Father Weinandy’s Story: Faith Does Not Test God

Father Weinandy’s story – which is, so to speak, the cause of the letter I have already commented – deserves a couple of considerations. 

There is a mixture of arrogance and superstition in Father Weinandy’s story about how the letter came to be. No one of us has the right to even think “I will do my duty of Catholic only if you, God, send me a sign; and I will tell you exactly what kind of sign I want to have; and I want to have it tomorrow”. 

Father Weinandy’s letter-writing might be right or wrong, but you don’t pose conditions to God. If it is right to write a letter, then by all means write it. If it is not right to write it, then by all means do your duty of Catholic theologian in a different way. But do not ever think that you can be exempted from doing what is right because God hasn’t sent you a pink dog dancing on his hind legs, or a chap without a number of specified passports, telling you exactly the words you want to hear, within a strict time frame.  

Yes, God may use and test even the arrogant and, if the story is true, I can’t avoid thinking of Him prompting the guy to this act of arrogance in order to, rather amusingly, baffle him into doing what he had to do anyway. However, it is still not right to hide behind hugely favourable odds and perform this kind of order-giving to God for something one knows to be right and the thing to do anyway. For heavens’ sake, this is a theologian who writes books about Catholicism, and everything indicates that, had he not seen the pink dog dancing on his hind legs of sort (his condition for, generally, “writing something”), he would have taken it as an excuse not to write anything at all (much less a letter to the Pope) about the current state of affairs in the Church. Talk about a coward found out and, by God’s grace, amusingly prompted to grow a pair and do his job already, actually even going beyond his original intention. The ways of the Lord… 

But this is not the way to go about our duties. You know what you have to do. Never think you can get out of it by just giving God strange ultimatums about what He has to do to let you do it. 

Father Weinandy is very, very lucky that his act of presumption was used by God towards his salvation. He must have been pretty impressed to follow up on it in such a public way. 

P.s. Has Father Weinandy signed the Filial Correction? If not, why, seen that the criticism is pretty much the same and is public in the same way?  

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Posted on November 3, 2017, in Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I cannot see his name on the list:
    http://www.correctiofilialis.org/signatories/
    But, I cannot give you answer on your question. But I am sure, he can.
    A very good question, indeed.

  2. Thank you! It is actually rather sad that a person of such status would ‘test’ God in such a way, and then tell of it. How many poor, ignorant souls will now be testing their faith in just such a fashion. I suppose it will weed some of them out, but it is quite embarrassing. He should have kept that story to himself.

    • Another thought: this man has lived in the ‘new church’ for years. I at first thought his request of God was a good thing, but quickly realized that I would not be so easy on myself if I waited for that sign. Nevertheless, God may be more merciful than many of us, and allowed a very vivid sign to this priest to help bring to their senses many who were foundering. And maybe Fr. was led to understand that many would be helped by this reported sign.. Maybe….Anyway, I hope people are turned to reality by his story. Even if it is unpalatable to some.

    • father Weinandy looked for an easy excuse. God did not allowed him one.

  3. In fact, he commented on the Filial Correction saying, “I don’t think it was theologically helpful, or presented in an effective manner.”

  4. Could it be Father’s faith is so pure, so childlike that he put complete trust in God to carry out this arduous mission? He is an intellectual powerhouse as well. In these extraordinary times might it not be cynical to say he was simply testing God? We don’t know Father’s interior life. He is no fool. He was, in this instance, God’s instrument.

  5. I guess, then, Therese of Lisieux was wrong to ask God for a sign that her blood sister, Celine, would her accepted into the Carmel of Lisieux. The sign Therese asked God for was that one of the other religious sisters, who adamantly opposed the entrance in their Carmel of yet another Martin girl, be favorable to Celine’s entrance. Upon asking for this sign, as Therese left chapel, she ran into this opposition sister who shockingly spoke favorably and enthusiastically for Celine to enter Carmel. God had changed this sister’s heart in a striking and immediate way. Father Weinandy was asking for God’s help in discerning whether or not writing Bergoglio was His will. He knew it would have serious repercussions and was asking God for help in discerning whether or not it would be the correct action to take. What Father Weinandy did was borne of no lack of Faith, but rather of prudence and mistrust of self, which is a sign of humility.

    • Poppycock. When Father Weinandy becomes a saint we can read of his various tests to God in a life of the saints book. What we have here is a man who was trying not to do his job, and was forced to do it.

  6. Thanks for making that point. I think I’ve lost my powers of correct thinking. The compass has been buried, and I can’t reason as well anymore, because of course, you’re right, we, the creatures, do not get to make demands of any kind to God. He has no compunction to meet our arbitrary criteria, and one would say really that perhaps Fr. Weinandy knew that, and was stunned to see it happen as he laid it out. Maybe it was a lot more of an appeal to God than it came across. He said he did not sign the correction, and faulted the correction for some reason, such as “not well written”. I don’t understand that at all, but perhaps Fr. Weinandy was trying to keep himself out of the boiling pot. Good luck with that.

    • I understand it very well.
      Father Weinandy was trying to hide. Until he could not hide anymore. God gently prompted him to come to the point of saying “I will ask God of something extremely improbable” for him to do what he knew he had to do; and then nailed him to his own words. he should have shut up, avoiding to give scandal with his own cowardice.
      Now countless people will start doing the same, because hey, the theologian set the example.

  7. And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above.

    And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.

  8. Insightful as always. Thank you!

  9. I cannot agree: In a period of doubt, asking a sign from Heavens, so small might it be, is in no ways forbidden. I personnally have been comforted in my Faith by such signs, often happening through odd coïncidences.
    Remember the 3 kids of Fatima who asked our Lady for a “sign” because their parents and relatives didn’t believe them. The Virgin replied: “I will perform here a great miracle, on next october, SO THAT ALL MAY BELIEVE. Everybody knows what happened the following oct 13th 1917.
    Fr Weinandy is a courageous man. He certainly knew what would happen once the letter was written and sent. Asking for a sign (a sign he got, anyways) helped him to do what he considered his inescapable duty as a catholic theologian, without caring about the consequences.

    • That wasn’t a generic “give me strength” request. That was a very well specified order, in an extremely narrow timeframe, containing exact words. This was a way to seek an easy way out.
      Beware of such behaviour. It is presumptious to tell God what he has to do. Particularly when you very well know what you have to do yourself.

  10. You write as if you know the motives of Father Weinandy’s heart. You do not. You do not know if he were trying avoid his job. You do not know if he was afraid to write. As others have pointed out on this site, many saints have asked for signs and gotten them. You assume lack of faith, you assume cowardice on the part of the one who asks for a sign, an easy way out. If God were displeased by Father Weinandy’s request for a sign He would not have granted it.

    • oh cut the crap. I see reality around me and draw conclusions from it, like every sensible person.
      The likes of you think that we can’t judge Peter’s betrayal of Christ because we don’t know his inner forum.
      Facts count. Deal with it.

  11. I really have no dog in this hunt. But I would point out that Revelation seems to indicate that Fr. Weinandy’s request echoes the behavior of Gideon the Judge in the Old Testament.

    • Father Weinandy was afraid of doing anything, and put God to the test in a seemingly impossible manner. God decided to fortify him and punish his presumption at the same time. he is probably a better man now for it, but this doe snot make his act less presumptuous.

      For the avoidance of doubt: you are not allowed to tell God thatyou will do *what is expected of you* only if he shows you a half miracle.

      But you know that.

  12. It is a combination of asking and demanding God. Asking like a child is good and humble; but demanding is an arrogant act. His situation could have been confused, desperate and tangled in a conflict between blind obedience and his conscience of duty; so he asked for help and directed God to do exactly what he wanted. God mercifully forgave him due to his righteous intention and probably lets him do self examining later. Hope that he’ll ask God forgiveness.

    • No.
      This is very, very wrong thinking.
      He did not ask God to help him.
      He said to him “if you want me to do *what I am supposed to do* you will do as I say, exactly as I say it, in a very short time span.
      I can ask for a sign from God if I am undecided between two virtuous actions. I cannot make such strict demands of God as a condition to do what is right.
      Wake up, for heaven’s sake.
      Comments like yours show me what appalling ignorance is around.

  13. If God is understood there would be no God!

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