A former apostolic nuncio to the United States claims that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on then-Cardinal McCarrick — accused of sexual abuse of a minor — but decided to repeal them.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington, D.C., from 2011 to 2016, wrote in an 11-page statement that Pope Benedict XVI “imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis.” He also claimed that in 2013, he told Pope Francis about those sanctions.
“He knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. Although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered 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,” Vigano wrote.
Vigano also called on the Pope to resign.
“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 wrote.
“Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church and for bishops and faithful to act with parrhesia. The faithful throughout the world also demand this of him in an exemplary manner. He must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests.”
Viganò said his “conscience dictates” that he expose “the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy.”
“But this will not be enough to heal the situation of extremely grave immoral behavior by the clergy: bishops and priests. A time of conversion and penance must be proclaimed. The virtue of chastity must be recovered in the clergy and in seminaries. Corruption in the misuse of the Church’s resources and of the offerings of the faithful must be fought against,” he wrote.
“The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced. The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated, as Janet Smith, Professor of Moral Theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, recently wrote. “The problem of clergy abuse,” she wrote, “cannot be resolved simply by the resignation of some bishops, and even less so by bureaucratic directives. The deeper problem lies in homosexual networks within the clergy which must be eradicated.”
“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,” Vigano wrote.