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Former Archbishop Weakland Writes About Gay Awakening in Memoir

Weakland denied there was abuse. He eventually came to view disclosure of the relationship as liberating.

"It may seem strange, but I felt a new freedom, a sense of being liberated for the first time," Weakland writes. "It had become public knowledge that my orientation was homosexual. There was nothing more to hide; no one could do anything more to me. I was free."

But victims of clergy sexual abuse in Milwaukee say Weakland is hiding what he knew about sexually abusive priests and the reasons he did not remove them from the priesthood. Weakland devotes several parts of his memoir to the sex abuse scandal, saying that he and others did not understand pedophilia and that the Vatican stalled attempts to defrock abusers.

"In handling these cases, I had accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or would 'grow out of it,' " Weakland writes.

There are several active fraud cases in Wisconsin against Weakland and the Milwaukee archdiocese, said Peter Isely, SNAP's Midwest director, who has long accused Weakland of covering up priestly abuse.

Isely drew a connection between Weakland's affair with Marcoux and the way he handled cases of priests accused of molestation.

"If you're admitting that you were having a secret sex life," Isely said, "then of course you're going to be covering up for other people with sexual misconduct."

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