Abp Weakland reflects on what a great and good man he is. And incredibly courageous too.
Members of the Roman Curia often referred to me as a “maverick.” (The word comes from Samuel A. Maverick, 1803-1870, a Texas cattleman who refused to brand his calves like the others.) The best compliment I received, then, came from a religious superior in Rome who said: “Rome does not know what to do with Weakland. He is a free man.” I feel I have been able to maintain my own dignity and identity through it all.
Yes, by his own humble admission, the Great Man “thinks outside the box”, especially the witness box. Of course, he does (suddenly) appear to be stricken with public guilt about his wretched treatment of the victims of Fr. Effinger. But that doesn’t appear to include sincere apologies to the victims, much less handing over the money he squeezed from them when their suit was found to have exceeded the statute of limitations. No, instead we are treated to the following humble (yet noble, doncha know) bit of auto-hagiography:
Often I am asked if there are many decisions I regretted. I have spoken of these regrets before, but I bring them up again. Hindsight makes it easy to say yes. I regret to this day and will go to my grave with it on my conscience how I handled in 1979 the case of Fr. Bill Effinger. As an abbot, I simply would have brought him back to the monastery where he could have been monitored. Bishops do not have monasteries to put priests in. Obtaining laicizations from Rome was next to impossible in those days and never really brought up as an option. I am sure that bishops took risks then that they now regret. It would have been so much wiser just to hand it over immediately to the state as a crime and let the law take care of it.
Translation: It was Rome’s fault I didn’t go to the cops. I’m a courageous “risk taker”. And besides, other bishops did it too!
Finally, the Great Man concludes with this winsome self-assessment:
The concern for the poor, especially on a global level, remains a strong motivational factor in my thinking.
Archbishop: Think globally, act locally. You owe at least one poor family you steamrolled at least $4000 bucks and an apology. Why do I think you might owe others some apologies as well?