From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Bowing to increased pressure from Catholics and victims of clergy and sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced Tuesday that it would remove the names of former Archbishops William E. Cousins and Rembert G. Weakland–both of whom took part in the coverup of sex crimes–from its headquarters complex and cathedral center.
Read more here. Why it took this long is anyone’s guess. (Would someone going into financial consulting dedicate his new office to Bernie Madoff?) That said, the removal is good news. Anyone with an ounce of common sense and decency marveled that prominent buildings would be dedicated to such a man as Archbishop Weakland. Only the clerical bubble culture that all-too-often encases archdiocesan bureaucracies could be blind to the embarrassment.
It is impossible to quantify the damage brought about by Archbishop Weakland. It’s easy and understandable to think immediately about the sex scandal. However, what is often overlooked and even still perpetuated is the doctrinal, liturgical and catechetical confusion that resulted from his disastrous leadership. In many ways outside of the sex abuse scandal, Archbishop Weakland’s footprint is still conspicuously present in Milwaukee. Removing a sign or bas-relief is easy. If we leave it at that, we deceive ourselves about “healing.” Reversing the substantive, enduring and entrenched legacy of Archbishop Weakland is much harder and requires actual commitment.
Is the will there?
While this is a good step, a necessary step, it remains to a large degree symbolic unless and until every vestige of Archbishop Weakland’s tenure here in Milwaukee is reversed.