Texts of Vigano's Testimonies, as well as Cdl. Ouellet's Letter.
In the days of the Second World War, Prime Minister Winston Churchill developed a sign by which he has become famous, and for which was the morale boost for both soldier and citizen. This sign was the "V" sign, standing for victory. The PM was often seen holding aloft this sign, encouraging the British public to not lose hope even when London was being bombed to smithereens, amongst other English cities.
The sign has become a global symbol for victory, and not just in the world, but is now being in some places associated with a certain Catholic prelate who is fighting the homosexual cabal that has set up shop within the Church. This prelate is non other than Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Back in August 2018, just as Pope Francis was finishing his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families (in which homosexual families were pushed by the dissent by Vatican-protected priest Fr. James Martin, SJ), Abp. Vigano released a most weighty but damning Testimony, in which he relates how certain Vatican officials knew of then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's homosexual abuse of seminarians and priests, but conspired to cover it up, and in the case of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State for Vatican City, even hide information from Pope Benedict XVI.
His goes on to name names, and expose a rather dark secret: Pope Francis knew of McCarrick's abuses and sanctions, but lifted the said sanctions and allowed McCarrick to return to the lime light, which he eventually did. McCarrick also became a close friend to the Pope, and developed such a prestigious position that he was able to quite literally get the Pope to make Cardinals for him - friends and conspirators who covered up for McCarrick. In short, what Vigano exposes is a diabolical, homosexual mafia within the Church, and one which has become very powerful, influential and dangerous. The proof of this is that Vigano, shortly after releasing his Testimony, also instantly went into hiding, for fear that the Mercy of Pope Francis might catch up with him, and Mercify him to death.
Since August, a period now called the Summer of Shame has heated up the members of the Church, and the putrid infection has come to light. The Pope has now been exposed as being a conspirator himself, not only of McCarrick, but also of sodomitical abusers back in his home country of Argentina. Many reports have surfaced that when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis knew and shielded predator priests, and even in one case tried to have a convicted priest released from jail.
As of writing this Commentary, the Synod on Youth is currently coming to an end, and throughout the four weeks it has been in session, the subject of homosexuality has been non-stop at the forefront of everyone's mind. Naturally, I instantly anticipated that this Synod would soften even more the Church's teaching on homosexuality, so as to make the clerical abuse no great deal. Rather, I thought, they would try to make the abusers into victims by stating that if the Church only allowed them to be gay, then we wouldn't have a problem. Indeed, that thought seemed to be partly confirmed when it was announced that a Synod on the sex abuse would be held....in February 2019, and that it would only be three days! Clearly, the Vatican doesn't think the sex abuse of men in the Church by priests is such a "massive, massive crisis", to quote Cardinal Donald Wuerl.
Since his First Testimony, Vigano - though in hiding - has spoken out. Back on the 7th of October, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops - who was personally named by Vigano in his First Testimony - issued his own letter responding to Vigano, in which the Cardinal deemed it fit and wise - and with Papal approval - to attack Vigano as causing confusion amongst the laity (who can be confused as to either Vigano's claims or to the subsequent Summer of Shame is anyone's guess?), and being disobedient to the Pope.
The Cardinal wrote much, but said very little. In fact, his entire premise for writing was to defend Francis and make Vigano into a liar. That premise failed, since - as Viagno states in this Third Testimony - the Cardinal in the midst of denouncing Vigano actually admits that Vigano is telling the truth!
Below, you will find Vigano's Testimonies and Cardinal Ouellet's response. I wish to collate them together for easier access and reading to my readers, so that you don't have to go trundling through endless links. As this Commentary is already quite long, should any more letters come forth, I will put them into a new article.
Please remember Archbishop Vigano in your prayers, especially I would kindly ask that you pray that Our Lady may protect him. Vigano is a target for the Homomafia, and he needs all the grace he can get to keep fighting and to remain faithful.
The translations below are from LifeSiteNews. Any emphasis is not mine.
by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
In this tragic moment for the Church in various parts of the world — the United States, Chile, Honduras, Australia, etc. — bishops have a very grave responsibility. I am thinking in particular of the United States of America, where I was sent as Apostolic Nuncio by Pope Benedict XVI on October 19, 2011, the memorial feast of the First North American Martyrs. The Bishops of the United States are called, and I with them, to follow the example of these first martyrs who brought the Gospel to the lands of America, to be credible witnesses of the immeasurable love of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated.
To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden. We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. “Whatever you have said in the dark ... shall be proclaimed from the housetops” (Lk. 12:3).
I had always believed and hoped that the hierarchy of the Church could find within itself the spiritual resources and strength to tell the whole truth, to amend and to renew itself. That is why, even though I had repeatedly been asked to do so, I always avoided making statements to the media, even when it would have been my right to do so, in order to defend myself against the calumnies published about me, even by high-ranking prelates of the Roman Curia. But now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths regarding the heart-breaking case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, which I came to know in the course of the duties entrusted to me by St. John Paul II, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, from 1998 to 2009, and by Pope Benedict XVI, as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, from October 19, 2011 until end of May 2016.
As Delegate for Pontifical Representations in the Secretariat of State, my responsibilities were not limited to the Apostolic Nunciatures, but also included the staff of the Roman Curia (hires, promotions, informational processes on candidates to the episcopate, etc.) and the examination of delicate cases, including those regarding cardinals and bishops, that were entrusted to the Delegate by the Cardinal Secretary of State or by the Substitute of the Secretariat of State.
To dispel suspicions insinuated in several recent articles, I will immediately say that the Apostolic Nuncios in the United States, Gabriel Montalvo and Pietro Sambi, both prematurely deceased, did not fail to inform the Holy See immediately, as soon as they learned of Archbishop McCarrick’s gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests. Indeed, according to what Nuncio Pietro Sambi wrote, Father Boniface Ramsey, O.P.’s letter, dated November 22, 2000, was written at the request of the late Nuncio Montalvo. In the letter, Father Ramsey, who had been a professor at the diocesan seminary in Newark from the end of the ’80s until 1996, affirms that there was a recurring rumor in the seminary that the Archbishop “shared his bed with seminarians,” inviting five at a time to spend the weekend with him at his beach house. And he added that he knew a certain number of seminarians, some of whom were later ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Newark, who had been invited to this beach house and had shared a bed with the Archbishop.
The office that I held at the time was not informed of any measure taken by the Holy See after those charges were brought by Nuncio Montalvo at the end of 2000, when Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State.
Likewise, Nuncio Sambi transmitted to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, an Indictment Memorandum against McCarrick by the priest Gregory Littleton of the diocese of Charlotte, who was reduced to the lay state for a violation of minors, together with two documents from the same Littleton, in which he recounted his tragic story of sexual abuse by the then-Archbishop of Newark and several other priests and seminarians. The Nuncio added that Littleton had already forwarded his Memorandum to about twenty people, including civil and ecclesiastical judicial authorities, police and lawyers, in June 2006, and that it was therefore very likely that the news would soon be made public. He therefore called for a prompt intervention by the Holy See.
In writing up a memo on these documents that were entrusted to me, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, on December 6, 2006, I wrote to my superiors, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Substitute Leonardo Sandri, that the facts attributed to McCarrick by Littleton were of such gravity and vileness as to provoke bewilderment, a sense of disgust, deep sorrow and bitterness in the reader, and that they constituted the crimes of seducing, requesting depraved acts of seminarians and priests, repeatedly and simultaneously with several people, derision of a young seminarian who tried to resist the Archbishop’s seductions in the presence of two other priests, absolution of the accomplices in these depraved acts, sacrilegious celebration of the Eucharist with the same priests after committing such acts.
In my memo, which I delivered on that same December 6, 2006 to my direct superior, the Substitute Leonardo Sandri, I proposed the following considerations and course of action to my superiors:
I added that it would be salutary if, for once, ecclesiastical authority would intervene before the civil authorities and, if possible, before the scandal had broken out in the press. This could have restored some dignity to a Church so sorely tried and humiliated by so many abominable acts on the part of some pastors. If this were done, the civil authority would no longer have to judge a cardinal, but a pastor with whom the Church had already taken appropriate measures to prevent the cardinal from abusing his authority and continuing to destroy innocent victims.
My memo of December 6, 2006 was kept by my superiors, and was never returned to me with any actual decision by the superiors on this matter.
Subsequently, around April 21-23, 2008, the Statement for Pope Benedict XVI about the pattern of sexual abuse crisis in the United States, by Richard Sipe, was published on the internet, at richardsipe.com. On April 24, it was passed on by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, to the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. It was delivered to me one month later, on May 24, 2008.
The following day, I delivered a new memo to the new Substitute, Fernando Filoni, which included my previous one of December 6, 2006. In it, I summarized Richard Sipe’s document, which ended with this respectful and heartfelt appeal to Pope Benedict XVI: “I approach Your Holiness with due reverence, but with the same intensity that motivated Peter Damian to lay out before your predecessor, Pope Leo IX, a description of the condition of the clergy during his time. The problems he spoke of are similar and as great now in the United States as they were then in Rome. If Your Holiness requests, I will personally submit to you documentation of that about which I have spoken.”
I ended my memo by repeating to my superiors that I thought it was necessary to intervene as soon as possible by removing the cardinal’s hat from Cardinal McCarrick and that he should be subjected to the sanctions established by the Code of Canon Law, which also provide for reduction to the lay state.
This second memo of mine was also never returned to the Personnel Office, and I was greatly dismayed at my superiors for the inconceivable absence of any measure against the Cardinal, and for the continuing lack of any communication with me since my first memo in December 2006.
But finally I learned with certainty, through Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, then-Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, that Richard Sipe’s courageous and meritorious Statement had had the desired result. Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.
I do not know when Pope Benedict took these measures against McCarrick, whether in 2009 or 2010, because in the meantime I had been transferred to the Governorate of Vatican City State, just as I do not know who was responsible for this incredible delay. I certainly do not believe it was Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal had repeatedly denounced the corruption present in the Church, and in the first months of his pontificate had already taken a firm stand against the admission into seminary of young men with deep homosexual tendencies. I believe it was due to the Pope’s first collaborator at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who notoriously favored promoting homosexuals into positions of responsibility, and was accustomed to managing the information he thought appropriate to convey to the Pope.
In any case, what is certain is that Pope Benedict imposed the above canonical sanctions on McCarrick and that they were communicated to him by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Pietro Sambi. Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, then first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. after the unexpected death of Nuncio Sambi in Baltimore, told me when I arrived in Washington — and he is ready to testify to it— about a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour, that Nuncio Sambi had with Cardinal McCarrick whom he had summoned to the Nunciature. Monsignor Lantheaume told me that “the Nuncio’s voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor.”
Pope Benedict’s same dispositions were then also communicated to me by the new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, in November 2011, in a conversation before my departure for Washington, and were included among the instructions of the same Congregation to the new Nuncio.
In turn, I repeated them to Cardinal McCarrick at my first meeting with him at the Nunciature. The Cardinal, muttering in a barely comprehensible way, admitted that he had perhaps made the mistake of sleeping in the same bed with some seminarians at his beach house, but he said this as if it had no importance.
The faithful insistently wonder how it was possible for him to be appointed to Washington, and as Cardinal, and they have every right to know who knew, and who covered up his grave misdeeds. It is therefore my duty to reveal what I know about this, beginning with the Roman Curia.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State until September 2006: all information was communicated to him. In November 2000, Nunzio Montalvo sent him his report, passing on to him the aforementioned letter from Father Boniface Ramsey in which he denounced the serious abuses committed by McCarrick.
It is known that Sodano tried to cover up the Father Maciel scandal to the end. He even removed the Nuncio in Mexico City, Justo Mullor, who refused to be an accomplice in his scheme to cover Maciel, and in his place appointed Sandri, then-Nuncio to Venezuela, who was willing to collaborate in the cover-up. Sodano even went so far as to issue a statement to the Vatican press office in which a falsehood was affirmed, that is, that Pope Benedict had decided that the Maciel case should be considered closed. Benedict reacted, despite Sodano’s strenuous defense, and Maciel was found guilty and irrevocably condemned.
Was McCarrick’s appointment to Washington and as Cardinal the work of Sodano, when John Paul II was already very ill? We are not given to know. However, it is legitimate to think so, but I do not think he was the only one responsible for this. McCarrick frequently went to Rome and made friends everywhere, at all levels of the Curia. If Sodano had protected Maciel, as seems certain, there is no reason why he wouldn’t have done so for McCarrick, who according to many had the financial means to influence decisions. His nomination to Washington was opposed by then-Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. At the Nunciature in Washington there is a note, written in his hand, in which Cardinal Re disassociates himself from the appointment and states that McCarrick was 14th on the list for Washington.
Nuncio Sambi’s report, with all the attachments, was sent to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as Secretary of State. My two above-mentioned memos of December 6, 2006 and May 25, 2008, were also presumably handed over to him by the Substitute. As already mentioned, the Cardinal had no difficulty in insistently presenting for the episcopate candidates known to be active homosexuals — I cite only the well-known case of Vincenzo de Mauro, who was appointed Archbishop-Bishop of Vigevano and later removed because he was undermining his seminarians — and in filtering and manipulating the information he conveyed to Pope Benedict.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the current Secretary of State, was also complicit in covering up the misdeeds of McCarrick who had, after the election of Pope Francis, boasted openly of his travels and missions to various continents. In April 2014, the Washington Times had a front page report on McCarrick’s trip to the Central African Republic, and on behalf of the State Department no less. As Nuncio to Washington, I wrote to Cardinal Parolin asking him if the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict were still valid. Ça va sans dire that my letter never received any reply!
The same can be said for Cardinal William Levada, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Cardinals Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Lorenzo Baldisseri, former Secretary of the same Congregation for Bishops, and Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari, current Secretary of the same Congregation. They were all aware by reason of their office of the sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict on McCarrick.
Cardinals Leonardo Sandri, Fernando Filoni and Angelo Becciu, as Substitutes of the Secretariat of State, knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick.
Nor could Cardinals Giovanni Lajolo and Dominique Mamberti have failed to know. As Secretaries for Relations with States, they participated several times a week in collegial meetings with the Secretary of State.
As far as the Roman Curia is concerned, for the moment I will stop here, even if the names of other prelates in the Vatican are well known, even some very close to Pope Francis, such as Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who belong to the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, a current already denounced in 1986 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Cardinals Edwin Frederick O’Brien and Renato Raffaele Martino also belong to the same current, albeit with a different ideology. Others belonging to this current even reside at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Now to the United States. Obviously, the first to have been informed of the measures taken by Pope Benedict was McCarrick’s successor in Washington See, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, whose situation is now completely compromised by the recent revelations regarding his behavior as Bishop of Pittsburgh.
It is absolutely unthinkable that Nunzio Sambi, who was an extremely responsible person, loyal, direct and explicit in his way of being (a true son of Romagna) did not speak to him about it. In any case, I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions, and I certainly didn’t need to go into detail because it was immediately clear to me that he was fully aware of it. I also remember in particular the fact that I had to draw his attention to it, because I realized that in an archdiocesan publication, on the back cover in color, there was an announcement inviting young men who thought they had a vocation to the priesthood to a meeting with Cardinal McCarrick. I immediately phoned Cardinal Wuerl, who expressed his surprise to me, telling me that he knew nothing about that announcement and that he would cancel it. If, as he now continues to state, he knew nothing of the abuses committed by McCarrick and the measures taken by Pope Benedict, how can his answer be explained?
His recent statements that he knew nothing about it, even though at first he cunningly referred to compensation for the two victims, are absolutely laughable. The Cardinal lies shamelessly and prevails upon his Chancellor, Monsignor Antonicelli, to lie as well.
Cardinal Wuerl also clearly lied on another occasion. Following a morally unacceptable event authorized by the academic authorities of Georgetown University, I brought it to the attention of its President, Dr. John DeGioia, sending him two subsequent letters. Before forwarding them to the addressee, so as to handle things properly, I personally gave a copy of them to the Cardinal with an accompanying letter I had written. The Cardinal told me that he knew nothing about it. However, he failed to acknowledge receipt of my two letters, contrary to what he customarily did. I subsequently learned that the event at Georgetown had taken place for seven years. But the Cardinal knew nothing about it!
Cardinal Wuerl, well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict, transgressing the Pope’s order, also allowed him to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C. In doing so, he put other seminarians at risk.
Bishop Paul Bootkoski, emeritus of Metuchen, and Archbishop John Myers, emeritus of Newark, covered up the abuses committed by McCarrick in their respective dioceses and compensated two of his victims. They cannot deny it and they must be interrogated in order to reveal every circumstance and all responsibility regarding this matter.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who was recently interviewed by the media, also said that he didn’t have the slightest idea about the abuses committed by McCarrick. Given his tenure in Washington, Dallas and now Rome, I think no one can honestly believe him. I don’t know if he was ever asked if he knew about Maciel’s crimes. If he were to deny this, would anybody believe him given that he occupied positions of responsibility as a member of the Legionaries of Christ?
Regarding Cardinal Sean O’Malley, I would simply say that his latest statements on the McCarrick case are disconcerting, and have totally obscured his transparency and credibility.
* * *
My conscience requires me also to reveal facts that I have experienced personally, concerning Pope Francis, that have a dramatic significance, which as Bishop, sharing the collegial responsibility of all the bishops for the universal Church, do not allow me to remain silent, and that I state here, ready to reaffirm them under oath by calling on God as my witness.
In the last months of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI had convened a meeting of all the apostolic nuncios in Rome, as Paul VI and St. John Paul II had done on several occasions. The date set for the audience with the Pope was Friday, June 21, 2013. Pope Francis kept this commitment made by his predecessor. Of course I also came to Rome from Washington. It was my first meeting with the new Pope elected only three months prior, after the resignation of Pope Benedict.
On the morning of Thursday, June 20, 2013, I went to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, to join my colleagues who were staying there. As soon as I entered the hall I met Cardinal McCarrick, who wore the red-trimmed cassock. I greeted him respectfully as I had always done. He immediately said to me, in a tone somewhere between ambiguous and triumphant: “The Pope received me yesterday, tomorrow I am going to China.”
At the time I knew nothing of his long friendship with Cardinal Bergoglio and of the important part he had played in his recent election, as McCarrick himself would later reveal in a lecture at Villanova University and in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter. Nor had I ever thought of the fact that he had participated in the preliminary meetings of the recent conclave, and of the role he had been able to have as a cardinal elector in the 2005 conclave. Therefore I did not immediately grasp the meaning of the encrypted message that McCarrick had communicated to me, but that would become clear to me in the days immediately following.
The next day the audience with Pope Francis took place. After his address, which was partly read and partly delivered off the cuff, the Pope wished to greet all the nuncios one by one. In single file, I remember that I was among the last. When it was my turn, I just had time to say to him, “I am the Nuncio to the United States.” He immediately assailed me with a tone of reproach, using these words: “The Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized! They must be shepherds!”Of course I was not in a position to ask for explanations about the meaning of his words and the aggressive way in which he had upbraided me. I had in my hand a book in Portuguese that Cardinal O’Malley had sent me for the Pope a few days earlier, telling me “so he could go over his Portuguese before going to Rio for World Youth Day.” I handed it to him immediately, and so freed myself from that extremely disconcerting and embarrassing situation.
At the end of the audience the Pope announced: “Those of you who are still in Rome next Sunday are invited to concelebrate with me at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.” I naturally thought of staying on to clarify as soon as possible what the Pope intended to tell me.
On Sunday June 23, before the concelebration with the Pope, I asked Monsignor Ricca, who as the person in charge of the house helped us put on the vestments, if he could ask the Pope if he could receive me sometime in the following week. How could I have returned to Washington without having clarified what the Pope wanted of me? At the end of Mass, while the Pope was greeting the few lay people present, Monsignor Fabian Pedacchio, his Argentine secretary, came to me and said: “The Pope told me to ask if you are free now!” Naturally, I replied that I was at the Pope’s disposal and that I thanked him for receiving me immediately. The Pope took me to the first floor in his apartment and said: “We have 40 minutes before the Angelus.”
I began the conversation, asking the Pope what he intended to say to me with the words he had addressed to me when I greeted him the previous Friday. And the Pope, in a very different, friendly, almost affectionate tone, said to me: “Yes, the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia, (the Pope did not give me the name of the Archbishop) they must be shepherds; and they must not be left-wing — and he added, raising both arms — and when I say left-wing I mean homosexual.” Of course, the logic of the correlation between being left-wing and being homosexual escaped me, but I added nothing else.
Immediately after, the Pope asked me in a deceitful way: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” I answered him with complete frankness and, if you want, with great naiveté: “Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.” The Pope did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject. But then, what was the Pope’s purpose in asking me that question: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” He clearly wanted to find out if I was an ally of McCarrick or not.
Back in Washington everything became very clear to me, thanks also to a new event that occurred only a few days after my meeting with Pope Francis. When the new Bishop Mark Seitz took possession of the Diocese of El Paso on July 9, 2013, I sent the first Counsellor, Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, while I went to Dallas that same day for an international meeting on Bioethics. When he got back, Monsignor Lantheaume told me that in El Paso he had met Cardinal McCarrick who, taking him aside, told him almost the same words that the Pope had said to me in Rome: “the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing, they must be shepherds….” I was astounded! It was therefore clear that the words of reproach that Pope Francis had addressed to me on June 21, 2013 had been put into his mouth the day before by Cardinal McCarrick. Also the Pope’s mention “not like the Archbishop of Philadelphia” could be traced to McCarrick, because there had been a strong disagreement between the two of them about the admission to Communion of pro-abortion politicians. In his communication to the bishops, McCarrick had manipulated a letter of then-Cardinal Ratzinger who prohibited giving them Communion. Indeed, I also knew how certain Cardinals such as Mahony, Levada and Wuerl, were closely linked to McCarrick; they had opposed the most recent appointments made by Pope Benedict, for important posts such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and San Francisco.
Not happy with the trap he had set for me on June 23, 2013, when he asked me about McCarrick, only a few months later, in the audience he granted me on October 10, 2013, Pope Francis set a second one for me, this time concerning a second of his protégés, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. He asked me: “What is Cardinal Wuerl like, is he good or bad?” I replied, “Holy Father, I will not tell you if he is good or bad, but I will tell you two facts.” They are the ones I have already mentioned above, which concern Wuerl’s pastoral carelessness regarding the aberrant deviations at Georgetown University and the invitation by the Archdiocese of Washington to young aspirants to the priesthood to a meeting with McCarrick! Once again the Pope did not show any reaction.
It was also clear that, from the time of Pope Francis’s election, McCarrick, now free from all constraints, had felt free to travel continuously, to give lectures and interviews. In a team effort with Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, he had become the kingmaker for appointments in the Curia and the United States, and the most listened to advisor in the Vatican for relations with the Obama administration. This is how one explains that, as members of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich, who was promptly made a cardinal. With these appointments the Nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops. In addition, he appointed the Brazilian Ilson de Jesus Montanari — the great friend of his private Argentine secretary Fabian Pedacchio — as Secretary of the same Congregation for Bishops and Secretary of the College of Cardinals, promoting him in one single leap from a simple official of that department to Archbishop Secretary. Something unprecedented for such an important position!
The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two. Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.
Regarding Cupich, one cannot fail to note his ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims.
During the speech he gave when he took possession of the Chicago See, at which I was present as a representative of the Pope, Cupich quipped that one certainly should not expect the new Archbishop to walk on water. Perhaps it would be enough for him to be able to remain with his feet on the ground and not try to turn reality upside-down, blinded by his pro-gay ideology, as he stated in a recent interview with America Magazine. Extolling his particular expertise in the matter, having been President of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young People of the USCCB, he asserted that the main problem in the crisis of sexual abuse by clergy is not homosexuality, and that affirming this is only a way of diverting attention from the real problem which is clericalism. In support of this thesis, Cupich “oddly” made reference to the results of research carried out at the height of the sexual abuse of minors crisis in the early 2000s, while he “candidly” ignored that the results of that investigation were totally denied by the subsequent Independent Reports by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004 and 2011, which concluded that, in cases of sexual abuse, 81% of the victims were male. In fact, Father Hans Zollner, S.J., Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, President of the Centre for Child Protection, and Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, recently told the newspaper La Stampa that “in most cases it is a question of homosexual abuse.”
The appointment of McElroy in San Diego was also orchestrated from above, with an encrypted peremptory order to me as Nuncio, by Cardinal Parolin: “Reserve the See of San Diego for McElroy.” McElroy was also well aware of McCarrick’s abuses, as can be seen from a letter sent to him by Richard Sipe on July 28, 2016.
These characters are closely associated with individuals belonging in particular to the deviated wing of the Society of Jesus, unfortunately today a majority, which had already been a cause of serious concern to Paul VI and subsequent pontiffs. We need only consider Father Robert Drinan, S.J., who was elected four times to the House of Representatives, and was a staunch supporter of abortion; or Father Vincent O’Keefe, S.J., one of the principal promoters of The Land O’Lakes Statement of 1967, which seriously compromised the Catholic identity of universities and colleges in the United States. It should be noted that McCarrick, then President of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, also participated in that inauspicious undertaking which was so harmful to the formation of the consciences of American youth, closely associated as it was with the deviated wing of the Jesuits.
Father James Martin, S.J., acclaimed by the people mentioned above, in particular Cupich, Tobin, Farrell and McElroy, appointed Consultor of the Secretariat for Communications, well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, chosen to corrupt the young people who will soon gather in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families, is nothing but a sad recent example of that deviated wing of the Society of Jesus.
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.
In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him. He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor along with Maradiaga.
The latter [Maradiaga] is so confident of the Pope’s protection that he can dismiss as “gossip” the heartfelt appeals of dozens of his seminarians, who found the courage to write to him after one of them tried to commit suicide over homosexual abuse in the seminary.
By now the faithful have well understood Maradiaga’s strategy: insult the victims to save himself, lie to the bitter end to cover up a chasm of abuses of power, of mismanagement in the administration of Church property, and of financial disasters even against close friends, as in the case of the Ambassador of Honduras Alejandro Valladares, former Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Holy See.
In the case of the former Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda, after the article published in the [Italian] weekly L’Espresso last February, Maradiaga stated in the newspaper Avvenire: “It was my auxiliary bishop Pineda who asked for the visitation, so as to ‘clear’ his name after being subjected to much slander.” Now, regarding Pineda the only thing that has been made public is that his resignation has simply been accepted, thus making any possible responsibility of his and Maradiaga vanish into nowhere.
In the name of the transparency so hailed by the Pope, the report that the Visitator, Argentine bishop Alcides Casaretto, delivered more than a year ago only and directly to the Pope, must be made public.
Finally, the recent appointment as Substitute of Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra is also connected with Honduras, that is, with Maradiaga. From 2003 to 2007 Peña Parra worked as Counsellor at the Tegucigalpa Nunciature. As Delegate for Pontifical Representations I received worrisome information about him.
In Honduras, a scandal as huge as the one in Chile is about to be repeated. The Pope defends his man, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, to the bitter end, as he had done in Chile with Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros, whom he himself had appointed Bishop of Osorno against the advice of the Chilean Bishops. First he insulted the abuse victims. Then, only when he was forced by the media, and a revolt by the Chilean victims and faithful, did he recognize his error and apologize, while stating that he had been misinformed, causing a disastrous situation for the Church in Chile, but continuing to protect the two Chilean Cardinals Errazuriz and Ezzati.
Even in the tragic affair of McCarrick, Pope Francis’s behavior was no different. 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.
Now in the United States a chorus of voices is rising especially from the lay faithful, and has recently been joined by several bishops and priests, asking that all those who, by their silence, covered up McCarrick’s criminal behavior, or who used him to advance their career or promote their intentions, ambitions and power in the Church, should resign.
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. 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.
I implore everyone, especially Bishops, to speak up in order to defeat this conspiracy of silence that is so widespread, and to report the cases of abuse they know about to the media and civil authorities.
Let us heed the most powerful message that St. John Paul II left us as an inheritance:Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid!
In his 2008 homily on the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict reminded us that the Father’s plan of salvation had been fully revealed and realized in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, but it needs to be welcomed in human history, which is always a history of fidelity on God’s part and unfortunately also of infidelity on the part of us men. The Church, the depositary of the blessing of the New Covenant, signed in the blood of the Lamb, is holy but made up of sinners, as Saint Ambrose wrote: the Church is “immaculata ex maculatis,” she is holy and spotless even though, in her earthly journey, she is made up of men stained with sin.
I want to recall this indefectible truth of the Church’s holiness to the many people who have been so deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis and by the conspiracy of silence of so many pastors, and who are tempted to abandon the Church, disfigured by so many ignominies. At the Angelus on Sunday, August 12, 2018 Pope Francis said these words: “Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do ... If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.” If this is rightly to be considered a serious moral responsibility for every believer, how much graver is it for the Church’s supreme pastor, who in the case of McCarrick not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!
Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.
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.
Even in dismay and sadness over the enormity of what is happening, let us not lose hope! We well know that the great majority of our pastors live their priestly vocation with fidelity and dedication.
It is in moments of great trial that the Lord’s grace is revealed in abundance and makes His limitless mercy available to all; but it is granted only to those who are truly repentant and sincerely propose to amend their lives. This is a favorable time for the Church to confess her sins, to convert, and to do penance.
Let us all pray for the Church and for the Pope, let us remember how many times he has asked us to pray for him!
Let us all renew faith in the Church our Mother: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church!”
Christ will never abandon His Church! He generated her in His Blood and continually revives her with His Spirit!
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
Mary, Virgin and Queen, Mother of the King of glory, pray for us!
Rome, August 22, 2018
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Official translation by Diane Montagna
 All the memos, letters and other documentation mentioned here are available at the Secretariat of State of the Holy See or at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.
Tit. Archbishop of Ulpiana
Scio Cui credidi
(2 Tim 1:12)
Before starting my writing, I would first of all like to give thanks and glory to God the Father for every situation and trial that He has prepared and will prepare for me during my life. As a priest and bishop of the holy Church, spouse of Christ, I am called like every baptized person to bear witness to the truth. By the gift of the Spirit who sustains me with joy on the path that I am called to travel, I intend to do so until the end of my days. Our only Lord has addressed also to me the invitation, “Follow me!”, and I intend to follow him with the help of his grace until the end of my days.
“As long as I have life, I will sing to the Lord,
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my song be pleasing to him;
For I rejoice in the Lord.”
It has been a month since I offered my testimony, solely for the good of the Church, regarding what occurred at the audience with Pope Francis on June 23, 2013 and regarding certain matters I was given to know in the assignments entrusted to me at the Secretariat of State and in Washington, in relation to those who bear responsibility for covering up the crimes committed by the former archbishop of that capital.
My decision to reveal those grave facts was for me the most painful and serious decision that I have ever made in my life. I made it after long reflection and prayer, during months of profound suffering and anguish, during a crescendo of continual news of terrible events, with thousands of innocent victims destroyed and the vocations and lives of young priests and religious disturbed. The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church. Well aware of the enormous consequences that my testimony could have, because what I was about to reveal involved the successor of Peter himself, I nonetheless chose to speak in order to protect the Church, and I declare with a clear conscience before God that my testimony is true. Christ died for the Church, and Peter, Servus servorum Dei, is the first one called to serve the spouse of Christ.
Certainly, some of the facts that I was to reveal were covered by the pontifical secret that I had promised to observe and that I had faithfully observed from the beginning of my service to the Holy See. But the purpose of any secret, including the pontifical secret, is to protect the Church from her enemies, not to cover up and become complicit in crimes committed by some of her members. I was a witness, not by my choice, of shocking facts and, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (par. 2491), the seal of secrecy is not binding when very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Only the seal of confession could have justified my silence.
Neither the pope, nor any of the cardinals in Rome have denied the facts I asserted in my testimony. “Qui tacet consentit” surely applies here, for if they deny my testimony, they have only to say so, and provide documentation to support that denial. How can one avoid concluding that the reason they do not provide the documentation is that they know it confirms my testimony?
The center of my testimony was that since at least June 23, 2013, the pope knew from me how perverse and evil McCarrick was in his intentions and actions, and instead of taking the measures that every good pastor would have taken, the pope made McCarrick one of his principal agents in governing the Church, in regard to the United States, the Curia, and even China, as we are seeing these days with great concern and anxiety for that martyr Church.
Now, the pope’s reply to my testimony was: “I will not say a word!” But then, contradicting himself, he has compared his silence to that of Jesus in Nazareth and before Pilate, and compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church — though without ever uttering my name. If he had said: “Viganò lied,” he would have challenged my credibility while trying to affirm his own. In so doing he would have intensified the demand of the people of God and the world for the documentation needed to determine who has told the truth. Instead, he put in place a subtle slander against me — slander being an offense he has often compared to the gravity of murder. Indeed, he did it repeatedly, in the context of the celebration of the most Holy Sacrament, the Eucharist, where he runs no risk of being challenged by journalists. When he did speak to journalists, he asked them to exercise their professional maturity and draw their own conclusions. But how can journalists discover and know the truth if those directly involved with a matter refuse to answer any questions or to release any documents? The pope’s unwillingness to respond to my charges and his deafness to the appeals by the faithful for accountability are hardly consistent with his calls for transparency and bridge building.
Moreover, the pope’s cover-up of McCarrick was clearly not an isolated mistake. Many more instances have recently been documented in the press, showing that Pope Francis has defended homosexual clergy who committed serious sexual abuses against minors or adults. These include his role in the case of Fr. Julio Grassi in Buenos Aires, his reinstatement of Fr. Mauro Inzoli after Pope Benedict had removed him from ministry (until he went to prison, at which point Pope Francis laicized him), and his halting of the investigation of sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.
In the meantime, a delegation of the USCCB, headed by its president Cardinal DiNardo, went to Rome asking for a Vatican investigation into McCarrick. Cardinal DiNardo and the other prelates should tell the Church in America and in the world: did the pope refuse to carry out a Vatican investigation into McCarrick’s crimes and of those responsible for covering them up? The faithful deserve to know.
I would like to make a special appeal to Cardinal Ouellet, because as nuncio I always worked in great harmony with him, and I have always had great esteem and affection towards him. He will remember when, at the end of my mission in Washington, he received me at his apartment in Rome in the evening for a long conversation. At the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate, he had maintained his dignity, as he had shown with courage when he was Archbishop of Québec. Later, however, when his work as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops was being undermined because recommendations for episcopal appointments were being passed directly to Pope Francis by two homosexual “friends” of his dicastery, bypassing the Cardinal, he gave up. His long article in L’Osservatore Romano, in which he came out in favor of the more controversial aspects of Amoris Laetitia, represents his surrender. Your Eminence, before I left for Washington, you were the one who told me of Pope Benedict’s sanctions on McCarrick. You have at your complete disposal key documents incriminating McCarrick and many in the curia for their cover-ups. Your Eminence, I urge you to bear witness to the truth.
Finally, I wish to encourage you, dear faithful, my brothers and sisters in Christ: never be despondent! Make your own the act of faith and complete confidence in Christ Jesus, our Savior, of Saint Paul in his second Letter to Timothy, Scio cui credidi, which I choose as my episcopal motto. This is a time of repentance, of conversion, of prayers, of grace, to prepare the Church, the bride of the Lamb, ready to fight and win with Mary the battle against the old dragon.
“Scio Cui credidi” (2 Tim 1:12)
In you, Jesus, my only Lord, I place all my trust.
“Diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum” (Rom 8:28).
To commemorate my episcopal ordination on April 26, 1992, conferred on me by St. John Paul II, I chose this image taken from a mosaic of the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. It represents the miracle of the calming of the storm. I was struck by the fact that in the boat of Peter, tossed by the water, the figure of Jesus is portrayed twice. Jesus is sound asleep in the bow, while Peter tries to wake him up: “Master, do you not care that we are about to die?” Meanwhile the apostles, terrified, look each in a different direction and do not realize that Jesus is standing behind them, blessing them and assuredly in command of the boat: “He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still,’ … then he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mk 4:38-40).
The scene is very timely in portraying the tremendous storm the Church is passing through in this moment, but with a substantial difference: the successor of Peter not only fails to see the Lord in full control of the boat, it seems he does not even intend to awaken Jesus asleep in the bow.
Has Christ perhaps become invisible to his vicar? Perhaps is he being tempted to try to act as a substitute of our only Master and Lord?
The Lord is in full control of the boat!
May Christ, the Truth, always be the light on our way!
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
September 29th, 2018
Feast of St. Michael, Archangel
OPEN LETTER FROM THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, CARDINAL MARC OUELLET, ON THE RECENT ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE HOLY SEE
Dear brother Carlo Maria Viganò,
In your last message to the press, in which you make accusations against Pope Francis and against the Roman Curia, you invite me to tell the truth about certain facts that you interpret as signs of an endemic corruption that has infiltrated the hierarchy of the Church up to its highest levels. With pontifical permission, and in my capacity as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I offer my testimony about matters concerning the Archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, and his presumed links to Pope Francis, matters that are at the center of your public accusations and your demand that the Holy Father resign. I write my testimony based on my personal contacts and on documents in the archives of the Congregation, currently the object of study to clarify this sad case.
Out of consideration for the good, collaborative relation we had when you were Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, allow me to say, in all honesty, that I find your current attitude incomprehensible and extremely troubling, not only because of the confusion it sows among the People of God, but because your public accusations gravely harm the reputation of the bishops, successors of the Apostles. I recall a time when I enjoyed your esteem and your trust, but now I see that I have been stripped in your eyes of the respect that was accorded to me, for the only reason I have remained faithful to the Holy Father’s guidance in exercising the service he has entrusted to me in the Church. Is not communion with the Successor of Peter an expression of our obedience to Christ who chose him and sustains him with his grace? My interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, which you criticize, is grounded in this fidelity to the living tradition, which Francis has given us another example of by recently modifying the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the question of the death penalty.
Let us address the facts. You said that on June 23, 2013, you provided Pope Francis with information about McCarrick in an audience he granted to you, as he also did for many pontifical representatives with whom he met for the first time that day. I can only imagine the amount of verbal and written information that was provided to the Holy Father on that occasion about so many persons and situations. I strongly doubt that the Pope had such interest in McCarrick, as you would like us to believe, given the fact that by then he was an 82-year-old Archbishop emeritus who had been without a role for seven years. Moreover, the written instructions given to you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your mission in 2001 did not say anything about McCarrick, except for what I mentioned to you verbally about his situation as Bishop emeritus and certain conditions and restrictions that he had to follow on account of some rumors about his past conduct.
From 30th June 2010, when I became Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I never presented in audience the McCarrick case to Pope Benedict XVI or to Pope Francis – not until recently, after his dismissal from the College of Cardinals. The former Cardinal, retired in May of 2006, had been requested not to travel or to make public appearances, in order to avoid new rumors about him. It is false, therefore, to present those measures as “sanctions” formally imposed by Pope Benedict XVI and then invalidated by Pope Francis. After a review of the archives, I find that there are no documents signed by either Pope in this regard, and there are no audience notes from my predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni-Battista Re, imposing on the retired Archbishop the obligation to lead a quiet and private life with the weight normally reserved to canonical penalties. The reason is that back then, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged culpability. Thus, the Congregation’s decision was inspired by prudence, and the letters from my predecessor and my own letters urged him, first through the Apostolic Nuncio Pietro Sambi and then through you, to lead a life of prayer and penance, for his own good and for the good of the Church. His case would have deserved new disciplinary measures if the Nunciature in Washington, or any other source, had provided us recent and definitive information about his behavior. I am of the opinion that, out of respect for the victims and given the need for justice, the inquiry currently underway in the United States and in the Roman Curia should provide a comprehensive and critical study of the procedures and the circumstances of this painful case in order to prevent something like it from ever happening in the future.
How is it possible that this man of the Church, whose incoherence has now been revealed, was promoted many times, and was nominated to such a high position as Archbishop of Washington and Cardinal? I am personally very surprised, and I recognize that there were failures in the selection procedures implemented in his case. However, and without entering here into details, it must be understood that the decisions taken by the Supreme Pontiff are based on the information available to him at the time and that they are the object of a prudential judgment which is not infallible. I think it is unjust to reach the conclusion that there is corruption on the part of the persons entrusted with this previous discernment process, even though in the particular case some of the concerns that were raised by testimonies should have been examined more closely. The Archbishop also knew how to cleverly defend himself from those concerns raised about him. Furthermore, the fact that there could be in the Vatican persons who practice or support sexual behavior that is contrary to the values of the Gospel, does not authorize us to make generalizations or to declare unworthy and complicit this or that individual, including the Holy Father himself. Should not ministers of the truth avoid above all calumny and defamation?
Dear pontifical representative emeritus, I tell you frankly that to accuse Pope Francis of having covered-up knowingly the case of an alleged sexual predator and, therefore, of being an accomplice to the corruption that afflicts the Church, to the point that he could no longer continue to carry out his reform as the first shepherd of the Church, appears to me from all viewpoints unbelievable and without any foundation. I cannot understand how could you have allowed yourself to be convinced of this monstrous and unsubstantiated accusation. Francis had nothing to do with McCarrick’s promotions to New York, Metuchen, Newark and Washington. He stripped him of his Cardinal’s dignity as soon as there was a credible accusation of abuse of a minor. For a Pope who does not hide the trust that he places in certain prelates, I never heard him refer to this so called great advisor for the pontificate for episcopal appointments in the United States. I can only surmise that some of those prelates are not of your preference or the preference of your friends who support your interpretation of matters. I think it is abhorrent, however, for you to use the clamorous sexual abuse scandal in the United States to inflict an unmerited and unheard of a blow to the moral authority of your superior, the Supreme Pontiff.
I have the privilege of having long meetings with Pope Francis every week to discuss the appointment of bishops and the problems that affect their governance. I know very well how he treats persons and problems: with great charity, mercy, attentiveness and seriousness, as you too have experienced. I think it is too sarcastic, even blasphemous, how you end your last message, purportedly appealing to spirituality while mocking the Holy Father and casting doubt about his faith. That cannot come from the Spirit of God.
Dear brother, how much I wish that I could help you return to communion with him who is the visible guarantor of communion in the Catholic Church. I understand that deceptions and sufferings have marked your path in the service to the Holy See, but you should not finish your priestly life involved in an open and scandalous rebellion that inflicts a very painful wound to the Bride of Christ, whom you pretend to serve better, while causing further division and confusion among the People of God. How could I answer your call except by saying: stop living clandestinely, repent of your rebelliousness, and come back to better feelings towards the Holy Father, instead of fostering hostility against him. How can you celebrate Mass and mention his name in the Eucharistic Prayer? How can you pray the Holy Rosary, or pray to Saint Michael the Archangel, or to the Mother of God, while condemning the one Our Lady protects and accompanies every day in his burdensome and courageous mission?
If the Pope was not a man of prayer; if he was attached to money; if he favored riches to the detriment of the poor; if he did not demonstrate a tireless energy to welcome all miseries and to address them through the generous comfort of his words and actions; if he did not seek to implement all possible means to announce and to communicate the joy of the Gospel to all in the Church and beyond her visible horizons; if he did not lend a hand to the families, to the abandoned elderly, to the sick in body and soul and, above all, to the youth in their search for happiness; one could prefer someone else, according to you, with a different political or diplomatic approach. But I cannot call into question his personal integrity, his consecration to the mission and, above all, the charisma and peace he enjoys through the grace of God and the strength of the Risen One.
Dear Viganò, in response to your unjust and unjustified attack, I can only conclude that the accusation is a political plot that lacks any real basis that could incriminate the Pope and that profoundly harms the communion of the Church. May God allow a prompt reparation of this flagrant injustice so that Pope Francis can continue to be recognized for who he is: a true shepherd, a resolute and compassionate father, a prophetic grace for the Church and for the world. May the Holy Father carry on, full of confidence and joy, the missionary reform he has begun, comforted by the prayers of the people of God and the renewed solidarity of the whole Church, together with Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary!
Marc Cardinal Ouellet
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops,
Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, October 7th 2018.
On the Feast of the North American Martyrs
To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so. But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the Judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell. A Judge who, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved. Anticipating the dreadful question from that Judge – “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” -- what answer could I give?
I testified fully aware that my testimony would bring alarm and dismay to many eminent persons: churchmen, fellow bishops, colleagues with whom I had worked and prayed. I knew many would feel wounded and betrayed. I expected that some would in their turn assail me and my motives. Most painful of all, I knew that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty. Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own. Having reported multiple times to my superiors, and even to the pope, the aberrant behavior of Theodore McCarrick, I could have publicly denounced the truths of which I was aware earlier. If I have some responsibility in this delay, I repent for that. This delay was due to the gravity of the decision I was going to take, and to the long travail of my conscience.
I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony. To those who believe such confusion and division were negligible prior to August 2018, perhaps such a claim is plausible. Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine. When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.
Therefore I spoke. For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church -- harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large. With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation, and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the Pope.
Let me restate the key points of my testimony.
I invoked God as my witness to the truth of my claims, and none has been shown false. Cardinal Ouellet has written to rebuke me for my temerity in breaking silence and leveling such grave accusations against my brothers and superiors, but in truth his remonstrance confirms me in my decision and, even more, serves to vindicate my claims, severally and as a whole.
What does Cardinal Ouellet dispute?
In brief, Cardinal Ouellet concedes the important claims that I did and do make, and disputes claims I don’t make and never made.
There is one point on which I must absolutely refute what Cardinal Ouellet wrote. The Cardinal states that the Holy See was only aware of “rumors,” which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick. I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so. Compensation by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to the victims of McCarrick’s sexual abuse, the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick; are all these just rumors? They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy. The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators and their protectors, and the chronological sequence of the facts. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.
In the public remonstrances directed at me I have noted two omissions, two dramatic silences. The first silence regards the plight of the victims. The second regards the underlying reason why there are so many victims, namely, the corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy. As to the first, it is dismaying that, amid all the scandals and indignation, so little thought should be given to those damaged by the sexual predations of those commissioned as ministers of the gospel. This is not a matter of settling scores or sulking over the vicissitudes of ecclesiastical careers. It is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of how church historians may evaluate this or that papacy. This is about souls. Many souls have been and are even now imperiled of their eternal salvation.
As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.
Unquestionably there exist philandering clergy, and unquestionably they too damage their own souls, the souls of those whom they corrupt, and the Church at large. But these violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved. Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds -- whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.
It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry. It is to pretend that a means, an instrument, is in fact the main motive.
Denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church. I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion. Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy. I am urging no such thing. I pray every day for Pope Francis -- more than I have ever done for the other popes. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter. He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross. Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).
In closing, I wish to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt. You too are faced with a choice. You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption. You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning. You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.
On the other hand, you can choose to speak. You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.” I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking. I urge you to consider which choice-- on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge -- you will not regret having made.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Arcivescovo tit. di Ulpiana
19 Ottobre 2018
Feast of the North American Martyrs