By DAVE RANK
And JILL BADZINSKI
Times Press Staff
Reactions were optimistic locally on the naming of a new
archbishop for the Milwaukee Archdiocese by the Catholic Church
Timothy M. Dolan, an auxiliary bishop in St. Louis who had headed
the American seminary in Rome, was named by the pope in
Vatican City today to succeed Rembert Weakland as Milwaukee
He is the 10th archbishop to head the archdiocese since it was
formed. "I'm delighted we have a new shepherd for our people," said Rev.
Michael Petersen, associate pastor at St. Frances Cabrini Church
in West Bend. "I just heard about it in Mass (Tuesday) morning,"
The Save St. Patrick's group, which had been sparring with
Weakland since his decision to close the town of Erin church and
merge the parish with St. Kilian in Hartford in 1999, is thrilled with
"Does it get any better for the parishioners of St. Patrick Church of
Erin than Archbishop Timothy Dolan? We're very, very happy," said
Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel, spokeswoman for the
Today, the group will mail a letter to Dolan asking to talk with him
about the possibility of reopening St. Patrick's as a parish,
Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel said. The group has had the letter
written for nearly three months and is pleased to be able to
address it to Dolan.
"He was in my top-three list," she said. "He is going to be faithful to
the holy father."
Pope John Paul II accepted Weakland's resignation May 24 - a
day after he acknowledged paying a $450,000 settlement to Paul
Marcoux, a former Marquette University student who said
Weakland sexually assaulted him in 1979. Dolan, 52, served five years as secretary to two papal delegates to
the United States in Washington, D.C. From 1994-2001, he served
as rector of the Pontifical North American College, an elite
seminary in Rome for men selected by their bishops.
He left that post upon his appointment to St. Louis.
Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the Milwaukee Roman
Catholic Archdiocese, said Dolan was in Milwaukee today
appeared at a news conference.
''We look forward to his spiritual and pastoral leadership and his
perspective on issues facing the church in southeastern
Wisconsin,'' Topczewski said. Weakland, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in
April, has denied he abused Marcoux, but acknowledged they had
an ''inappropriate'' relationship. He made a public apology in the
matter for what he said ''the scandal that has occurred because of
In other developments, the archdiocese announced it will hold
three town hall meetings this week to address sexual abuse of
minors by priests. Unlike the six listening sessions held around the archdiocese last
month, including one in West Bend, staff members from four
archdiocesan departments and the chancery office will be
available to answer questions. Archdiocesan officials acknowledged many people were
disappointed to discover that the listening sessions were
designed to record their opinions but not to answer their