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Benedictine abbey asks Archbishop Weakland to delay plans for retirement there

Catholic World News - July 02, 2014

Archbishop Rembert Weakland has disclosed that his plans to retire to a Benedictine monastery have been put on hold because of concerns that his presence could be disruptive to a community already troubled by charges of sexual misconduct.

Archbishop Weakland, who retired in 2002 from his post as Archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had planned to move into St. Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania this summer. A Benedictine priest, now 87 years old, he said that “I wanted to get back to the monastery and get back to the monastic routine.”

However, St. Vincent Archabbey has recently been troubled by charges from a former monk who sued the abbot after he was charged with using child pornography. Although he was cleared of the pornography charges, the former monk was found guilty by the Vatican of raising false accusations against the abbot. In light of the difficulties caused by the conflicting charges, Archbishop Weakland reported, Archabbot Douglas Nowicki had asked him to delay his move to Pennsylvania.

Archbishop Weakland himself has been a lightning-rod for criticism in the sex-abuse scandal. In sworn depositions that have now been made public he admitted shuffling priests who had been accused of molesting minors during his term as leader of the Milwaukee archdiocese. He also paid over $400,000 in archdiocesan funds in an attempt to buy the silence of a man who said that he was Weakland’s former lover.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 04, 2014 8:28 AM ET USA

    What a sorry mess, and how difficult it has made evangelization! I ask again, what did we ever do to merit having the likes of Weakland and others of his ilk visited on us?

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