Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Weinandy's Tenure Seen as Significant Shift from His Predecessor's

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Weinandy's Tenure Seen as Significant Shift from His Predecessor's

Article excerpt

Some might commend Capuchin Fr. Thomas Weinandy for nearly a decade of holding firm--keeping the wider U.S. church aligned closely with a strict interpretation of Catholic teachings.

Others might him tell him not to let the door hit him on the way out.

No matter what they think, very few are talking on the record.

One of Weinandy's predecessors at the Secretariat for Doctrine said he would not comment on his successor's work, even asking that his name not be used. Another did not return several phone calls.

Six former and current bishops' conference staffers and consultants to the Doctrine Committee also either refused comment or did not return calls asking for details on the committee's work or their experience with Weinandy.

Retired Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, who served as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1998 to 2001, said he could not speak to Weinandy specifically as he hadn't worked with the priest.

But whoever serves in the role at the secretariat, Fiorenza said, has to "know the teaching of the magisterium extremely well" but also "know that there are different theological schools of thought and that sometimes on matters which are not yet theologically defined there is freedom of discussion."

Fiorenza pointed to his work with Weinandy's predecessor, Msgr. John Strynkowski, as showing that the head of the secretariat "can't be wedded to one theological school of thought. …

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