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Recalling Randy Rembert, The Church Wrecker

Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee was a liberal lion who worked to trash the Catholic Church's tradition -- and covered up sex abuse
Recalling Randy Rembert, The Church Wrecker

Former Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland has died, aged 95. He was an archliberal who was at the forefront of just about everything bad that happened to the Catholic Church in America since the 1960s -- including sex abuse.

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Not that you would know it from the response that Vatican Pride ambassador James Martin, SJ, tweeted to his repose:

I don't at all blame Father Martin for mourning the passing of a friend, however great a sinner the friend was. But "legacy was marred" is doing a lot of work there. They recall the words of Boston's then-Cardinal Archbishop Bernard Law to the serial pedophile Father John Geoghan, upon Geoghan's retirement after cornholing little boys in a number of parishes: "Yours has been an effective life of ministry, sadly impaired by illness."

Marred, sadly impaired -- boy, the cover-uppers sure can make language do what they want it to, can't they?

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If you want to know Rembert Weakland's real legacy, take a look at these legal documents complied by Bishop Accountability. Rembert Weakland was a bad man, and not just because he spent $450,000 of the faithful's tithes (which he paid back later) to pay off a male theology student with whom he had had an affair. Weakland, a lion of liberal American Catholics, came out as gay in 2009. I hope he repented and found the same mercy all of us are going to depend on, but that does not cleanse his account with the world for what he did with the enormous power he was given by the Church.

Weakland was Milwaukee's archbishop for a very long time, during most of the child sex abuse allegations against priests. The local church had to pay $30 million to settle the cases, eventually seeking bankruptcy protection. Weakland was one of the prime architects of the national cover-up of child sex abuse by priests. For example, Archbishop Weakland routinely shredded documents listing allegations of sexual abuse by his priests. And he confessed to putting priests he knew were abusers into parish assignments without alerting parishioners, because (he said) he knew that no parish would accept them otherwise.

He was widely considered, by both admirers and detractors, to be the most progressive Catholic bishop in America, in his time. He wreckovated the Milwaukee cathedral, and aggressively promoted progressive Catholicism at the expense of orthodoxy. Yet Weakland was a prime example of why the scandal was not ideological. The most liberal and the most conservative (e.g., Bernard Law, Fabian Bruskewitz) ran cover for pedophile and abusive priests. For those who engaged in these cover-ups, the most important thing of all was the clergy, not the children who were molested, and their family members. That is the real legacy of Rembert Weakland, a godfather of the lavender mafia. Again, I don't fault Father Martin for mourning a friend, but to gloss over Weakland's grotesque conduct in office, and what his many grievous moral failures did to that archdiocese, is too much.

Having a gay affair and stealing money from the church to pay your former gay lover to be silent is one thing (again, after it became public, Weakland paid the money back). But if a friend of mine had such a long and deep record of covering up for the sexual abuse of children, I would find it difficult to mourn them publicly, at least without a hell of a lot of caveats. But Rembert was Good For The Gays™, so I guess he gets a pass. I've known of Traditionalists who were eager to give similarly bent theologically conservative priests a pass because he allowed the Latin mass in his diocese. It's all rotten. Nothing, but nothing, mitigates covering up the sexual violation of children by priests under one's authority. I don't care if everybody (= all the other bishops) were doing it. No morally sentient man can fail to know that this is an abomination.

UPDATE:

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JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
Re: Nothing, but nothing, mitigates covering up the sexual violation of children by priests under one's authority.

Agree. The word "execrable" exists to describe such behavior.
schedule 1 month ago
Theodore Iacobuzio
Theodore Iacobuzio
In fairness, Father Martin put this up on Twitter afterwards, noting that he understands how pe0ple can get angry (I ought to say that I admire his loyalty in admitting to having been this creep's friend, kind of like Dean Acheson saying "I will not turn my back on Alger Hiss"):

https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1562019454376153088

Anybody who wishes anybody to "rot in Hell" doesn't understand anything about the Catholic Faith (yes, yes, Dante: when you start writing terza rima like that give me a call). But I also think it's important to note that liberal Catholicism took shelter behind Weakland all those years (and Martin wasn't the only one, The Great Blowhard himself, Mario Cuomo, was continually citing Weakland as an authority). I know all about Bruskewitz and slobs like Law, but I also don't see how this can't be laid at the doorstep of Vatican II and its most prominent promoter, Santo Subito. I am 68 years old, remember my first Novus Ordo Mass, and remember what was taught at Catholic colleges (my sister went to one) all the way back in the '60s. It was Rembert Weakland Catholicism, straight up. Anybody who can't draw a line from that doctrinal malfeasance to the collapse of this institution isn't paying attention.

Probably the worst thing Weakland did morally was go on record blaming the violated children for their own molestation, the little minxes. A man who behaved as he did and was capable of saying such a thing is a loathsome being, to be shunned, to be left to the mercy of his creator. I'm not kidding when I say I admire Martin for his loyalty, but I don't know how he does it. Nor do I think it particularly cruel to be glad he's dead. Damnation is another thing.

Just yesterday, before the sad news, Father Martin was taunting the rest of us who "deny the existence" of trans people (not so, Father, the asylums are full of real people who say they're Napoleon Bonaparte), with not knowing that "trans people" are destined for the heavenly banquet. That it seems to me is just as wicked a thing to say as wishing somebody else in Hell.
schedule 1 month ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    Exactly what doctrine did VII change-- and yes, I mean the actual Council not theologians like Hans Kung opining this or that supposedly in the Council's name. The Council did change praxis in some major ways (and others took those changes far beyond what was envisioned), but that's not the same as innovating new teachings.
    schedule 1 month ago
      Theodore Iacobuzio
      Theodore Iacobuzio
      Oh, come on. This is old news. Of course it didn't change doctrine officially, but the modernists took it as a blank check to do whatever they wanted and off they went and did it. JPII was a joke in this regard, too busy getting ready for the next photo op. So Curran got booted at Catholic U., and St. Subito wagged his finger at Father Cardenal and that was about it. You want an example? I've given it before. In 1967 my sister brought home from her freshman theology class Bishop Robinson's Honest to God, which argued that Christianity could dispense with theism (what that does to redemption through the Cross, you tell me). Oh, the class was just teaching critical thinking, blah blah blah. It was indoctrination. All you had to was hear her talk about it to know that it was successful indoctrination. Here's another example, a little fresher, Nighty Night won't say 2,000 years of Catholic teaching is bogus, but he will say the the language of the catechism on homosexuality is "unfortunate." They don't have to change doctrine. They've changed the language. Change the word, change the thing. They've moved everything from an I/Thou engagement with God and man to a social justice happy talk non-stop playlist. If you don't see that we're not looking at the same thing.
      schedule 1 month ago
        Theodore Iacobuzio
        Theodore Iacobuzio
        Again, trying to be fair, it doesn't sound like Father Martin has dispensed with theism. It was an example to hand, however.
        schedule 1 month ago
        JON FRAZIER
        JON FRAZIER
        Re: Of course it didn't change doctrine officially, but the modernists took it as a blank check to do whatever they wanted and off they went and did it.

        I agree (and implied as much) that there were people who took the canons of VII and ran with them far beyond what the Council envisioned. But that's on them. It's not a flaw of the Council itself. The Council of Trent generated a certain amount of that sort of thing too. And way back in the 5th century the Council of Ephesus led no few believers to go to the other extreme of Monophysitism which plagued the church for over two centuries.
        At our liturgy last Sunday the priest in his sermon made the point that we ought never put our faith in the Church, but rather in Christ. "The Church," quoth Fr. Herman "is always a mess".
        schedule 1 month ago
Theodore Iacobuzio
Theodore Iacobuzio
And another thing. As I like to say, if you read nothing but America for the past 30, and your next-door neighbor read nothing but The Wanderer, who would have a better idea of what had happened to American Catholicism, or Catholicism tout court? That's one for Father Martin.
schedule 1 month ago