One might think that former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland had a flair for the dramatic. In 2002 at the height of the pedophile priest scandal, he was being blackmailed by a former lover, outed in public and forced to step down in disgrace on the eve of his scheduled retirement at age 75. Would sound contrived on a soap opera, but the good bishop is anything but dramaclergy, as is quietly apparent on every page of his memoir “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church.” Weakland sets the record straight about his life and the various crisis in the Catholic church hierarchy and lights no incence or pulls any punches.
Weakland didn’t so much as have a crisis of faith as much as he had a crisis of catholic politics. ‘Pilgrim’ is a soul-searching expose that reveals the inner struggles of a devout Benedictine monk at odds with the Vatican on a number of issues including the ordination of women and schizophrenic church views on homosexuality.
Even though Weakland publicly apologized for the affair, admitting that he sinned by breaking his vows of celibacy, he speaks about his sexual identity as a gift from God, as part of one’s true self. He rejected modern church doctrine that homosexuality made him “objectively disorder(ed)” (1986) and reasserted in 2004 when the emergency synod characterized gay life as “intrinsically evil.” The bishop’s response in finally accepting his sexuality -“I felt no diminution in God’s love.”
Bishop takes Queen’s Knight. I wonder if Rome knows?
Philly Qfest’s final night and GLBT doves flocked to the theater to see the premiere of The Big Gay Musical (is there any other kind?)with a Broadway cast and shot in 17 days in NY, this movie has rough edges and a huge heart.
Directors Casper Andreas and Fred M. Caruso and were on hand to answer questions (savvy room fellows, you should have been more prepared with better jokes. The film send-ups of Broadway war-horses adapted to tell the story of the off-Broadway production of ‘Adam and Steve: Just the way God made them’ the musical and the religious right’s antigay agenda. Daniel Robinson and Joey Dudding, are handsome off-Broadway babies (and all around nice guys) on leave from Legally Blond and A Chorus Line.
Beforehand the Qfest awards were given out and some news by Philly film ambassador Thom Cardwell, who announced a new co-op with the French film industry presenting ‘la Cinemateque’ starting in Sept.