Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to the Bronze Age

Catholic News Agency reports on the Cathedral sculpture controversy. Despite two subsequent Archbishops and a lot of clergy and staff wishing otherwise, note this choice of pertinent background.
Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland, whose resignation Pope John Paul II accepted in 2002 when he reached the age of 75, was found to have had a homosexual relationship with an adult male seminarian who he paid to keep quiet about their involvement.
That sounds like "hush money" an improper use of Archdiocesan funds. If so, one would expect that there would have been, at a minimum, a public acknowledgment of this from Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba and Finance Officer Wayne Schneider, who approved the payment. On the contrary, Archbishop Dolan subsequently reorganized his staff, keeping them in the smaller circle of his closest advisers. We have to assume that our Archdiocese still regards this payment as proper, and it will pay if analogous circumstances arise again, despite efforts to convince us otherwise.

The CNA report goes on,
The former archbishop has also admitted to moving pedophile priests around to different parishes, FOX 6 TV reports.

Although his misdeeds took place years ago, a new bronze relief pedastal [sic, pedestal? pederastal?] that portrays the former archbishop alongside images of the Virgin Mary, St. John and various other figures including children is now causing a stir.
As you may have heard.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has decried the piece of art and expressed in a statement Wednesday a desire to know why the former archbishop is being “pictured in the biblical scene of Jesus protecting the little children” as Archbishop Weakland has also faced accusations in the past of covering up priestly abuse in his diocese.
Julie Wolf, our Archdiocesan Communications Director responded,
“It was commissioned to represent the archdiocese at that point in time, when Archbishop Weakland was archbishop, when Fr. Carl Last was the rector of the Cathedral and he still is,” said Wolf, who continued to tell CNA that the piece is intended “also to represent the people who make up the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, including children and adults and various ethnic groups.”
"Continued to tell" probably meaning "went on" or "reiterated" rather than "stonewalled".
A statement issued by the archdiocese on Wednesday also explained the content of the bronze relief, saying that the image of Rembert Weakland “is shown kneeling in reverence to Mother, Mary, who as Mother of the Church and Mother of us all, is depicted as protector of not only children, but all of us.”
Now with the added meaning to many of protection from Archbishop Weakland.
Wolf has also denied the claim that the former archbishop ordered the piece himself, saying that it was the initiative of an art sub-committee, which was part of the larger multi-year St. John the Evangelist Cathedral renovation effort.
While Ms. Wolf might convince a visitor today that various aspects of the Cathedral renovation were the product of mindless bureaucracy run amok, criticism around the time of the renovation, even from Rome, was met with the emphatic assertion that such details of the project were within the scope of Archbishop Weakland's prerogatives of office.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee emphasized that, “Our priority remains to work toward healing and resolution. Identifying ongoing sources of pain is important to that process. We acknowledge that much has been accomplished these past eight years and much more remains to be done."
With the caveat that if you identify the source of pain as Archbishop Weakland, etc., you'll be told it's psychosomatic. Maybe Archbishop Listecki's successor will deal with it.

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