William Edward Cousins

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William Edward Cousins
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Installed December 18, 1958
Term ended September 17, 1977
Predecessor Albert Gregory Meyer
Successor Rembert George Weakland
Ordination April 13, 1927
Consecration March 7, 1949
Personal details
Birth name William Edward Cousins
Born (1902-08-20)August 20, 1902
Chicago, Illinois
Died September 14, 1988(1988-09-14) (aged 86)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Previous post Diocese of Chicago (1948–1952)
Bishop of Peoria (1952–1958)
Alma mater Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary
St. Mary of the Lake Seminary

William Edward Cousins (August 20, 1902 – September 14, 1988) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1958 to 1977.


Early years[edit]

Born in Chicago, Illinois, William Cousins studied at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood on April 23, 1927. He then served as director of diocesan missions, and hosted retreats and other services in various states.

Bishop of Chicago and Peoria[edit]

On December 17, 1948, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Forma by Pope Pius XII. Cousins received his episcopal consecration on March 7, 1949 from Samuel Cardinal Stritch, with Bishops John Boylan and Albert Zuroweste serving as co-consecrators.

Later Bishop Cousins was appointed Bishop of Peoria, Illinois on May 21, 1952. During his tenure, he established five new parishes and six new grade schools.

Archbishop of Milwaukee[edit]

Cousins was appointed the eighth Archbishop of Milwaukee on December 18, 1958. From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council, during which he sat on the Commission on Communications Media and on the Lay Apostolate. During the civil rights movement, Cousins was pressured to respond to the activities of his priests, particularly Fr. James Groppi, who led many civil rights marches and protests. In 1967, in response to many Milwaukee Catholics' dissatisfaction with Groppi, the Archbishop stated his support for open housing and Groppi's other objectives, but rejected the priest's tactics.[1]

Archbishop Cousins retired on September 17, 1977, after nineteen years of service. He died in Milwaukee at age 86.

In recent years, allegations have surfaced that Cousins was involved in the cover-up of child sexual abuse cases in the Milwaukee diocese.[2][3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Albert Gregory Meyer
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Succeeded by
Rembert George Weakland
Preceded by
Joseph Henry Leo Schlarman
Bishop of Peoria
Succeeded by
John Baptist Franz
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Succeeded by