Fiducia supplicans is diabolical -Father Weinandy


The Capuchin Thomas Weinandy, formerly a member of the International Theological Commission, and not entirely unknown if you are a follower of this blog, interviewed by the newspaper La Verità, Jan-25-2024. Obviously the main argument is the Fiducia supplicans Declaration, although he is also asked about other topics, such as Francis' recent statement on an Italian television program of his aspiration for an "empty hell" 

Are we facing a physiological dialectic or is there something unprecedented behind these controversies? 

"There is a novelty: in the past we have had popes who were libertine, greedy, simoniacal, nepotistic; today we have a pontiff who does not commit these sins but who attacks doctrine with his ambiguity. His predecessors may have been fornicators, but they never held that fornication was a good thing; now, however, the Pope seems to attack the very moral teaching of the Church, especially in matters of sexuality." 

St. Francis had been invited by God to repair His Church, which was falling apart. As a Franciscan, how do you think the saint of Assisi would act today in a West in crisis of faith? 

"It is difficult to say what St. Francis would do: as a true Catholic, who when he wanted to found his own order went to the Pope for approval, I believe that today he would be disconcerted to see that we have a pontiff and members of the Vatican who undermine the teaching of the Church. St. Francis always wanted - even to the point of putting it in the Rule - that all friars be truly faithful to the Church, and I, precisely because I consider myself a faithful Franciscan, both in letters to Pope Francis and in other publications, have tried to address the various issues, evidencing what was good and what was bad." 

The universality of the Church is manifested in that all the particular Churches are bound together, through the episcopal college, in communion with the Pope. This sign of Catholic unity is put to the test by the splits that have arisen around Fiducia Supplicans, with the "peripheries" correcting Rome? 

"The Lord entrusted to St. Peter the custody of the deposit of faith and unity, but now the Pope, instead of guarding the faith, seems to want to change it, and instead of strengthening unity in the Church brings division. Francis never accepts these criticisms but blames others, but it is not the ideology of others that has created the problems, but his own. 

Those of right faith, including bishops, priests and theologians, recognize that what Fiducia Supplicans promotes is not in line with the teachings of the Church and fight to defend what the Vatican is trying to undermine. Recall that John Henry Cardinal Newman (declared a Saint in 2019, ndr) in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine stresses that it is for the Pope and the bishops in union with him to say what is true development and what is false development, and imagine a hypothetical situation in which those who should affirm the true development of doctrine instead expose positions that represent corruption. I would add that even if the Pope or a bishop says something that looks like magisterial teaching but is not in line with the preceding magisterium, then what he says should not be considered magisterial teaching." 

Some interpreters of Pope Francis' thought maintain that he is referring to Romano Guardini's "polar opposition." 

"It is a very Hegelian notion that of the two polar positions coming together in a new, higher synthesis; but this is not how the development of doctrine works, which has an internal impulse through which one arrives at a better understanding of the faith, but which never denies what was known before: 

the Church, over the centuries, has maintained that homosexual acts are an intrinsic evil and therefore can never be permitted or forgiven, while with Francis' Hegelian reading we end up saying that these immoral acts in certain cases can be permitted and even virtuous. This is an absolutely false way of conceiving the development of doctrine. Note also that everything that comes out of the Vatican, whether it comes from the Pope or from Prefect Fernandez, is always full of ambiguity. I believe that this ambiguity is the Holy Spirit "preventing" the Pope from doing what he would like to do; with this attitude, however, the Pope makes others do it. It is a very dangerous game to "spin" [around] the Holy Spirit: it is clearly defeatist, but in the meantime it creates chaos in the Church." 

Can we say that Fiducia Supplicans, even before creating problems for the faith, is a writing that creates a crisis for reason itself because of its inconsistencies? 

"The documents of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have always made clarity. Now, with this misleading and manipulative ambiguity, a conflict is created with the intelligence of the faith that people possess, because confusion is sown. It is intentional, it serves to promote what is desired but not openly manifested. And it is diabolical. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, the devil is the spirit of disorder: the one that is promoted today". 

Can the blessing of homosexual couples be justified theologically? 

"The problem is what is blessed when a homosexual couple is blessed. Whether the gesture occurs in public or in private, what people grasp is that the relationship is blessed. And in the case of an immoral relationship, the impression is given of approving the relationship itself with all that it implies, where one cannot bless a sin without creating a scandal. We will have bishops who will bless homosexual couples and others who will refuse, because there is no longer clarity about the teaching of the Church". 

Aside from episcopates in Africa, do you sense any fear on the part of bishops to speak out on this issue? 

"Here in the United States there are bishops who are not happy with Fiducia Supplicans but are afraid to take a stand. The bishops' conference is divided: most of the U.S. bishops have a strong Catholic faith, but not all of them are like that, especially those appointed by Francis. This is why it is difficult to produce a strongly opposing joint document. I believe that Pope Francis does not love the United States precisely because we still have many courageous Catholics and that is why we are the ones who, unlike the Europeans, can still oppose it". 

Are there bishops who fear being removed? 

"The synodality is a farce, since Francis is more tyrannical than any other Pope in memory. For Fiducia Supplicans no bishop or theologian was consulted, as usually happens with a document of the Congregation and this is a dictatorial conduct of the pontificate. And the same happens with the so much invoked parresia: Francis wants the truth to be told so that he can single out his enemies and then execute his revenge when he does not like what he hears". 

Is the theological proposal of an empty hell - about which the Pope recently returned on television - a plausible theory in Catholic reflection on the Apocalypse? And what consequences does it produce in concrete life? 

"Jesus thought that hell exists and that people go there: let us think when he speaks of the two roads, one wide and the other narrow, and of the fact that most men choose the first one, which leads to damnation. Or when he says that for Judas it would have been better for him never to have been born, a phrase from which we deduce that his condition is certainly not that of beatitude. St. Paul, for example, speaking of adulterers and the greedy, says that they will not enter the Kingdom of God, from the Scriptures and from Jesus' own words it clearly emerges that eternal damnation is a possibility, and a very concrete one at that. 

 Our Lady of Fatima showed hell to the shepherds, and with the damned inside! It is very serious for Francis to make people think otherwise because the pastoral implication is that people believe that since no one is going to hell, then it makes no difference how they behave. It also undermines the importance of earthly life by making every virtue insignificant. I can engage in child trafficking or perform abortions with no consequences; why should I die for my faith, considering that I don't become a martyr anyway and, in fact, if I betray it, I still end up in paradise? Of course there is repentance, which allows even the worst sinner to go to heaven, but if hell does not exist, the meaning of life and the value of human dignity is lost, because no violation of this dignity deserves damnation. And this is simply terrible.