the dedication of the shrine next Tuesday, January 12.  I expect dissident is the correct term since Weakland is openly homosexual and advocates a change in Church teaching regarding homosexual behavior.  He also left Milwaukee in disgrace and scandalized many across the United States. 
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Next Tuesday leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) will hold a sidewalk news conference on the steps of Milwaukee’s Catholic Cathedral urging newly installed archbishop Jerome Listecki to explain:
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  • --why disgraced former archbishop Rembert Weakland is being honored next Tuesday, January 12th, with giving the keynote address at the Cathedral on the renovation of St. John’s;
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  • --why, as part of that renovation, Weakland commissioned charitable money to be used to create a bronze relief of himself pictured in the biblical scene of Jesus protecting the little children (the relief is on the pedestal of the Mary, Mother of the Church Shrine, which is on the east side altar of the cathedral);


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  • --why, for the first time since the 2002 revelations of paying half a million dollars in hush money to a man who says Weakland sexually abused him, is Weakland being allowed to ascend the Cathedral pulpit, but not in order to explain his covering up of child sex abuse crimes;


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  • -how these actions are going to help bring about the desperately needed healing and resolution of the ongoing clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis in the Milwaukee archdiocese. - Source

Amazing, huh?

H/T to Paula for the story.
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Link:
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News report

7 comments:

  1. Maria3:27 PM

    This is, frankly, shocking. It gives new meaning to the " smoke of Satan that filters in through fissures in the walls of the church". These sorts of incidents truly perplex and disturb me. I don't understand.

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  2. This is just "over the top"!
    I ask you all to pray for Archbishop Listecki. He was our bishop for almost five years. He is a good man, a holy priest and bishop. And he has a lot to deal with in his new position.

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  3. Maria8:29 PM

    Padre, Angela: I am really starting to think that there is really no answer to these sorts of things but prayer. I have taken to praying, daily, for the Jesuits, for e.g. I will pray for him, Padre.

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  4. Austringer10:42 PM

    Yeah, "diversity" is represented all right....with Archbishop Weakland representing "alternative lifestyles".

    A friend of mine once observed, after I was on the receiving end of truly rotten behavior from my famously orthodox priest, that the Church has more enemies within the walls of the sheephold than are prowling outside of it. It just feels worse to the sheep....

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  5. Austringer: I do share your insights...some "orthodox" Catholics have been the source of great suffering for me, as well.
    We have to pray and do penance with a real love each day because "the smoke of Satan has entered the Church" (Paul VI). This is not a cause for leaving the Church nor becoming bitter, but just realizing that our real enemy is not "flesh and blood" but the demonic entities that want to destroy us and keep us from our good Jesus.

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  6. Maria - you are absolutely correct.

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