MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News) One of the central figures in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal of the last decade will apparently be staying in Milwaukee. Retired archbishop Rembert Weakland was planning to move back to a Benedictine monastery in Latrobe Pennsylvania where he started his religious life. However, he now tells the Milwaukee Catholic Herald that the arch-abbot at the monastery has asked him to postpone his move indefinitely.
The 87-year-old Weakland was Milwaukee's archbishop for 25 years, until it became known that he used almost a half-million dollars in church funds as hush money to keep a former male lover quiet. Weakland retired in 2002 after the story became public.
The Journal Sentinel said Weakland was going to be honored by priests at a farewell luncheon on July 17th, but the event drew criticism from victims of priest sex abuse. Former archdiocese vice chancellor James Connell sent an open letter to Weakland asking him to cancel the lunch and take steps to address survivors' concerns.
Weakland said he wanted to get back to the monastic routine by moving back to Pennsylvania, but it won't appear to work out.