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Excluded and marginalized…

USCCB Doctrinal Advisor Fired after Publishing Critical Letter to Francis

[UPDATE 03-NOV-17: “Mgr.” John Strynkowski responds to “Fr.” Weinandy in Open Letter]

The Church of Mercy, Dialogue, and Compassion has struck again. This time, the object of its solicitous benevolence was the Capuchin “Fr.” Thomas Weinandy, who was a theological consultant for the doctrinal committee of the United States Conference of Bishops (USCCB) — until yesterday. It was then that he committed what is in the Vatican II Church an unpardonable sin and, as a result, was fired “resigned” from his post after a meeting with the American Chief Modernist, “Cardinal” Daniel DiNardo (of Houston co-cathedral Methodist “ordination” infamy).

What did Mr. Weinandy do to merit such harsh treatment so swiftly? Did he break the seal of confession? Did he share his sanctuary with heretics? Was he found to have abused an altar boy? Was he caught with crystal meth in his basement? Oh no… It is much worse, in Novus Ordo eyes: He published the text of a fairly short letter he had written to “Pope” Francis in July to express his concerns about the mess the “Pope” has been creating for the last 4+ years. And if there’s one thing you cannot do in the Church of Mercy, Dialogue, and Compassion, it’s question Francis. You can question anyone else: You are free to question true Popes, ecumenical councils before Vatican II, canonized saints and doctors, even Jesus Christ Himself, and it’s not a problem — but question Francis, and you will experience the limits of Novus Ordo mercy and compassion faster than you can say “time is greater than space”.

On July 31, 2017, “Fr.” Weinandy penned a letter to Francis that — let’s be honest — amounts to little more than a gentle rebuke for the chaos and confusion that virtually no one who has paid any attention still denies. It was clearly written by someone who acknowledges Francis as the Vicar of Christ and does not seek to rebel against his putative authority but, being endowed with intellect and will, cannot remain silent in the face of the elephant that’s sitting in the living room and expanding at an ever more alarming rate.

Since Francis, quite predictably, didn’t respond to the letter, Weinandy decided to make it public, and he did so yesterday, Nov. 1. The letter was published as a PDF file on Crux and can be accessed here:

In its accompanying report, Crux summarized the highlights of the letter as follows:

While expressing loyalty to Francis as the “Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock,” Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy nevertheless charges that the pope is:

  • Fostering “chronic confusion.”
  • “Demeaning” the importance of doctrine.
  • Appointing bishops who “scandalize” believers with dubious “teaching and pastoral practice.”
  • Giving prelates who object the impression they’ll be “marginalized or worse” if they speak out.
  • Causing faithful Catholics to “lose confidence in their supreme shepherd.”

“In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew itself, and so continue to grow in holiness,” Weinandy wrote in the letter, which is dated July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the pope’s Jesuit order.

(“Ex-bishops’ doctrine chief says darkness coming to light under Francis”, Crux, Nov. 1, 2017)

Not surprisingly, the USCCB acted quickly. The very same day, “Cardinal” DiNardo in his capacity as head of the American Novus Ordo Bishops, fired (let’s be honest) Weinandy (see press release here) and subsequently issued the following statement:

The departure today of Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., as a consultant to the Committee on Doctrine and the publication of his letter to Pope Francis gives us an opportunity to reflect on the nature of dialogue within the Church.  Throughout the history of the Church, ministers, theologians and the laity all have debated and have held personal opinions on a variety of theological and pastoral issues. In more recent times, these debates have made their way into the popular press. That is to be expected and is often good.  However, these reports are often expressed in terms of opposition, as political – conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right, pre-Vatican II vs Vatican II.  These distinctions are not always very helpful.

Christian charity needs to be exercised by all involved. In saying this, we all must acknowledge that legitimate differences exist, and that it is the work of the Church, the entire body of Christ, to work towards an ever-growing understanding of God’s truth.

As Bishops, we recognize the need for honest and humble discussions around theological and pastoral issues. We must always keep in mind St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “presupposition” to his Spiritual Exercises: “…that it should be presumed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.” This presupposition should be afforded all the more to the teaching of Our Holy Father.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a collegial body of bishops working towards that goal. As Pastors and Teachers of the Faith, therefore, let me assert that we always stand in strong unity with and loyalty to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (LG, no. 23).

(“U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops President On Dialogue Within The Church”, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Nov. 1, 2017)

So Mr. DiNardo complains that Mr. Weinandy didn’t give Francis the benefit of the doubt. But we have news for the impostor cardinal: The benefit of the doubt can only be given where and for as long as it is reasonable. Weinandy is criticizing Francis not because he refuses to be charitable and give the benefit of the doubt where it is due, but because all benefits of the doubt have long been exhausted and it is manifest now that Francis is not interested in resolving the doubt, heresy, and chaos he himself is responsible for disseminating.

What makes public criticism even more pressing and thus does not allow for endless harping on some supposed benefit of the doubt, is the fact that with every day that passes, the confusion becomes greater and more acute, which means more and more souls are impacted, i.e. potentially lost eternally. It may be news to the hardcore Novus Ordo Modernists, but ultimately all this isn’t about Francis, it’s about the souls he’s misleading.

Aside from all that, it is fair to say that by writing Francis directly and asking him to end the confusion, Weinandy was very much still giving him the benefit of the doubt even above and beyond what is reasonable, as our laundry list of Francis’ heresies, errors, blasphemies, and scandals clearly shows.

What is most ironic and amusing in this whole story is the following part of Weinandy’s letter:

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.

Crux had barely hit the “publish” button on this letter, when “Fr.” Weinandy experienced firsthand that “if [you] speak [your] mind, [you] will be marginalized or worse”. How’s that for someone else proving your point for you!

The blogosphere of the semi-traditionalists and conservative Novus Ordo Francis skeptics has been erupting about this, of course. Some interesting tweets on the Weinandy letter and subsequent firing can be found here.

It is to be expected that those sympathetic to Mr. Weinandy will make him into a veritable martyr for orthodoxy, when the simple fact is that he too, of course, is just another Vatican II Modernist no different from the rest of the John Paul II and Benedict XVI admirers who have a problem with Francis. Just because you’re not quite as far left as Francis is, doesn’t mean you’re orthodox; but the standard for orthodoxy has been lowered considerably since Jorge Bergoglio has claimed the papal throne. Now the mere upholding of the literal meaning of the Sixth Commandment can make, in the perception of many “conservatives” and “traditionalists”, a manifest heretic into an ultra-orthodox defender of Christendom. In the Vatican II Church it is sufficient to adhere to one dogma to be considered a Catholic, rather than to all of them.

By the way, in 2014 “Fr.” Weinandy was appointed to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission by none other than “Pope” Francis, a position he retains to this day, at least for the time being.

The fact that the Weinandy firing came a day after the Vatican issued a stamp commemorating the Protestant Reformating placing Martin Luther at the foot of the Cross, lends additional irony to this latest episode of the Bergoglian Twilight Zone.