Saturday, March 18, 2000

A Catholic Who Found a Harmony in His Apology to Jews

Gustav Niebuhr reported in "Public Lives" in The New York Times, March 18, 2000.
... yesterday morning, the talk turns from music to the spoken word -- to two highly unusual homilies, one given by Pope John Paul II last Sunday, the other four months earlier by Archbishop Weakland. Both were apologies for errors committed by Catholics against others.

While the pope's remarks were broad and timed for the first Sunday in Lent, the archbishop was more specific, directing his statements to Jews, in Milwaukee and elsewhere. Speaking in a local synagogue last Nov. 7, Archbishop Weakland said that conversion, the change of attitude that precedes an effort to change one's life and society, must include acknowledgment of wrongdoing, a request for forgiveness and a resolve to reform.

Both the timing of the speech and its ''interactive quality,'' in which the archbishop asked his Catholic listeners to say ''amen'' as he made his points, marked the occasion as a major event, said Rabbi A. James Rudin, interreligious affairs director of the American Jewish Committee. ''That Nov. 7 speech electrified the Jewish community, not only in Milwaukee but throughout the United States,'' he said. ...

Monday, March 6, 2000

Archbishop Weakland’s letter to priests

Confidential letter to priests, January 7, 2000, posted at National Catholic Reporter, March 6, 2000