On June 2, 2019, the Catholic World Report website published a study by an American Capuchin, Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM., Cap., about the statements contained in the Abu Dhabi Declaration on Human Fraternity co-signed on February 4 by Pope Francis and the Great Imam of the Al-Azhar Mosque, Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, according to which: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
Fr. Weinandy stresses the gravity of such a statement: “Pope Francis is noted for his ambiguous statements, but I find the indeterminate meaning contained in the Abu Dhabi statement the most egregious. By implication, it not only devalues the person of Jesus, but it also, and more so, strikes at the very heart of God the Father’s eternal will. Thus, such studied ambiguity undermines the very Gospel itself. Such implicit doctrinal subversion of so foundational a mystery of the Faith on the part of Peter’s successor is for me and for many in the Church, particularly the laity, not simply inexcusable, but it most of all evokes profound sadness, for it imperils the supreme love that Jesus rightly deserves and merits.”
After referring to Dominus Jesus—the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the year 2000, which reaffirmed that Jesus is the only Savior—Fr. Weinandy does not hesitate to write that even this document did not really go to completely answer the question: “Because of this inadequacy, missing is the full truth and beauty of who Jesus is; and so, what is not fully appreciated is the manner in which He is the universal Savior and definitive Lord. I want in this essay to make evident what is lacking in Dominus Jesus, and in so doing, further nullify any interpretation of the Abu Dhabi document which could affirm, or even suggest , that Jesus and other religious founders are of equal salvific value, and thus that God willed all religions in the same manner as He willed Christianity.”
In conclusion, the Capuchin Father recalls the truths of the Faith, dismissing a specious excuse, “given the ambiguity contained within the Abu Dhabi statement that Pope Francis signed, a strong reaffirmation is now necessary. One would like to think (the forever giving him the benefit of the doubt) that Pope Francis unwittingly, and so not consciously aware of the doctrinal implications of his signature, did not intend what the document seems to declare.”
“Regardless, no one, not even a pontiff, can undo or override the will of God the Father concerning Jesus His Son. It is God the Father who ‘has highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him the name which is above ever name.’ The Father has eternally decreed that at the name of Jesus, and not at the name of Buddha, Mohammed, or the name of any other past, present, or future religious founder, that ‘every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.’ To do so is not simply to glorify Jesus, but also ‘to the glory of God the Father’ (Phil. 2:9-11). In His love the Father has given the world Jesus His Son (Jn. 3:16), and ‘there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). In this supreme truth we are to rejoice in gratitude and praise.”
In 2017, Fr. Weinandy had already sent a letter to Pope Francis, reproaching him for being one of the causes of the current confusion in the Church (DICI no.364, 10/11/17). In 2018, he gave a conference in Sydney, Australia, during which he denounced the threats that certain so-called “pastoral” theories and practices, encouraged by François, is a strain on the “one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic” Church (DICI no.370, March 2018). This 73-year-old religious has taught at numerous universities in the United States, at Oxford in the United Kingdom, and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
On February 24, 2019, in response to Abu Dhabi declaration, Fr. Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, declared in a statement that “There can be no true peace apart from Our Lord. It is therefore impossible to find peace outside the reign of Christ and of the religion that He founded. To forget this truth is to build on sand, and Christ Himself warns us that such an undertaking is doomed to fail (cf.Mt 7:26-27).”