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.