Former Milwaukee Archbishop Weakland Dies at Age 95
The Benedictine monk had served as archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 to 2002 and resigned from the post amid sexual abuse scandal.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a Benedictine who served as archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 to 2002 and resigned from the post amid scandal, died overnight on Monday.
Archbishop Weakland died after a long illness the night of Aug. 21-22 at Clement Manor in Greenfield, a Milwaukee suburb.
The archbishop was known for his dissent from Church teaching on the immorality of homosexual relationships and his advocacy for the priestly ordination of women.
His resignation as Milwaukee’s archbishop came after revelations that the archdiocese had paid $450,000 to silence Paul J. Marcoux, an adult male seminarian with whom he had a sexual relationship.
Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee commented Aug. 22, “For a quarter of a century, Archbishop Weakland led the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and his leadership embodied his Benedictine spirit. His pastoral letter, ‘Eucharist without Walls,’ evoked his love for the Eucharist and its call to service. During his time, he emphasized an openness to the implementation of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, including the role of lay men and women in the Church, the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, Ecumenical dialog, and addressing societal issues, especially economic justice. May he now rest in peace.”
Weakland was born in 1927 in Patton, Pennsylvania, and attended the minor seminary run by St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe. He was professed as a member of the Order of St. Benedict at the abbey in 1946 and took solemn vows in 1949. He was ordained a priest in 1951.
A music scholar, he was made a consultor to the Consilium, the committee which interpreted Sacrosanctum Concilium and which was responsible for preparing the revised Order of Mass following the Second Vatican Council, in 1964. He was made a member of the Consilium in 1968.
In 1967, he was appointed abbot primate of the Order of St. Benedict.
He was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee in 1977 and consecrated a bishop that year. He served there until his retirement, at age 75 in 2002.
His own sexual abuse, and his poor handling of abuse by other priests, led to the renaming, in 2019, of the Weakland Center, which holds the offices of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
- clergy sexual abuse
- rembert weakland
- archdiocese of milwaukee
- homosexuality and the priesthood