Milwaukee, Wis., Jan 9, 2010 / 08:03 am
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has defended itself against the recent uproar caused by a sculpture in the diocese cathedral which bears the image of a controversial former archbishop, saying the piece was “commissioned to represent the archdiocese” at an earlier time than now.
Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland, whose resignation Pope John Paul II accepted in 2002 when he reached the age of 75, was found to have had a homosexual relationship with an adult male seminarian who he paid to keep quiet about their involvement. The former archbishop has also admitted to moving pedophile priests around to different parishes, FOX 6 TV reports.
Although his misdeeds took place years ago, a new bronze relief pedastal that portrays the former archbishop alongside images of the Virgin Mary, St. John and various other figures including children is now causing a stir.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has decried the piece of art and expressed in a statement Wednesday a desire to know why the former archbishop is being “pictured in the biblical scene of Jesus protecting the little children” as Archbishop Weakland has also faced accusations in the past of covering up priestly abuse in his diocese.