Thursday, May 31, 2007

Unfailing Patience and Sound Teaching:

Subtitled Reflections on Episcopal Ministry in Honor of Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B, this is a festschrift for the 2002 commemoration of Archbishop Weakland's seventy-fifth birthday and his twenty-fifth anniversary as Archbishop of Milwaukee. With the fifth anniversary of his resignation just past, it might be worth a post.

In the front matter (p. iv),
Scripture quotations unless otherwise noted are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Catholic Edition.

While the motivation might be different, it's still another vote against the New American Bible. Next,
Quotations from the documents of the Second Vatican Council, unless otherwise noted, are taken from Vatican Council II: A Completely Revised Translation in Inclusive Language...

Still in print, but not under that title.

The Forward by Richard J. Sklba, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee begins (p. vii)
It was the glory of the Council of Trent (1545-1563 C.E.) ...

He wrote on April 2, 2002 C.E., before Paul Marcoux appeared on Good Morning America on May 23, A.D. 2002. Bishop Sklba later says (p. x)
Even though the perspective may be perhaps too close for objectivity, there have been well-known Catholic historians in recent years who have opined that the name of Weakland of Milwaukee will come to have the same resonance, impact and historical significance in the Catholic Church's dialogue with American culture at the end of the twentieth century as did that of Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul a century ealier.

At least had Archbishop Ireland's tenure ended with financial and sexual scandal.

Undaunted, editor David A. Stosur explains in the Preface (p. xi) that the book's title comes from the rite of episcopal ordination. The consecrator-bishop when presenting the Book of the Gospels to the new bishop says "Receive the Gospel and preach the word of God with unfailing patience and sound teaching." Stosur includes among the examples of Archbishop Weakland living up to this (p. xi)
...a public apology that modeled true penitence...

Whether it's true penitence is beyond our ability to judge, but it hardly serves as model. In his apology, five years ago today, Archbishop Weakland continued to deny the $450,000 payment was hush money. Whatever it was, he thought he should get credit against it for amounts he had previously donated to the Archdiocese.
But I am also aware much self-pity and pride remain. I must leave that pride behind.

The apology had been delayed so that it could be in a setting where its being followed with a standing ovation was no surprise. Perhaps his friends and admirers thought he should be proud about his confession of pride.

Likewise, there's no indication that he or anyone else wondered if then publishing this festschrift would be a step in leaving that pride behind. The cover illustration is a photo of this life-size bronze bust of the Archbishop. I'm surprised there haven't been annual symposia in his honor marking his progress in his struggle with pride; the Humble Maverick Series at the Weakland Center, adjacent to the Cathedral, perhaps.

Stosur goes on to note that the articles making up the book were also written before the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the flood of disclosures of sexual abuse of children by priests in early 2002. Some contributors made minor revisions in light of these developments. Major revisions would have delayed publication. So they chose to proceed, though this leaves us with essays on the bishop's and bishops' role that don't consider these subsequent events. Under all the circumstances, perhaps they no longer wanted the book to attract as much attention.

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3 Comments:

Blogger TS said...

You guys out there in Milwaukee get such rich satirical targets. No bishop in Ohio would leave themselves so open as to write "C.E.".

At least "Unfailing Patience...yada..yada" wasn't written by Weakland himself.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

Perhaps he was on deadline with his article for Commonweal.

12:17 PM  
Blogger TS said...

Re his "Just as all politics is local, for most Catholics the deepest expression of their faith is found at the local level. That is where they live, worship, and pass on their beliefs."

As one living a safe distance from his old episcopy I can breathe a sigh of relief at that.

12:40 PM  

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