Several correspondents have asked about the decision to publish Archbishop Rembert Weakland’s article (“Looking Forward,” see page 18), especially in the light of our criticism of Cardinal Bernard Law’s visibility at the bishops’ recent meeting in Saint Louis (“Learning Curve,” July 18). As Weakland acknowledges in his essay, he is acutely aware of the feelings of betrayal caused by his actions, which included his decision to pay an out-of-court settlement to a man with whom he acknowledges having had a sexual affair. Certainly the archbishop has given scandal, but he has apologized repeatedly, and, unlike Cardinal Law, he has not sought to continue as a visible presence within the bishops’ conference since his resignation.
It is not easy to judge contrition. As Catholics, we believe in forgiveness and the reality of redemption. As editors, we try to judge every submission on its merits, and we would extend that courtesy to Cardinal Law as well. We believe that Weakland’s service and dedication to the church can be a great resource, and that his article deserves a fair hearing.