The recent address by Father Thomas Wienandy, director of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, has caused more than a few raised eyebrows. Coming on the heels of the same committee’s handling of Sr. Elizabeth Johnson’s book, Quest for the Living God, Weinandy’s remarks to the Academy of Catholic Theology have put him and his committee back in the headlines.
It is difficult to see how saying that some theologians can be “a curse and an affliction” for the Church – even if you believe it to be true – is helpful. If you think many or most contemporary theologians are singing the wrong songs, it might be more productive to teach them new songs than to simply tell them to leave the choir. Besides, persons are never “a curse” and such de-humanizing language ill befits a Catholic leader, still less a man of the cloth. If Weinandy had more carefully said that some theologies are a curse, his words would not have stung as they have done. But, he said what he said, and sting they did.