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Former Milwaukee archbishop decides to stay in Milwaukee

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news River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Rembert Weakland is not going anywhere.

The former Milwaukee Archbishop, and one of the central figures in the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, has decided not to move to St. Mary's Abbey in New Jersey.

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He said an abbot at the monastery was concerned that his presence there might be a "negative element."

That's after recent revelations from Weakland's upcoming book. Among other things, the book explains his homosexuality, and a contention that bishops used to consider sexual abuse by priests as a moral evil instead of a crime.

The abbey where Weakland was planning to go is also the home of a highly-regarded boys' prep school run by the Benedictine monks of St. Mary's.

A former headmaster, Abbot Giles Hayes, said Weakland changed his plans without saying why and he did not believe the controversy over the book had anything to do with it.

But Weakland said Benedictine leaders were scheduled to discuss concerns about his move the day after he offered to withdraw.

Weakland, 82, now says he'll stay in Milwaukee. He was the archbishop for southeast Wisconsin from 1977-2002. And he's still a key figure in lawsuits accusing the church of committing fraud, by transferring abusive priests to other parishes while keeping their histories secret.

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