Ousted Fr. Weinandy Explains Why He Wrote the Pope
"I considered it an apostolic mandate"
DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Ousted priest Fr. Thomas Weinandy, who was asked by the U.S. bishops to resign from the International Theological Commission for his letter criticizing Pope Francis (reproduced in full below), has offered an explanation for his actions.
Wednesday, James Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued a statement announcing Weinandy's resignation:
After speaking with the General Secretary of the Conference today, Father Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., has resigned, effective immediately, from his position as consultant to the USCCB Committee on Doctrine. The work of the Committee is done in support of, and in affective collegiality with, the Holy Father and the Church in the United States. Our prayers go with Father Weinandy as his service to the Committee comes to a close.
Since the announcement, thousands of Catholics have expressed outrage over what they see as the strongarming of a faithful priest for expressing respectful disagreement with the Holy Father. The vast majority of tweets posted in response to the USCCB are negative.
Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute reports that although the USCCB was swift to penalize Weinandy, it has done nothing about a public promoter of Planned Parenthood, Jessica Garrels, who remains on its payroll to this day.
Father Weinandy himself has explained his inspiration for writing the letter to the Holy Father. Published Wednesday in L'Espresso under Vaticanista Sandro Magister's column, the ousted Franciscan began: "Last May I was in Rome for an International Theological Commission meeting," going further to explain that he had been "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," he continued. "I was also pondering whether or not I should write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety."
He awoke the following night at 1:15 in the morning and went for a brief walk outside. On returning, he prayed to God:
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."
He did all of the above the next day, and then met up with a seminarian friend for lunch. By that time he was no longer thinking about his prayer from the night before.
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.”
In spite of his shock over the clear sign, he knew what he must do. "But there was no longer any doubt in my mind that Jesus wanted me to write something," Weinandy wrote. "I also think it significant that it was an Archbishop that Jesus used. I considered it an apostolic mandate."
Father Weinandy's letter appears in full here:https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/ousted-fr.-weinandy-explains-why-he-wrote-the-pope