Milwaukee Archbishop´s Resignation Accepted

Rembert Weakland Denies Accusations of Sexual Abuse

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2002 ( John Paul II agreed to Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland´s urgent request for acceptance of his resignation, after the U.S. prelate declared publicly that he was innocent of accusations of sexual abuse.

In a statement published Thursday, Archbishop Weakland requested the Holy See to accelerate the process of acceptance of his resignation, which he presented on April 2, his 75th birthday, so as not to damage the image of the Church.

The Vatican announced the decision today in the Vatican Press Office´s bulletin, but did not publish the name of the archbishop´s successor.

Archbishop Weakland, a Benedictine religious who has headed the archdiocese in the state of Wisconsin for 25 years, admitted Thursday that he paid a former theology student $450,000 to respond to an accusation of sexual abuse, which occurred over two decades ago. But the archbishop said he has not abused anyone.

In his statement, the Milwaukee archbishop said: «I have never abused anyone. I have not seen Paul Marcoux for more than 20 years. When I first met him here in Milwaukee, he was a man in his early thirties. Paul Marcoux has made reference to a settlement agreement between us. Because I accept the agreement´s confidentiality provision, I will make no comment about its contents.»

«Because I have financial responsibility for the well-being of the Archdiocese, I want to let the people of the Archdiocese know that through my 25 years as Bishop, I have handed over to the Archdiocese money obtained by my lectures and writings, together with other honoraria. Cumulatively, those monies far exceed any settlement amount,» Archbishop Weakland continued.

«Given the climate in today´s world where the Church must regain its credibility, this situation would be an added and continuing distraction from that goal,» he added. «I do not want to be an obstacle to that search on the part of the Church, which I will continue to love with all my heart and which I have served to the best of my abilities for these 51 years.»

«As required by Church law, I submitted my resignation as Archbishop to the Holy Father on my 75th birthday on April 2nd. I have now asked the Vatican to accelerate its acceptance. I ask for prayers and healing,» Archbishop Weakland concluded.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation