The real news about Weakland

by Heidi Schlumpf

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Note to Fox News and other news organizations that went with some version of the headline "Catholic archbishop says he's gay."

If a man has already admitted to a relationship with another man, then it's hardly news that he's gay.

Most Catholics already know that Archbishop Rembert Weakland resigned in 2002 after it came to light that he had had an affair with a man and paid him to keep it quiet after the man made a sexual assault claim. Weakland publicly apologized for his indiscretions and received a standing ovation in Milwaukee, where he has continued to live.

The real news is that Weakland (disclaimer: He confirmed me) has a new book out in which he describes his struggles being gay in the church. "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop" (Eerdmans) will be released in June. An advanced review in Publishers Weekly called it "the poignant journey of a soul."

Despite Weakland's concern that the book "become a Jerry Springer," it seems the secular media can't help itself. Get ready for conservative Catholic bloggers to have a field day. One has already called him "childish, selfish, delusional, arrogant," comparing him to former Packer quarterback Brett Farve. Ouch!

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