MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Archdiocese unveiled on Friday, March 22 the new name of the Diocesan offices in St. Francis. It will now be known as the Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center. It was previously known as the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center.
The offices were renamed as part of the Catholic Church’s continuing response to the clergy sexual abuse of minors.
“We’re looking really to restore trust — and that’s a long process,” said Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki. “When you violate a relationship and destroy that trust, what it takes is a constant reaffirmation of your willingness to open up for reconciliation and the seeking of forgiveness. In that sense, I continue to offer my apologies to those who have been abused. I have to do that.”
Archbishop Listecki said he will be apologizing again and again to victims of priest abuse. He said it is not what Christ would have wanted.
“This is a moment in that process and we look, if it just brings consolation to one abuse survivor, then basically this sign and symbol is worth it,” Listecki said.
With a crowbar and some manpower, the letters from the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center sign came down one by one on Tuesday.
The name of Archbishop Rembert Weakland was also removed from a building in downtown Milwaukee Archdiocese. Records show Cousins and Weakland reassigned priests after substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors were received.
According to a news release, the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center was named after Archbishop Cousins in 1983, when the offices were consolidated into the location of the former DeSales Preparatory High School, which closed in 1979.
The Weakland Center, just north of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee, houses parish offices and outreach initiatives and was named after Archbishop Weakland following the Cathedral Project, which renovated the cathedral and the surrounding block in 2000.