Milwaukee's former archbishop Rembert Weakland raised eyebrows in 2002 when it was revealed the archdiocese paid off his lover Paul Marcoux in order to buy his silence. A deposition taken last June, and now released, shows that Weakland was convinced Marcoux was blackmailing him if he refused to pay, but that, once having made the pay-off, he was responding pastorally to Marcoux's personal needs:
Jeffrey Anderson: I think I just -- why don't you tell me what the conversation with [District Attorney Michael] McCann was then.
Rembert Weakland: I had gone to a private lawyer, who said that the letters that Marcoux and his demands were extortion. I had gone to Mike McCann, who agreed, and said I could bring a case against Marcoux for extortion if I wanted, but I decided not to.
Jeffrey Anderson: And if you believe this to be -- have been extortion by him -- why did you direct that $450,000 be paid to him?
Rembert Weakland: There's a sequence here. In '98 Marcoux -- 1998, yes, Marcoux resurfaced and wanted to sell me back the letter I had written him in 1980 for $1 million, at which point I said no, and then after that, some months after that in '97 or '98, early '98, came a brief about what I spoke about earlier, about the question that had arisen of the -- of him not being able to make a livelihood, et cetera, because of whatever I was doing.
Weakland's boyfriend demanded a cool million in hush money, and the good monk got him to accept less than half. Who of us can object to a bishop who delivers a bargain like that? Call it Responsible Stewardship. He's still in good standing, after all.
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