The Story Behind Archbishop Vigano’s Polemic Against Pope Francis Just Got More Complicated

By The Week. A letter from Archbishop Carlo Mari Vigano accusing Pope Francis of covering up disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct with men training to be priests was released Sunday morning, on the final day of the pope’s visit to Ireland. That was on purpose, Italian journalist and conservative blogger Marco Tosatti tells The Associated Press, saying he persuaded Vigano to go public with his allegations, helped write and edit his 11-page letter, and found conservative Catholic outlets that would publish it on Sunday morning.

Vigano claims that Pope Benedict XVI quietly ordered McCarrick to a life of secluded prayer and penance but that when Benedict stepped down, Francis rehabilitated the cardinal and lifted the sanctions until news of McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct became public. “Vigano called for Francis to resign over what he said was complicity in covering up McCarrick’s crimes,” AP says. “There is ample evidence, however, that the Vatican under Benedict and St. John Paul II also covered up that information, and that any sanctions Benedict imposed were never enforced.” (Read more from “The Story Behind Archbishop Vigano’s Polemic Against Pope Francis Just Got More Complicated” HERE)

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The Sneering Contempt of Pope Francis

By The Week. . .It is almost impossible to the overstate the significance of this letter. If Viganò is lying, he is guilty of one of the greatest slanders in the history of the Church. If he is telling the truth, the Eternal City is mired in filth unseen since the days of the Borgias, and Francis is among the worst wretches who has ever besmirched the Chair of Peter.

Asked on Sunday whether the accusations were true or false, Francis demurred. “I will not say a single word about this.” He then smugly invited the journalists who were present on the papal airplane to investigate the facts for themselves, as if he were a philosophy professor teaching a seminar to a roomful of eager graduate students instead of the Vicar of Christ. This is the same man who, despite endless PR about his commitment to victims, his hatred of clericalism, and his belief in treating gay and lesbian people with dignity, only a few months ago dismissed complaints made about his handling of sexual abuse allegations in Chile as the worthless gossip of “left-wingers,” a word that, according to Viganò, is synonymous in the pope’s vocabulary with gay people. It is not surprising that even churchmen named alongside Francis in the dossier have responded with what amount to non-denials that make no attempt to defend Francis. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has said Viganò has provided no “objectively verifiable proof” of his claims.

Whatever the truth of Viganò’s numerous accusations — and the detailed chronology and references to documents in his letter mean that sooner or later it will be possible to prove or disprove them definitively — there are other truths that require facing now. This is true especially for those of us who have defended the Holy Father against slander and caricature in the past. Francis has revealed himself as an old-fashioned clericalist who views the faithful with contempt. It is not my place as a layman to tell the Holy Father his business, but I can make no secret of the fact that I long for an end to his gaslighting pontificate. (Read more from “The Sneering Contempt of Pope Francis” HERE)

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