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So writes Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., a highly regarded and accomplished American theologian who is former chief of staff for the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and a current member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission.
Fr. Weinandy recently made public a three-page letter he had sent to Pope Francis on July 31, 2017. The letter expresses Fr. Weinandy’s concerns about several aspects of the current pontificate:
- A chronic confusion marks this pontificate, manifested most prominently in the seemingly intentionally ambiguous Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia
- The Pope’s manner demeans the importance of Church doctrine
- The appointment of bishops who scandalize believers with dubious teaching and pastoral practice.
- Rather than promoting and strengthening unity, the Holy Father allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church that can only lead to theological and pastoral confusion
- Though often speaking of transparency within the Church, the Holy Father resents criticism and this gives prelates who object the impression they will be marginalized or worse if they speak out.
Fr. Weinandy ends his letter thusly:
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.
Our faith is indeed weak, highlighted by the silence of the bishops and their actions. For after publication of this letter, the United States Conference of Bishops, asked Fr. Weinandy to resign from his current position as consultant to the bishops, and he has submitted his resignation. This reinforces item #5 above.
The letter is an eye-opener as is Fr. Weinandy’s note of explanation on why he wrote the letter.
All the angels and saints, pray for us.