Vatican intrigues

The recent charges of massive sexual abuse and cover ups by the Catholic church in Pennsylvania has opened yet another window on the sordid inner workings of the Catholic church. The latest is an accusation by a senior Vatican official Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò accusing pope Francis of complicity in the cover up of sexual abuse and calling for his resignation.

The letter alleges that the Vatican was made aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by then-Archbishop McCarrick as early as 2000. He says that high-ranking church officials turned a blind eye to his reports that then-Cardinal McCarrick should be removed from ministry, until 2009 or 2010, when, he alleges, Pope Benedict XVI sanctioned the cardinal, who by then had retired as archbishop of Washington, D.C. He alleges that Pope Francis lifted those sanctions in 2013, despite him verbally informing Francis about then-Cardinal McCarrick’s dossier and Benedict’s restrictions of his ministry.

Archbishop Viganò also says that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, then-Cardinal McCarrick’s successor in Washington, knew about the penalties imposed on the former cardinal McCarrick, and thus charges that Cardinal Wuerl is lying when he says he did not know about his predecessor’s alleged behavior.

The letter also alleges that Archbishop McCarrick played “kingmaker” under Francis, responsible for the appointments of Cardinal Blase Cupich to the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Tobin to the Archdiocese of Newark and Bishop Robert McElroy to the Diocese of San Diego.

The archbishop also devotes a number of pages to what he alleges is a “homosexual network” in the church, which he blames for the church’s continued sexual abuse crisis and cover up.

Others have said that there are many inconsistencies in the charges made by Vigano that make his most serious claims against Francis suspect, though they acknowledge that Francis has been less than vigorous in cracking down on all the worngdoers and less than fully transparent about all the wrongdoing.

Then today comes a report that Vigano has gone into hiding “over fears for his safety”.

This is looking more and more like some kind of crime drama.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    This is looking more and more like some kind of crime drama.

    Robert Duvall would play the part of Francis to perfection.

    And think of all the child actors who could become stars overnight!

  2. jrkrideau says

    There has been a resistance to Pope Francis since he was elected. He threatens entrenched conservative clerics especially those in the USA.

    This attack, valid or not, is not surprising.

  3. Bruce H says

    Not to defend the Pope, but what would his resignation accomplish. Are we expected to believe that there is a potential replacement who was not complicit in covering for pedophilia? As far as I can tell, the rot goes straight through the bottom to the top. The entire organization is complicit, and rearranging deck chairs will do nothing to address its problems.

  4. KG says

    Then today comes a report that Vigano has gone into hiding “over fears for his safety”.

    Maybe the traditional title of “Holy Father” accorded to the Pope needs to be amended to “Godfather”?

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Reuters (I found it on Raw Story) has an interesting follow-up about the planning and implementation of this attack on Francis.

    This is turning into a real alb-and-dagger story.

  6. Jenora Feuer says

    There was a resistance to Pope Francis from well before he was elected. At the time there was a fair bit of surprise that a Jesuit managed to become pope; the conservative side of the church often consider the Jesuits borderline heretics because they spend so much time in education and discussion of ideas.

    Not only is the bit about the ‘homosexual network’ a red flag, so is the whitewashing of Benedict’s actions, trying to make him look like someone who was punishing the offenders, when Benedict was one of the ones actively assisting the cover-up back when John Paul II was Pope.

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