Victims of clergy sex abuse on Wednesday called on newly installed Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki to explain why two retired archbishops who've played prominently in the sex abuse scandal nationally - Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee and Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincinnati - will lead liturgies next week at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
At the same time, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests are asking the archdiocese to remove from the historic church a bronze image in bas relief that depicts Weakland alongside children. He has admitted in a memoir and court depositions that he shielded abusive priests.We'll grant this: Weakland and Pilarczyk have covered themselves with shame. They're not the only ones, but they were prominent offenders against public sensibilities.
However, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Abp. Listecki are not "approving" their actions by allowing them to make appearances. It's one thing to let Weakland and Pilarczyk show up and celebrate Mass. It would be another thing entirely for Listecki (or Dolan) to directly approve of their activity during the scandals. They haven't, and they won't. Ever.
Milwaukeeans, especially Catholic Milwaukeeans, know the score. We didn't like what we saw and made it clear. But like any other Christians, they are able to forgive.
Forgetting might take a while longer.
But Pete Isely and SNAP should think about Christian forgiveness for a change. It beats bleating and sniveling.