A corporal work of mercy.

A corporal work of mercy.
Click on photo for this corporal work of mercy!

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Capuchin Friar accuses Pope Francis of "calumny" and "demeaning" the importance of doctrine and creating confusion!

Capuchin Friar, Fr. Thomas Weinandy released a letter publicly, a letter which he wrote to Pope Francis in July. Weinandy is not unknown for controversy of the good kind, at least according to the National Uncatholic Reporter as they rejoiced in his stepping down from a USCCB post a few years ago.

As interesting and notable as the letter he issued to the Bishop of Rome is the lead up to it.


"There was no longer any doubt that Jesus wanted me to write…"
by Thomas G. Weinandy
Last May I was in Rome for an International Theological Commission meeting.  I was staying at Domus Sanctae Marthae, and since I arrived early, I spent most of the Sunday afternoon prior to the meeting on Monday in Saint Peter’s praying in the Eucharistic Chapel.
I was praying about the present state of the Church and the anxieties I had about the present Pontificate.  I was beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused.  I was also pondering whether or not I should write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.
On the following Wednesday afternoon, at the conclusion of my meeting, I went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.  That night I could not get to sleep, which is very unusual for me.  It was due to all that was on my mind pertaining to the Church and Pope Francis.
At 1:15 AM I got up and went outside for short time.  When I went back to my room, I said to the Lord: “If you want me to write something, you have to give me a clear sign.  This is what the sign must be.  Tomorrow morning I am going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray and then I am going to Saint John Lateran.  After that I am coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine.  During that interval, I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time and would never expect to see in Rome at this time.  That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain.  Moreover, that person has to say to me in the course of our conversation, ‘Keep up the good writing’.”
The next morning I did all of the above and by the time I met my seminarian friend for lunch what I had asked the Lord the following night was no longer in the forefront of my mind.
However, towards the end of the meal an archbishop appeared between two parked cars right in front of our table (we were sitting outside).  I had not seen him for over twenty years, long before he became an archbishop.  We recognized one another immediately.  What made his appearance even more unusual was that, because of his recent personal circumstances, I would never have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else, other than in his own archdiocese.  (He was from none of the above mentioned countries.)  We spoke about his coming to Rome and caught up on what we were doing.  I then introduced him to my seminarian friend.  He said to my friend that we had met a long time ago and that he had, at that time, just finished reading my book on the immutability of God and the Incarnation.  He told my friend that it was an excellent book, that it helped him sort out the issue, and that my friend should read the book.  Then he turned to me and said: “Keep up the good writing.”
I could hardly believe that this just happened in a matter of a few minutes.  But there was no longer any doubt in my mind that Jesus wanted me to write something.  I also think it significant that it was an Archbishop that Jesus used.  I considered it an apostolic mandate.
So giving it considerable thought and after writing many drafts, I decided to write Pope Francis directly about my concerns.  However, I always intended to make it public since I felt many of my concerns were the same concerns that others had, especially among the laity, and so I publicly wanted to give voice to their concerns as well.

Now, the letter...

Your Holiness,
I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office.  You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church.  All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth.  The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.
Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate.  The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions.  This fosters within the faithful a growing unease.  It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace.  Allow me to offer a few brief examples.
First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of "Amoris Laetitia."  I need not share my own concerns about its content.  Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that.  The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching.  In "Amoris Laetitia," your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching.  As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that "accompaniment" actually means.  To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.  The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it.  Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul.  Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of "Amoris Laetitia" in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism.   This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.  Some of your advisors regrettably seem to engage in similar actions.  Such behavior gives the impression that your views cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by "ad hominem" arguments.
Second, too often your manner seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.  Again and again you portray doctrine as dead and bookish, and far from the pastoral concerns of everyday life.  Your critics have been accused, in your own words, of making doctrine an ideology.  But it is precisely Christian doctrine – including the fine distinctions made with regard to central beliefs like the Trinitarian nature of God; the nature and purpose of the Church; the Incarnation; the Redemption; and the sacraments – that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel.  Those who devalue the doctrines of the Church separate themselves from Jesus, the author of truth.  What they then possess, and can only possess, is an ideology – one that conforms to the world of sin and death.
Third, faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.  What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice.  This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being.  As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the "sensus fidelium," are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.
Fourth, the Church is one body, the Mystical Body of Christ, and you are commissioned by the Lord himself to promote and strengthen her unity.  But your actions and words too often seem intent on doing the opposite.  Encouraging a form of "synodality" that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion.  Such synodality is unwise and, in practice, works against collegial unity among bishops.
Holy Father, this brings me to my final concern.  You have often spoken about the need for transparency within the Church.  You have frequently encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think.  But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent?  Why is this?  Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it.  Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises.  Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.
I have often asked myself: "Why has Jesus let all of this happen?"   The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops.  Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness.  In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.
Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so.  May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.
Sincerely in Christ,
Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.
July 31, 2017
Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola


Kathleen1031 said...

It's a good start. Not easy for a friar to take on the Holy Father, but St. Francis was gentle and had zeal at the same time. Please God, let this be the trickle that turns into a raging river.

Anonymous said...

I would love to personally thank him for sharing such a beautiful story A story that tells us, God has not abandoned us. He is with his people and he will through his Holy apostles like Fr. Thomas correct this tide of destruction since the mafioso election of Jorge Bergolio. Jorge Bergogloi should take heed to these Holy men for his own salvation.

Catechist Kev said...

An now the USCCB has "released" Fr. Weinandy.

Right. Where's the dialogue and accompanying in that?

Catechist Kev

catechist said...

Yesterday, I imagined that everyone who is "disconcerted" over the direction in Rome for the past four years, simply wrote a letter to the Pope. I imagined a blizzard of letters, many thousands. Not just form letters, or statements with multiple signers, but actual physical letters. I imagined that such an effort could not be ignored like other challenges have been. Today we have the account of this priest who is doing exactly as he should be.
I have some theological education, probably just enough to be dangerous. There is nothing in the published letter that I have not thought of previously. Some very basic logic and knowledge of the truths of our faith and simple common leads me to the conclusions of this letter.
I need to find the address, and send a letter of my own. Who will join me?

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.!!!
I'm glad to finally hear from a Franciscan brother regarding Pope Francis. This entire pontificate is gut-wrenching, but it hurts most that Jorge Bergoglio took the name of the holy St. Francis, while he tears down the Church rather than building it up.

Anonymous said...

God bless Fr. Thomas but,surely, this unholy pope, this arrogant man, who ignored the dubia, will ignore him as well.

Johnno said...

Writing letters to Rome won't get you anywhere.

You can't even trust the Vatican Mail service. Just see what happened to every copy of the Cardinal's Book about Marriage that they tried to mail to every bishop before the fixed phony Synod.

This is what we're up against.

Francis will not hear of them unless you're someone important, or you also take the time to get it published in the press.

What we need is something akin to an Occupy Movement that takes over the entirety of St. Peter's Square and Basilica and refusing to leave.

Invite the press, though normally they like to cover it up like every pro-life march, I think some of them will find the idea of a heretical Pope and schism in the Catholic Church too juicy a scandal to pass up, and given they're all competing for attention, it'll just take one to cover it before all the rest scamper to follow.

Anonymous said...

Young Priest removed for refusing Communion to adulterers. https://gloria.tv/article/J6Hdcb78qwCc2r8WA9pKMwu7K

Anonymous said...

All roads lead to Rome ,there should be a march and a picket put around the Vatican.

Anonymous said...

In my late teens I had a dream, where everything l thought sacred was desecrated/ defiled. I was at a University at that time, which was closely associated with the Jesuits - and has a Jesuit Chaplain. The first thing the next morning I ran to him to get clarification about what the dream could be. He convinced me that it was pre-exam nerves as I had spent a large part of the night studying with a colleague (with whom I never spoke about God/religion) and who had stayed the rest od the night in my absent housemate's room.

Anyway, I met up with this colleague just before our exam. My colleague said to me there were weird things going on that night at my place and never would my colleague come to my place again ( though we remained friends). This scared me silly.

That night I had all the lights blazing in the apartment ...scared to fall asleep. Finally, I decided this is ridiculous...and prayed...telling Jesus that I trusted Him, and believed that He wanted me to teach me something. So I asked Him to hold my hand through the night, let me sleep, and let me know what He wanted me to know. I then turned off all the lights and slept like a babe.

In the morning I awoke, and without a shadow of a doubt, knew that the devil exists - he is real. And since that time, I have have associated the devil with desecration of all things sacred and holy. Btw, up to that time, I was in doubt whether the devil really exists. After that...l had no doubt.

Apologies for the long tale...but it is response to the gut-wrenching hurt expressed by anonymous above.

Anonymous said...

From Igbo land in Nigeria Africa - we are confused here in Africa, we no longer know what to believe about the CHURCH but this friars letter sounds like the preachings of the Chapcins in ENUGU preaching without FEAR preaching with ABANDONMENT thank you father, with this we are sure of GOD.