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So much for retiring in disgrace

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Mar 24, 2004

You know when you're forced to retire after it's revealed that you misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars to give it to your gay lover, you'd think you'd have enough shame not to set up your own web site. But that's not Archbishop Weakland, is it?

When will Paul Shanley's web site go up? Oh that's right, too, the Dallas charter doesn't apply to bishops. And that's why you can have Weakland and other disgraced bishops engaging in other ministries, like performing Confirmations or even just presenting themselves in public as priests, something ordinary accused priests can't do.

The rules are different for those who make the rules.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2004 11:15 AM ET USA

    Love thine enemies. Earlier this year I had the interesting experience of particpating in a military capital appeal, as a defense lawyer detailed to help the actual appellate attorneys prepare. My review of the record convinced me that the appellant should be taken out and shot, unceremoniously, but nonetheless I "loved my enemy" as Christ instructed, and did my duty. We are tested in the same way with RM. Let us be Christians.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 24, 2004 11:44 PM ET USA

    I forgive retired Archbishop Weakland, if he's repented of his former errors, and pledged (publicly) full and complete allegiance and fidelity in teaching the Magisterium. If not, then too bad, so sad.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2004 10:20 PM ET USA

    "Forced?" Don't you think you're giving John Paul the Patsy just a little too much credit? JPII waited and waited and waited and WAITED for Weakland to retire. It didn't matter how much damage the archbishop did or to whom he did it. If you think Weakland was awful--and he was--what can you think of the Pontiff who was more loyal to a thug in vestments than to the flock he was supposed to be guarding? Certainly, upon just a little reflection, we won't be rushing to append "the Great" to his name

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2004 7:41 PM ET USA

    Ah, yes. Weakland "said he was sorry". So that makes it all right then? Let's all join hands and sing Kumbaya! I will be more convinced of Weakland and other episcopal contrition once they proactively admit their sins before being exposed and seek to exercise damage control. Weakland disgraced the hierarchy, his cloth and orthodox Catholicism. If he were truly penitent he would eschew all publicity and spend his remaining days in penitential humility. But then humilty was never his forte.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2004 6:46 PM ET USA

    Unfortunately, he showed this contrition only when he was caught. I would be impressed by a bishop (ANY bishop) who publicly admitted wrongdoing before being forced to admit to wrongdoing; it is far less impressive when such a person, with full knowledge of his misdoings, sought to hide these and only admitted to them when there was no alternative.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 24, 2004 4:35 PM ET USA

    The fact that he clings to the title, pomp, ceremony, privileges, status, vestments etc. of an archbishop is evidence of being inpenitent. After Mary Magdalene had her moment of contrition, she didn't continue in the jewelry, fashion, and appearance of a prostitute. For Weakland to still show his miter and crosier, it's shouting to the world: "Still an Archbishop! I got away with it, after all! Out and Proud!"

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2004 12:57 PM ET USA

    I forgive Archbishop Weakland. He is one of the few bishops in this Country who made a public act of contrition for his sinful behavior. We need to be reminded that Jesus demanded that, as followers of Christ, we forgive one another and not judge one another. I will also place his website address in my favorite folder in my browser.

  • Posted by: AveMaria580 - Mar. 24, 2004 12:12 PM ET USA

    "Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness." (Lk. 11:35). I am repeatedly astounded at how often darkness is called light. Sin blinds the intellect and the mind. The blindness is greatly intensified when the true light has been known and rejected. Their last state is worse than their first. Weakland among others really thinks he knows what is best for the Church. And, in their dark caves they whine because those basking in the light won't follow follow their surreal phantasms.

  • Posted by: Margo - Mar. 24, 2004 10:55 AM ET USA

    I had the displeasure of hearing Michael Morwood speak in the santuary of a Catholic church this past Monday evening. This was a presentation designed to "enrich" our lenten journey. The pastor is a well known "progressive" of the Weakland mode. Prior to hearing Morwood, I might have brushed off the comment made by Patriot6908 as excessive. I don't think hold that opinion any longer. We await our new bishop. He has a lot of work ahead to clean up the mess in the Richmond Diocese!

  • Posted by: Monk247 - Mar. 24, 2004 10:36 AM ET USA

    Just for the record-Rembert was retiring as a matter of the canonical age limit. His letter was already into Rome. Dates for the retirement had already been set. Besides-if any of you know his history with Rome-you would not have used the word "forced". I am sure that Rome had X's marking the days on their calendar for his "retirement bond" to reach maturity. Point #2- Jesus said "Go and sin no more" not go and cease to exist. He restored peroonal dignity. Let's do the same!

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Mar. 24, 2004 9:56 AM ET USA

    A sense of shame is redemptive. But if you can internally deny the wrong doing, then you will not feel ashamed no matter what your public pronouncements are. I may be lambasted for this comment, but I think that, at root, most progressive Catholics are really atheists, or at best agnostics. At least Adam had enough shame in his sin to go and hide himself.

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