Priest resigns as consultant to doctrine committee after letter to pope


publication of his letter to Pope Francis questioning the pontiff’s teachings, Father
Thomas Weinandy has resigned from his position as consultant to the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.

The Capuchin Franciscan priest
is former executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs,
serving in the post from 2005 until 2013. He expressed loyalty to the pope
but at the same time told the pope that “a chronic confusion seems to mark your

He released his letter to several
Catholic and other media outlets Nov. 1, including Crux. The priest told Crux, a Catholic
news outlet, he did not write the letter in an “official capacity,” and he was alone
responsible for it.

“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,” said James Rogers, chief communications officer for
the USCCB.

“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,” Rogers said in a statement issued late Nov.

In a separate statement, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, said
the departure of Father Weinandy as a consultant “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,” the cardinal said. “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,” he added.

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