Culture of Rebuke Has Taken Hold in Church Discourse


National Catholic Register, 6 November 2017

The dialogue that Pope Francis often calls for is not actually taking place within the Church.

The most recent rebuke — thoughtfully expressed and respectfully made — to the exercise of the magisterium by Pope Francis came from the highly respected Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, who served from 2005 to 2013 as the executive director of the American bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.

So respected is he that Pope Francis appointed him to the International Theological Commission (ITC), the principal advisory body to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in 2014.

Father Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis, dated July 31 and made public Nov. 1, rebukes the Holy Father for fostering “chronic confusion” through “ambiguous” teaching, asserting that he “censor[s] and even mock[s]” those who uphold traditional teaching and that he tolerates teaching contrary to the doctrine of the faith. Father Weinandy’s letter is clear and blunt: The Holy Father’s “calumny” of those who follow Church Tradition is “alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry,” which exists “to dispel error, not to foster it.”

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