In a shocking and explosive eleven-page letter, a retired senior Vatican diplomat has called for Pope Francis to step down because he chose to rehabilitate then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after that homosexual cleric’s loathsome behavior was made known to Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict, who then consigned McCarrick to a life of “prayer and penance.”
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke and other bishops are now calling for action based on Archbishop Viganò’s testimony.
It is unprecedented for a senior Vatican diplomat, one who served as papal nuncio, to disclose his deep insider knowledge and implicate his brother bishops, including the pope, in wrongdoing. Archbishop Viganò, 77, says that he is an “old man,” and wants to meet Our Lord having done what he ought to do to remedy the homosexual crisis in the Church’s hierarchy.
Aside from the Holy Father, who the Archbishop has called to step down, the following are accused of serious wrongdoing in the McCarrick affair: Cardinal Pietro Parolin (current secretary of state), Cardinals Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone (former secretaries of state), Cardinal William Levada (former head of the CDF), Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, and Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio.
Archbishop Viganò made particularly harsh statements about Donald Cardinal Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as Archbishop of Washington, whom he directly accused of lying: “The Cardinal lies shamelessly and prevails upon his Chancellor, Monsignor Antonicelli, to lie as well.”
Concerning Archbishop Viganò’s eleven-page “testimony,” Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke has said, “The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church. Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church’s time-tried procedural law.”
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has made a similar call to Cardinal Burke’s on his official diocesan website, where he posted Archbishop Viganò’s letter, saying “I find [the allegations] to be credible.” He ordered his priests to “include this notice in the masses on August 26, and post it on their websites and other social media immediately.”
Bishop David Konderla, of Tulsa, Oklohoma, has posted a statement on his Facebook page, linking to the Scribd copy of Archbishop Viganò’s letter. Bishop Konderla’s statement says, in part, “I count myself blessed that it was Archbishop Viganò who called me to tell me that I was appointed fourth bishop of Tulsa. The allegations he details mark a good place to begin the investigations that must happen in order for us to restore holiness and accountability to the leadership of the Church.”
Monsignor Jean François Lantheaume, who formerly worked for Archbishop Viganò in the Vatican diplomatic corps, wrote of the prelate that, “He is the best Boss I had ever had. I do support him. He does tell the Truth….” The French priest, who is no longer in the Vatican diplomatic corps, also confirmed Archbishop Viganò’s veracity to CNA.
The National Catholic Register’s Edward Pentin, a sober and reliable Catholic journalist with deep Vatican contacts, has written that, “The Register has independently confirmed that the allegations against McCarrick were certainly known to Benedict, and the Pope Emeritus remembers instructing Cardinal Bertone to impose measures but cannot recall their exact nature.” This is confirmation of that part of Archbishop Viganò’s letter asserting Benedict’s disciplinary actions against McCarrick.
Dr. Taylor Marshall has compiled something of a bio of the former nuncio in this post on his website: “Who is Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò? The Nuncio that accused Pope Francis of covering up McCarrick’s sexual abuse.” Worthy of note in that posting is Dr. Marshall’s recalling the “scandal” related to Archbishop Viganò during the“VatiLeaks” affair. The scandal was that Archbishop Viganò’s letters, exposing serious corruption in the Vatican, were made public. The history of that affair clearly shows that the Archbishop is a man of the Church, who was deeply concerned about the wrongdoing of his brother bishops in the Holy See.
In the coming days and weeks, more bishops may come forward, lending their support to Archbishop Viganò’s statement.
While some Catholics seem to be of the opinion that secular kangaroo courts are needed to remedy the Church’s homosexual clergy crisis, what is actually needed is real men of the Church, real fathers, to do their due diligence. As I wrote in Lessons to Learn from Clerical Scandals, “What we need are orthodox, holy, benevolent, virile, and apostolic fathers to save the day. May God send us those!”