Skip to comments.Archdiocese defends controversial sculpture of Archbishop Weakland [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 01/09/2010 2:38:12 PM PST by NYer
.- 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.
SNAP has also claimed that Weakland himself commissioned the piece and used charitable funds.
In response to this, Julie Wolf, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, told CNA that the bronze relief was commissioned in 2000, which was before the allegations against Weakland began to surface.
It was commissioned to represent the archdiocese at that point in time, when Archbishop Weakland was archbishop, when Fr. Carl Last was the rector of the Cathedral and he still is, said Wolf, who continued to tell CNA that the piece is intended also to represent the people who make up the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, including children and adults and various ethnic groups.
A statement issued by the archdiocese on Wednesday also explained the content of the bronze relief, saying that the image of Rembert Weakland is shown kneeling in reverence to Mother, Mary, who as Mother of the Church and Mother of us all, is depicted as protector of not only children, but all of us.
The artists represented both cathedral and archdiocesan leadership at the time of the artworks commission and its dedication, the statement added.
Wolf has also denied the claim that the former archbishop ordered the piece himself, saying that it was the initiative of an art sub-committee, which was part of the larger multi-year St. John the Evangelist Cathedral renovation effort.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee emphasized that, Our priority remains to work toward healing and resolution. Identifying ongoing sources of pain is important to that process. We acknowledge that much has been accomplished these past eight years and much more remains to be done."
A bizarre sculpture of Christ hangs above the centralized marble table. (date actually 2/8/2002)
Follow-Up on the Milwaukee Cathedral Renovation - read up on the "wreckovation".
This is the best description of the sculpture in this picture. It looks like some sort of giant mobile hanging over a modern art version of Jesus. I have a feeling the sculpture was done by someone without any respect for Jesus. Either that or it was done by someone blind with no sense of proportion. What is going on in the Catholic Church???
Do you know if the Studios of Potente did this renovation?
If they want to keep it, that’s fine, but just stick it in a room in the Chancery somewhere, where folks don’t have to look at it.
God, forgive us.
This is definitely NOT a reflection of the Catholic Church; it represents the vision of one renegade bishop who has since been deposed.
Unfortunately, this is the disgraceful work of an "architect" priest from MY diocese of Albany, NY - Fr. Richard John Vosko. From wikipedia:
It was rededicated on February 9, 2002, following a controversial renovation project which consisted of some restoration work on the historic structure but also a radical remodeling of the interior. There was a very vocal anti-renovation group who petitioned the Vatican for a halt to what they believed was yet another modernist "wreckovation" of an historic Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a noted theological liberal, was the primary advocate of the renovation which he and supporters felt brought the cathedral into a more modern "post-conciliar" style. Weakland hired noted modernist liturgical consultant Richard Vosko to plan the renovation. Among the most controversial elements of the renovation was the dismantling of the historic High Altar and Baldacchino in the apse which were replaced with organ pipes. The sanctuary and altar was then moved forward into the nave and crowned with a controversial fiberglass crucifix designed by Italian sculptors Arnaldo Pomodoro and Giuseppe Maraniell. The piece is topped with a fourteen foot in diameter crown of thorns which hovers over the figure of Christ. The conflict over the renovation was brought to the attention of Cardinal Jorge Medina and the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Medina sought to mediate the dispute and was quoted in his letters as saying "...it would seem to this congregation that the ancient and venerable high altar together with its baldacchino should be retained, given also that it is a most suitable location for the reservation of the Most Blessed Sacrament." Weakland disagreed with the opinion of the Cardinal and Congregation and therefore proceeded with the dismantling and removal of the High Altar and Baldacchino.
Read More - and view before and after photos.
I think the sculpture is supposed to be the crown of thorns with the cross sticking through it? Or is it just a bunch of ugly modern art clutter? In either case...YECH. Pretty bad.
This crap has been going on for the last 40-50 years in some places, but I think it might be turning around.
While there are similarities to the renovation of the Cathedral of St. James in Seattle, the hideous junkyard above the altar certainly sets Milwaukee far apart.
Lunatics, liberals, and homosexuals. Sometimes all in the same person. The tide is turning against them, thankfully.
Mother Angelica on Archbishop Weakland: “He can go put his head in the back toilet as far as I am concerned.”
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