Following is the text of Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland's statement concerning the settlement of allegations of sexual abuse. The statement was released Thursday by the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

I have never abused anyone. I have not seen Paul Marcoux for more than 20 years. When I first met him here in Milwaukee, he was a man in his early 30s. Paul Marcoux has made reference to a settlement agreement between us. Because I accept the agreement's confidentiality provision, I will make no comment about its contents.

Because I have financial responsibility for the well-being of the archdiocese, I want to let the people of the archdiocese know that through my 25 years as bishop, I have handed over to the archdiocese money obtained by my lectures and writings, together with other honoraria. Cumulatively, those monies far exceed any settlement amount.

Given the climate in today's world where the church must regain its credibility, this situation would be an added and continuing distraction from that goal. I do not want to be an obstacle to that search on the part of the church, which I will continue to love with all my heart and which I have served to the best of my abilities for these 51 years.

As required by church law, I submitted my resignation as archbishop to the Holy Father on my 75th birthday on April 2nd. I have now asked the Vatican to accelerate its acceptance.

I ask for prayers and healing.