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Fr. Weinandy: “The USCCB strongly encouraged me to resign.” 

Some more statements from Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy about his letter to Pope Francis and his resignation from his role as consultant to the USCCB.

The Bernini collonade of the Saint Peter Square in the Vatican in an undated photo. [Wikipedia/Dorieo]

In my editorial note to this past Wednesday’s posting of the article “Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy explains his critical letter to Pope Francis,” I wrote:

I spoke for a few minutes this morning with Fr. Weinandy, and he told me that since the letter’s publication, he has received many positive and encouraging notes from theologians, priests, and lay people. However, the USCCB asked him to resign from his current position as consultant to the bishops, and he has submitted his resignation. In making such a request, the USCCB, it would appear, reinforces Fr. Weinandy’s very point about fearfulness and lack of transparency.

I’ve received some questions about the request for Fr. Weinandy’s resignation, including the suggestion that since I didn’t include a quote, it cannot be taken as a viable report. I spoke again this morning with Fr. Weinandy, and he gave me the following remark: “The USCCB strongly encouraged me to resign.”

When I asked about the timeline, he told me that his letter had first been published at 10:00am Eastern time, and that the USCCB contacted him at about 2:30pm. He submitted his resignation an hour later. The two press releases from the USCCB were released in succession around 4:00pm (here and here).

Fr. Weinandy also told me that he has received “hundreds of e-mails and all of them are positive.” Most of them, he added, “are from laity. Many of them expressed their gratitude that I gave voice to their concerns.”

He further noted that prominent critics of his letter include “the National Catholic Reporter and Fr. James Martin, SJ.” This was in reference to Fr. Martin’s article titled “Dissent, Now & Then: Thomas Weinandy and the meaning of Jesuit discernment.” Fr. Martin is joined by Fr. John J. Strynkowski, who also used to be (like Fr. Weinandy) the executive director of Secretariat for Christian Doctrine at the USCCB, in using the term “dissent” in referring to Fr. Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis.  I’ll have more to say about those articles a bit later.

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About Carl E. Olson 1233 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.


  1. They hadn’t the courage to fire him. Similar to Pilate washing his hands. What’s disheartening is what it says about the USCCB. They unlike Churchill say, “We will always surrender”. Darkness pervades. Catholics faithful to the Gospel of Christ firmly rooted in the Apostolic Tradition are mocked, disdained, forced to resign, fired like Josef Seifert by other Catholics who have sworn allegiance to the new gospel. Whether these are End Times is unknown. Prayerfully a passing phase soon to be corrected. Yet it certainly is unprecedented. Unlike previous Pontiff’s who erred this distancing from Apostolic Tradition is too sweeping. Can this be permitted by God and why asks Fr Weinandy. As do most of us. Sin and disobedience to Christ’s commandments. Apostasy. As a priest I cannot repudiate the Gospels for something other than what the Apostles handed down to me. At judgment I, all priests [Bishops and Cardinals included] will be asked “Peter, did you feed my Lambs”. My hopeful prayer is, “Yes Lord, I fed them good food. Your words”.

  2. I hope comment is made about some authors’ use of the word “dissent.” It is VERY misleading and slanderous against Father Weinandy.

    • Yes, Father Weinandy is courageously opposing dissenters in the highest places. Who among us could ever imagine that we would experience this persecution of the Faith in our lifetime, when it seems like yesterday, that it was honored by all? Who could have believed that the most vigorous persecution would come from the pope and his team of unprincipled (as though they were not Christian) revolutionaries?

      Today, those who vowed to preserve and defend our Faith, dishonor it in word and deed, while bowing low before all kinds of false beliefs.

      Sometimes the shock and terror are overwhelming. I must remind myself constantly that this has been known from the beginning. Our Lord Jesus Christ says: Fear not!

      I should abandon my bad inclination, and I should trust and obey Him.

  3. Given the extraordinarily rapid timeline, with publication of the letter and publication of the USCCB press releases only six hours apart, it appears that the member bishops did not hold a meeting, make sure they had a quorum, and hold a vote. It appears that one or more post-Catholic ordained bureaucrats made this decision, which may go down in history as the “jumping of the shark” by the USCCB.

  4. A pope who will not clarify his own exhortation, either in private or public. This pope who is on the brink of formal heresy while claiming to be “a faithful son of the Church”.

    Fr. Martin weighs in????

    How long, Lord?

  5. I’m curious, why did he not just let them fire him? This is not a criticism, but what advantage to him if he “resigns” than if he is “fired”? Is there something in the vow of obedience? Although if he were to have been fired, it may well have raised his standing even more? I imagine Father did not fully anticipate the fallout of his letter.

  6. These folks also don’t seem to realize that this infers Francis is proposing new teaching, for what else would require a new/current act of assent, as though Weinandy would have withdrawn his previous assent from the perennial teaching?

  7. I am a lay Catholic. I do not agree with what Father Weinandy did: I disagree with both the content of the letter and the way he made it public. I am only weighing in on this because Father Weinandy emphasized that he received many letters and emails, mostly from lay people, all of them positive. I support Pope Francis and thought the letter read like an attack on him. The USCCB was right to force Weinandy’s resignation (they could have just terminated him; it was very gracious of them to allow him to resign).

    • Irene,

      You present a false notion: that Fr. Weinandy is “anti-Francis” and this was the reason for his letter. This is unfortunately a way people are trying to discount it and if you think about it, this mode is exactly what they are accusing him of. It was quite the opposite if you read his reasons for it. The ultimate point is whether what he states in the letter is true and that even what one might call the more subjective parts are his actual experience as a priest, hearing from what he says is “many” people. Exactly what in his letter is false? Can you say without any doubt that none of what he mentions is happening anywhere? Are you saying he is lying when he speaks of his personal experience? If you can’t rule this out then the foundation of his letter stands.

  8. So where is the “mercy and dialogue” that Pope Francis and bishops keeps talking about? Did I miss something here?
    There is “mercy and dialogue” for the LGBTQ people, so-called “catholic” politicians or pro-aborts or atheists but none whatsoever for the catholic theologian who embraces and preaches the Gospel?!!
    Remember when St. Paul rebuked Peter (the first pope) in Galatians 2:11-13

    In John 16:2 Jesus said “They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour* is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.
    They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me”.

    Rejoice Fr. Weinandy!! You are truly blessed for being found worthy!
    Jesus will bless you greatly!

  9. What I would like to know is: did anyone at USCCB get a phone call from the Vatican before “encouraging” Father Weinandy to resign?

  10. I would love to know, on what date was Father Weinandy ‘s letter published and on what forum?

    Thank you for a reply,
    Teréz Barna

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Fr. Weinandy: “The USCCB strongly encouraged me to resign.”  -
  2. Fr. Weinandy: “The USCCB strongly encouraged me to resign.”  - Catholic Crossing
  3. Why does Fr. Martin persist in embarrassing, sleight-of-substance tactics? – Catholic World Report
  4. Surat Romo Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap, kepada Paus Fransiskus | Lux Veritatis 7
  5. Sola Papa | Tru Azz Conservative

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