Coupla Things and Then I’m Outta Here
One person writes to urge me not to give credit to Weakland for having the grace to resign. Gotta disagree. Rome’s had a freeze on accepting resignations because of the Situation (didn’t want to make guys who were just retiring because they were 75 look like they were retiring under a cloud of Scandal). Weakland could have done the patented “claw marks across the Oval Office carpet” schtick that Clinton perfected and cling to power simply for the sake of power, prolonging his disgrace and turning his office into a complete sewer (like Clinton). But he didn’t. He knew it was time to go. In our day and age, we have to be thankful for small graces. So I am.
I also give him (small) credit because of something else:
We can’t be too tough on reprobates like Weakland. My liberal diocesan newspaper (Rochester, NY) this week ran a story about several priests around the U.S. who committed suicide after revelations of sexual misconduct.Perhaps they experienced the same horror that Judas did when the full realization of their actions struck home. At least they had the guts to look at themselves in the mirror. Which is more than we can say for Weakland, Mahony, et. al.
This disturbs me. Suicide comes not from “a good look in the mirror” but from a resolute refusal to look. I think we can be too tough on reprobates and a good college try is the vague suggestion that they would be better off dead. I don’t want death and I don’t want vengeance (at least human vengeance) because it only leads to death. I am relieved he is out of office because he can’t do any more harm to the Church. But what I want most of all is salvation–not suicide–for Weakland, Mahony, et al.
We can be too hard on people. Now that he’s gone, I think piling on Weakland is merely an indulgence of anger, not an exercise in justice. Let God judge (and please God) heal him and the lives he’s destroyed (and the Church he’s tried so hard to wreck). For our part, forgiveness is the demand of the hour.