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A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop Hardcover – June 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
On the main biography, my opinion was that he gave a good account of his upbringing and church career.
In a few sections it became a little dry (e.g. as he related his visits to different Benedictine houses) but
he kept this material concise .. and noted parenthetically that "yes, some of this may be tedious!"
I was particularly taken by the many situations of misunderstandings and conflicts with the Church hierarchy.
I found myself torn between two sentiments -
-- first, sympathetic; as a Catholic who has struggled with a number of the Church's shortcomings (including
participation in lay reform organizations), it was good to see that some even at the Archbishop level were
working toward those same goals...
-- second, frustrated; thinking that if an Archbishop has so little actual influence in solving these problems
how will an individual lay Catholic accomplish anything!
Many know that sadly, Weakland resigned in disgrace after a quiet settlement to a purported gay contact
I have not followed the details of his case in other sources so I am taking his account at face value; perhaps
there is "more to the story" but it is unfortunate that this incident brought him down. In any case given the
egregious incidents that other bishops have been involved with, it seems likely that he would have been
kept on had he not run afoul of Vatican conservatives.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in the real operation of the Church hierarchy over the time of
Weakland's life - Vatican II to the 2000's.
[A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church - Memoirs of a
Catholic Archbishop Rembert G Weakland, OSB.
Forward by Margaret O'Brien Steinfels. Wiliam B
Eerdmans, 2009. Pp. Vii - 429. Hard cover. $35.00.
You can tell a lot about a book by its title. No
doubt, some wag will come along and
compare this effort to the Confessions of St
Augustine, or at least to Thomas Merton's Seven
Storey Mountain. One can imagine a movie version,
in the genre of the recent homophilic masterpiece
Brokeback Mountain, with its complex web of human
relationships--mysterious, undefinable, and
This effort is divided into three parts. The third and
last being the hardest going, dealing with as it does
the obligations and vicissitudes of running a diocese,
being a member of a bishops' conference, and all the
ins and outs of a complex ecclesiastical structure. All
this data will serve as a window into the machinations
of a church gone haywire at the end of the 20th
century. Well enough then to leave this to the
scholars and historians who will find here a treasure
to be mined for generations to come.
The second part, and one feels the author's favorite
period, deals with his career in Rome, and his
ascendancy as a major player in the life of the
Catholic church during a time of reform, renewal, and
upheaval. Weakland shares the details of being an
abbot primate, the palace intrigues of the upper
hierarchy, the burdens and joys of friendship with a
pope, and the demands and rewards of world travel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While the narrative is fairly well written, what he says is pure apostasy. The Holy Church is not a democracy, father, nor should it be. Read morePublished on July 10, 2014 by J. Borek
If ever there was a reason why books (or a book) should be burned and banished to the dung heap of history it is this one by this narcissistic, parasitic, sociopath that by mistake... Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Yes, I bought the book and I'm currently reading it. On the bright side, Weakland writes clearly and, if not for the subject matter, this would be a pleasant reading experience. Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Cedarglen
My reading of the autobiography of Rembert Weakland is a greater pleasure than I anticipated. It is a reminder that human beings have a greater complexity than the usual publicity... Read morePublished on September 7, 2012 by James Goodmann
Retired and much maligned (by the Vatican) Archbishop Rembert Weakland's biographical book is his apologia pro vita sua. Read morePublished on August 1, 2012 by James Guinnessey
I don't know why, but I had been under the impression that this whole book would be about Weakland's sexual scandal, from Weakland's point of view. Read morePublished on December 13, 2010 by madeupname
The Archbishop is indeed a controversial figure, but, taking that aside, his memoirs depict the remarkable transformation of the Catholic Church from the Great Depression to the... Read morePublished on July 6, 2010 by Robert R. Josef
One wonders if the good Archbishop might use his book royalties to return the hush money he stole from his parishioners. Unbelievable hubris. Good riddance.Published on May 21, 2010 by BCM