Friday, February 8, 2008

The view from his window

A fellow catechist at St. Al's has also read The Education of an Archbishop by Paul Wilkes. My counterpart characterized the book as showing Archbishop Weakland as controversial merely because he was willing to listen to all views. That sent me back to pages 38-39 of the book. We find the Archbishop recalling receiving "vistors--including industrialist J. Peter Grace, former Treasury Secretary William Simon, and Michael Novak, a senior analyst with a conservative think tank" in June 1984. They came to discuss the draft of the U.S. Bishops' document Economic Justice for All.
"I looked out the window," the Archbishop said, remembering the day that the group of neo-conservative Catholics was scheduled to arrive, " and up pulled these limousines with smoked windows, having whisked the occupants from their private planes, which had landed minutes before at the Milwaukee Airport. All I could think of was it looked very much like a meeting of high level Mafia leaders."

That doesn't sound very open-minded, unless our then-Archbishop's intended meaning anticipated the opinion of Governor Frank Keating.


  1. Anonymous10:35 AM

    We all know that after 25+ years of Weakland, and stil counting since he is still running the diocese, that he only gave the appearance of "listening to all sides." He was a very ruthless man.
    ....And while he criticizes the men in the limousines, he himself had no qualms about drinking an $80. bottle of wine after the illustrious Matt Flynn covered his a**, for a period of time, to "celebrate" the buying of the silence of his ex-boyfriend.

  2. Well, if nothing else, that vignette (and the NYT's 'mafioso' quote from Keating) give rise to the strong possibility of "projection" on Rembert's part.

    And, yes, he was/is ruthless AND vindinctive.

    As to 'running the Archdiocese,'--not likely. He is influential with a smaller and smaller group of priests (albeit still weighty, by numbers but not by IQ.)

    Still, it will take 10 years more to purge his influence. And I use "purge" in the vomitus-sense.

  3. I'm not sure that's influence if he only reinforced opinions, rather than changed them. (For example, has any parish discontinued holding hands during the Our Father at Mass because he criticized the practice?) As I used to say to Karen Marie Knapp, he was a factional leader and people attached themselves to him to advance their shared agenda or their careers. If he pushed an agenda ruthlessly and vindictively, and no one around him objected, then he might have allies and courtiers but it's hard to see how anyone was his friend.