Monday, December 8, 2008

Weakland moved priests, testimony shows

Tom Roberts reported in the National Catholic Reporter, December 5, 2008, on the release of deposition testimony by Archbishop-emeritus Rembert Weakland. Among those interviewed was David Clohessy, national director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including on this controversial point.
Clohessy and others also were highly critical of both Weakland and his successor, Archbishop Timothy Dolan after Weakland testified that the two had never discussed any of the cases when Dolan took over in August 2002.

“It’s just painful to think of any bishop taking over a diocese and not even casually asking his predecessor, ‘Anything about sex abuse I should know? Any predator not publicly acknowledged yet? Any priest I should know about?”

Our Archdiocese responded.
Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for the archdiocese, said even before Dolan’s arrival, the archdiocese had compiled a list of all those who had been accused, credibly or otherwise. When the crisis began to break anew after revelations in Boston in January 2002, he said the Milwaukee Archdiocese “quickly acknowledged that we had six men in active ministry that we had already removed” from ministry. He said the diocese already had convened an independent commission headed by the dean of the Marquette University Law School.

All of the information compiled was available for Dolan from his first day on the job, said Topczewski. He said Dolan also initiated his own investigation of any priests who had any hint of allegations against them and consulted the vicar for clergy, who was most responsible for dealing with charges against priests.

What is meant by "compilations"? Did the compilers' work include editing or summarizing? If so, has anyone suggested to Archbishop Dolan that he read the full record, and, if so, has he? Has Archbishop Dolan read the compilations? Is there nothing Archbishop Weakland could tell Archbishop Dolan beyond what's in the compilations? Have Archbishop Weakland and Archbishop Dolan spoken privately on any other subject?

(via SNAP Network)


  1. Anonymous6:14 PM

    On the admission that Weakland and Dolan never discussed this issue, Dolan should be removed. He obviously does not have the good of the people of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee at heart. It is no wonder that he has kept all of Weakland's people on. He doesn't even know there is a problem! Dahhhhh

  2. That is an odd combination, to not discuss this with Archbishop Weakland, yet leave key personnel in their positions.

    The Archdiocese is saying Archbishop Dolan received all the relevant information by other means. At least, they're trying to leave that impression. It seems we now need to give a close reading to everything from anyone on the payroll within the ArchMil. I'm not sure that what Mr. Topczewski literally said means Archbishop Dolan is fully informed. I'm still inclined to assume he is but they're not making it easy.

  3. Even the perpetual cynic would be astounded to learn that Abp Dolan has no--or scant--knowledge of the various situations.

    Another way to look at it is this: Dolan preferred to read the compilations rather than hear about things from a source (Weakland) who was compromised.

    Finally, as to staff: the most common management practice is to leave staff in place for about a year to see/feel what they do (and do NOT do), making changes after that time period.

  4. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Dad29...we are going on seven years.......yawnnnnnnnnnnnn

  5. It would appear that Ab. Dolan was not totally uninformed over lingering problems in the archdiocese.

    Remember his hastily aborted plan to allow police to enter and examine computers in parishes...? Apparently, in a "no smoke, without fire" sense, he was aware that actual or potential problems still existed.

    Whether this resulted from conversations with Ab. Weakland (who himself was part of the problem) is unknown. But it is hard to believe that, despite protestations to the contrary, the topic never surfaced.

    It smacks of an attempt to insulate Dolan from future attempts to depose him on the grounds of "what did he know and when did he know it..?"