Former Vatican Diplomat Accuses Pope Francis Of Complicity In Covering Up McCarrick’s Abuses, Calls For His Resignation

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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  • A former top Vatican diplomat to the U.S. released a letter accusing Pope Francis of covering up Cardinal McCarrick’s abuses while also taking his counsel on appointing bishops.
  • The letter names and accuses scores of past and present Vatican officials of perpetrating and covering up abuses, including through homosexual networks of predatory priests.
  • The former Vatican diplomat demands that Pope Francis resign from the papacy.

The former apostolic nuncio to the U.S. alleged that Pope Francis knew of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s abuses but chose to ignore them and empower McCarrick.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as the top Vatican diplomat to the U.S. from 2011 to 2016, released an 11-page letter Sunday, detailing Francis’s knowledge of McCarrick, his decision not to enforce past papal sanctions on the prelate and the abuses of power of several others within the Vatican’s hierarchy. Viganò also alleged that Francis, knowing of McCarrick’s abuses since 2013, allowed McCarrick to counsel him on the appointment of several American bishops, including the appointment of Blase Cupich to the cardinalate in Chicago. (RELATED: Conservative Catholics Call For Purge Of Gay Priests In Light Of Sex Abuse Scandals)

Cupich and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, current archbishop of Washington, were both proteges of McCarrick and sit on the Congregation for Bishops in Rome. These proteges of an alleged sexual predator oversee the appointment of all bishops to the American episcopacy.

“He knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. Although he knew that he was a corrupt man, hecovered for him to the bitter end; indeed, he made McCarrick’s advice his own, which was certainly not inspired by sound intentions and for love of the Church. It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action [regarding McCarrick] to save his image in the media,” Viganò wrote concerning Francis.

The letter was released the same day Francis visited Ireland, where Catholic faithful have been calling for Francis to address the history of rampant child and sexual abuse that priests committed for decades in the country. Francis also addressed the sex abuse scandal concerning the recent Pennsylvania grand jury report, but victims advocacy groups and sex abuse survivors in Ireland said his words were nothing new and they were too little too late.

Viganò’s letter has further jeopardized Francis’s mission to assure Catholic faithful that the church, under his leadership, will pull out all the stops in confronting past abuses and preventing future ones.

Viganò wrote that Vatican officials knew of the allegations of McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians as early as 2000, when archbishops Gabriel Montalvo and Pietro Sambi “did not fail to inform the Holy See immediately, as soon as they learned of Archbishop McCarrick’s gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests.”

Viganò also wrote two memos to the Holy See in 2006 and in 2008, requesting that action be taken against McCarrick. Both memos were ignored, according to Viganò, who blamed Cardinals Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone, the respective secretaries of state for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Benedict, ultimately moved by a statement from Sipe concerning McCarrick, imposed sanctions on the American prelate as far back as 2009 or 2010, according to Viganò.

“The cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was also forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance,” Viganò wrote. 

Viganò said he informed Francis of these sanctions at a 2013 reception in the library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. Francis reportedly ignored those sanctions and turned to McCarrick as a “trusted counselor.”

“In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him. He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor along with Maradiaga,” Viganò wrote of Francis’s knowledge of McCarrick.

Viganò also claimed McCarrick and Francis shared a friendship stretching back to Francis’s days before the papacy.

As for how McCarrick became Archbishop of D.C. in 2000, despite the known allegations against him, Viganò accused several members of Vatican hierarchy of covering up those allegations for his appointment as archbishop. Former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, current Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Wuerl are among those who Viganò accused of knowingly covering for McCarrick, thus allowing him to become archbishop.

Ed McFadden, spokesman for the archdiocese of Washington, said Wuerl denies knowing anything about McCarrick’s abuses before they were made public in the media, according to National Catholic Register.

Viganò said the cover-up was just one of many machinations of “the homosexual current” within the Vatican that is working toward “subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.” He named Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as members of that current, which Viganò alleged is comprised of networks of homosexual priests who actively prey on seminarians and others and who cover for one another.

“These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire church,” he wrote.

Viganò accused and named in his letter scores of other Vatican officials who he said are complicit in efforts to cover up the abuses of McCarrick and others and who perpetuate the “homosexual current” within the church that, according to Viganò, is responsible for the epidemic of sexual abuse within the church.

As for Francis, Viganò demanded he display the same transparency that Francis has commanded the church to have, admit to when he knew of McCarrick’s abuses, and, in consistency with his “zero tolerance” policy that he professed concerning abuse, resign from the papacy.

“Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock,” Viganò wrote.

“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” he added.

The Vatican press office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment by the time of publication.

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