Weakland at the Keyboard

Rembert George Weakland, 57, chairman of the bishops' committee on the U.S. economy, had an early personal experience with poverty. His father, a hotelkeeper in Patton, Pa., died in 1932, when Weakland was five. His mother, who had five other children, scratched by on welfare for years un til she was able to go back to work as a schoolteacher. "To this day," Weakland says, "I can't look at brown corduroy knickers without getting sick, because if you wore those WPA clothes everybody knew you were on welfare."

As a teenager, Weakland was torn...

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