How Fr. Weinandy decided to write his letter of complaint to Pope Francis

In Rome in late May of 2017, arriving early for a meeting of Vatican theologians, Fr. Thomas Weinandy took himself to prayer “about the . . . state of the Church and the anxieties [he] had about the present Pontificate.”

He spent most of an afternoon in St. Peter’s,

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 . . . and pondering whether [to] write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.

A few days later, the meeting completed, he “went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.”

That night, he couldn’t sleep. Unable to get Francis off his mind, at 1:15 he left his room and went outside “for a short time.”

Back in his room, he made a deal with Jesus in a cri de coeur, asking for a sign, specifying in detail:

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.

He specified the sign:

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’.

Continuing the story:

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.


. . . [T]owards 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.

My heavens.

What made his appearance even more unusual was that because of his recent personal circumstances [he’d been ill]. I would [not] have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else [except] in his own archdiocese.

Which is in none of the above mentioned lands.

The conversation:

We spoke about his coming to Rome and caught up on what we were doing.  I . . . introduced him to my seminarian friend.  He said to my friend that [he and I] 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.”

The sign had been shown.

I decided to write [the]  letter [to the Pope], which I intended then to publish unless [the Pope] adequately addressed the issues I raised.

Fr. W wrote the letter. Two months later he got word from the Vatican Secretariat of State that Pope Francis had got it, but there was no response from Francis.

As for his sign and its fulfillment, he found added signficance in its involving an archbishop, which gave the sign “apostolic mandate.”

(By the way, the book mentioned by the archbishop on the immutability of God and the Incarnation is Does God Suffer?  University of Notre Dame Press, 2000.)

Finally, coming from a world of religion reporting for a daily newspaper after one of immersion in religious life, I must say I can’t get over Fr. Weinandy in his recounting a spiritual, supernatural experience, asking God for a sign and the rest.

He’s a long-time, highly esteemed professional theologian, and yet he talks that way for public consumption. The letter was one thing — it cost him two jobs and was daring to begin with.

But this testimony to prayer and God as responder is something worth noting. Carefully.

Epstein and Kelly, mirror images of criminal justice system?

The system? Or the people involved?

On Jeffrey Epstein and a New Yorker attack on me

Oh you New Yorker, we hardly know ye. Once there were those marvelous short stories. Now?

The election of Donald Trump has pulled American debate away from objectivity and turned publications into actors in a political battle. After Donald Trump’s election, the New Yorker magazine lost no time nailing its colors to the anti-Trump mast.

Alan Dershowitz once more to the barricades.

via Spectator USA

People of what?

What does Jesse Jackson say? That’s what I want to know.

via Kira Davis: The Term “People of Color” Hijacks Black America’s Hard-Earned Legacy and I’m Sick of It

Lightfoot to Preckwinkle: Shut up.

via Mayor Lori Lightfoot fires back at Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle on crime – Chicago Sun-Times

A Response to Fr Weinandy’s 2017 Letter to the Pope – characterized by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Not just “churchy” people, but they may have led the way and remain very good at weasel talk, here a presumably friendly admonition, one theologian to another.

What gets me is not the content, but the tone churchy people use these days. It can only be described as sentimental mumbo jumbo.

Its become a kind of new Catholic orthodoxy. In the old days prelates inveighed in magisterial tones against heresy, wickedness, dissent and apostasy. They spelled out their disagreements clearly and logically.

Now it’s beg-your-pardon etc.

Berkeley CA tops its nuttiest performances

Off they go into the wild blue yonder . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Death to the English (and any other) language!

Berkeley’s language cops reject the term “master,” instead of insisting on terms like “captain,” “skipper” or “pilot.” Let’s hope the University of California doesn’t have to change “master’s degree” to “skipper’s degree.”

The council also objects to the word “heir,” preferring the term “beneficiaries.” But there’s no gender reference in “heirs.” The dictionary definition is “a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person’s death.”

via Beware the ‘Inclusive Language’ Minefield

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Villanova historian Massimo Faggioli says Chaput, Cordileone, and Strickland are ‘devout schismatics’

Sock-’em-bust-’em fellow — hit ‘n run . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Hey, public intellectual makes splash.

However . . .

Faggioli could not be reached for comment.

Tsk, tsk.

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Reform or Dismantle the Church? Commonweal Magazine

What to do with Holy Mother Church . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Serious discussion here.

Gives idea of current mindset of Catholic libs.

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Look to the courts if you want to find the perpetrators

People say cultural change makes for political change, says Hadley Arkes.

According to this argument, we???ve lost in the courts because we have lost in the culture, and so the object is to change the culture.

??But that line of argument misses at once what has been plainly before us:?? the Supreme Court, pronouncing with the authority of law on the things rightful and wrongful, has been the main Engine in the coarsening and corruption of our culture.??

And our friends miss this point because they have never absorbed Aristotle???s understanding, at the very beginning of political philosophy, on the necessary connection between the logic of morals and the logic of law.

Politics matter.

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