Pope Francis is facing serious accusations that he covered up sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, but a Chicago cardinal is saying the pope is more concerned with what he considered to be more important issues.
“The pope knows we have a bigger agenda. We have to speak about the environment, about the poor, we have to reach out to people who are marginalized in society. We cannot be distracted at this moment,” Blase Cupich, the ninth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, said during an interview with WGN-TV.
Cupich — who is facing accusations himself — denies having any knowledge of sexual abuse against children and said he would have immediately reported any such cases.
“I did not have any pre-knowledge about this. I think that my record across 20 years as being a bishop would indicate that had I had any information about anybody who was abusing children or anybody else, I would have acted on it. So, the answer is a straight-forward ‘no,'” Cupich went on.
The issue stems from accusations made by Carlo Maria Vigano, who served as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States from 2011 to 2016. In a bombshell letter, he asserts that Francis and other high-ranking Vatican officials have actively covered up sexual abuses and alleges that there is a network of homosexual priests who prey on young boys. Vigano has called on the Pope to resign for his indifference. (RELATED: Former Vatican Diplomat Accuses Pope Francis Of Complicity In Covering Up McCarrick’s Abuses, Calls For His Resignation)
Vigano, his critics point out, has also been accused of hushing up sexual abuse claims.
Francis has been vocal about climate change since taking the reins of the Catholic Church. He hosted a meeting with international oil executives in June, encouraging them to shift away from fossil fuels. That meeting took place three years after the publication of the pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’, where he decried climate change as a threat to life on Earth.
Allegations that the pope knew of pedophilia taking place within the Church followed a report from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that identified over 1,000 children who were victimized in six dioceses over the course of 70 years.
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