Vigano and Pope Francis

Discussion in 'General discussion' started by andree, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    This morning, as I read the words of Pope Francis, "I will not say a word on this" about the letter of the Nuncio, the image of Jesus in front of Ponce Pilate immediately sprang to my mind. Pope Francis is remaining silent just as Jesus did when before the person who had the power to judge Him.

    I think that we are close to the crucifixion of the mystical Body by the people who hold the power in Rome and I note with so much sadness that Catholics are yelling for his resignation. Do they not see the parallels with the time that Christ was crucified?

    But pope Francis urges us all to read the letter carefully, so I am posting the link to the text below. I am thinking of reading it in front of the blessed Sacrament this morning, asking the Holy Spirit to shine the light on things.

    Prayers going us for our pope, priests and Church.

    link to full text:

  2. David

    David Well-Known Member

    First of all, andree, please let me explain that I have changed your link to Archbishop Vigano's letter from the Lifesitenews link you had originally posted. The Lifesitenews website is so outrageously critical of the Holy Father that I don't think the site should be used or advertised for any reason.

    This development of the publication of an extreme, accusatory, document against Pope Francis and others by a significant member of the hierarchy certainly marks a big step forward in the purification of the Church. It remains to be seen what long term impact the letter will have but I am pleased with the Holy Father's initial response which effectively says the letter speaks for itself. Although he is not responding to any of Vigano's specific accusations, he has not ruled out doing so in the future.

    The letter (or dossier) certainly provides plenty of food for the anti-Francis community on the internet (mainly traditionalists) but we cannot know how widely the letter will come to be accepted as truthful or accurate in the future. I have found a website with an appropriately skeptical view of the letter. One article in particular can be viewed at:

  3. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    Thank you David. Actually I think that link I provided was in Robert Moynihan's letter, which surprised me at first, but I figured if he provided it then it must be accurate in reproducing the content.

    I look forward to reading your insights if you have any. I said I would read this text, but didn't and actually have a hard time diving into these matters. I have little time to read and prefer not spending it on wading through disputes and accusations and figuring out who is lying.

    But I have been reflecting on Judas this morning and the fact that withouth Jesus' active interventions, the apostles would never have accepted him. Jesus protected Judas for years from judment from the apostles and was very firm in ordering St John to not let anyone in the room where Jesus was alone with Judas after John caught him in the act of stealing (from the Poem of the Man God). He knew about the lies, the sneaking around, drinking, occult practices, sleeping around too and stealing and never said anything except with His Mother. It made me wonder what both popes may have exchanged on this subject.

    I am not saying that protecting sexual abuse is right obviously, but the timing on this along with everything else going on has me on radar alert.

    Getting back to the pope's response, I came across this passage just now in TLIG today which is related.

    From August 30th 1991: I Am; silence is the best weapon after prayer; - I will trample on My enemy soon;
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  4. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I don't believe that Pope Francis has ever hidden abuse and he would not do so. His 'problem', from a worldly point of view, is that he believes in innocence until guilt is shown.

    I have no doubt that he heard from Vigano and others that McCarrick was guilty of abuse but he refused to believe such rumours (or gossip) without specific evidence. This is what happened with the Chile situation. He believed totally in what the Chile bishops told him until clear evidence came forward to show that he was being misinformed. Then he acted decisively.

    The problem in this internet age is that instant virtual 'kangaroo' courts are set up that 'decide' someone is guilty of something without any sound evidence at all. Pope Francis made these points in his interview on the plane back from Ireland. I copy it below:

    But additionally, here is a response to the Vigano accusations by the same 'Rome reports' video service:

  5. Radhe

    Radhe Well-Known Member

    The "msm" as they are irreverently referred to these days, are virulently anti christian , aggressively secular, corporate.
    They are increasingly irrelevant and yes the internet too unfortunately amplifies human nature all to well. People are quick to believe evil. The timing of Vigano accusation is typically cynical, they the politicians,the media - who are all natural born liars think they have eliminated the faith in Ireland
    RTE accused wrongly a priest of abuse. Their bigotry is legendary....I refuse to pay for their solipsist drivel - no license and no tv.

    From August 30th 1991: I Am; silence is the best weapon after prayer; - I will trample on My enemy soon;

    Yes andree ! I hope he does....!
    The "Accuser" is running rampant at the moment.
  6. David

    David Well-Known Member

    And here is an important quote from a message to Mirjana in Medjugorje on September 2, 2013:

    For the sake of Jesus, for the sake of my Son, love those whom He has called and long for the blessing only from the hands which He has consecrated. Do not permit evil to come to reign. Anew I repeat – only alongside your shepherds will my heart triumph. Do not permit evil to separate you from your shepherds. Thank you.”

  7. David

    David Well-Known Member

    And now evidence has emerged that certainly casts doubt on aspects of the information in Archbishop Vigano's document:

    and the following video includes subtitles of what was said when Vigano met Pope Francis:

    Vigano's description of the above meeting: "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!

    Here is a good article on the topic:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  8. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I'm copying an important article here from the secular Washington Post newspaper because I believe it captures very accurately what has been happening with the Vigano affair as well as the wider picture of attacks on Pope Francis within sections of the Catholic media.

    Former Vatican ambassador’s explosive letter reveals influence of conservative Catholic media network


    Way back when, you’d find Catholic newspapers distributed at the rear of your parish church, with articles that took a middle-of-the road approach to church issues and rarely made an aggressive challenge to the hierarchy.

    But news this week that Catholic journalists were involved in editing and distributing a Vatican diplomat’s explosive and largely unverified letter calling for the pope’s resignation reveals an influential and tightly knit conservative Catholic digital media network that’s been particularly active during the tenure of its nemesis, Pope Francis.

    Like much of the media in our hyper-polarized, digital era, Catholic news sites have become deeply split between left and right. And these days, the dividing line is almost always what Francis says or does on almost anything, from global warming and tax cuts to the death penalty and increased acceptance of LGBT Catholics and the unmarried.

    So when Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò wanted to make a first-in-history public attack by a member of the Vatican on a sitting pope, he turned, naturally, to conservative sites such as and the National Catholic Register in the United States, as well as prominent conservative journalists in Italy who in recent years launched opinionated blogs on which they can vent about Francis.

    Much like the way in which Breitbart News and Drudge Report have served as media conduits for the brand of conservative American populism led by President Trump, conservative Catholic media outlets have become power players by conveying the anti-Francis point of view, this time becoming part of the story, as well.

    “My wife points out: ‘Should you publish it, they will think that, by this very fact, you’re on his side. Are you fine with that?’ Yes I am,” Italian journalist Aldo Maria Valli wrote on his blog Tuesday about his decision to meet Viganò and advise him on whether to publish his accusation that Francis and some of his allies knew about sexual misconduct by a cardinal, former D.C. archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Valli says he shares Viganò’s view that the people at the top of the church “do not work to bring Jesus’ Gospel to the men and women of our time, but to bring chaos and to give into the world’s logic.”

    Valli was only one star in the constellation of conservative Catholic media who reportedly were part of the process of getting out the 11-page letter. The Associated Press reported that conservative Italian journalist Marco Tosatti sat at a wooden table in his living room for three hours Aug. 22 as he and Viganò rewrote and edited the letter together, even collaborating on the timing — for impact.

    “I think that if you want to say something, now is the moment because everything is going upside-down in the United States. He said ‘OK.,’ ” Tosatti said he told Viganò.

    Viganò ultimately distributed his letter through a handful of conservative Catholic sites, including the Register, which is owned by the Alabama-based conglomerate EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network. EWTN runs 11 round-the-clock networks that reach 270 million homes in 145 countries, according to its website. EWTN was launched in the early 1980s by nun-magnate Mother Angelica, who was a media visionary committed to promoting traditional social values.

    This week, the New York Times reported that, two weeks ago, Viganò shared his plan with Timothy Busch, a Koch Brothers-like figure in conservative Catholic circles who sits on the board of EWTN. Busch said leaders of the Register had personally assured him that Pope Benedict, a favorite of conservatives, had confirmed Viganò’s account.

    Benedict’s secretary Msgr Georg Gaenswein told Italian media outlet ANSA on Thursday that the ex-pope has not confirmed the content of Vigano’s letter, calling a report Benedict had backed Viganò “fake news, a lie.” On Tuesday a German outlet published similar comments from Ganswein.

    The Washington Post’s phone calls to Tosatti were not returned, but he tweeted that his role was being overstated and that he’d merely edited the letter. A phone message left with Busch’s office was not returned.

    Valli told The Post on Wednesday that he met three times with Viganò after they had initially connected at a conference for conservatives. The first time, in March, Viganò detailed a long list of internal Vatican problems. The third and final time, Aug. 21, Viganò, wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses, handed Valli a memory card with a draft, the journalist said. The two outlined a plan to distribute the letter during Francis’s trip to Ireland, when the pope would be surrounded by reporters.

    Viganò was motivated by much more than the McCarrick case, Valli said.

    “McCarrick was more like the trigger. Viganò had a wider vision,” he said. “What he really cared about [is that] since the end of John Paul II’s pontificate, the problem of homosexuality within the church was widely known. But it was covered up.”

    Yet while Catholics of all political persuasions suspect there is a coverup among their leadership on the topic of abuse — and of McCarrick’s case specifically — even many conservatives say they want Viganò’s letter independently confirmed in part due to its connections with right-leaning Catholic media. U.S. Catholics’ general faith in their media, like Americans overall, seems to have decreased in recent decades, some longtime journalists in that field say, as the Web has spawned endless opinionated blogs that run on anonymous tips, which then influence the bigger Catholic news sites.

    John Thavis, who covered the Vatican in Rome for decades and was bureau chief of the Catholic News Service before retiring recently, said the digital boom after 2000 greatly increased the number of Catholic media voices.

    “A lot of the smaller Catholic organizations take a conservative line, perhaps reflecting the church politics of their financial backers,” he said. Vatican journalists launched their own blogs, on which they could be more opinionated about papal politics — and usually on the conservative side, Thavis said.

    In the early 2000s, the center-right Catholic News Agency was founded in Denver. CNA is owned now by EWTN, as is the Register, whose website Wednesday was populated with pieces about Viganò, homosexuality and transgender issues.

    A top priority of Valli, Tosatti and other Italian conservative journalists, Thavis said, are “their warnings about homosexuality.” The powerful Italian conservatives in the media, he said, are focused on preserving church practices in particular, especially after the liberalizing changes of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, when the empowered left began pushing for more changes, such as allowing women to become priests. Conservatives have been particularly focused on sex and family as topics and were enraged by Francis’s encouragement of dialogue and debate about whether divorced Catholics who have remarried outside the church should receive Communion.

    After decades of rule by the traditional John Paul II, Thavis said, the Vatican press corps was invested in John Paul’s view of the church. He recalls a loud cheer in the press room when the cardinals in 2005 selected the like-minded Benedict as his successor. He also recalls the loud complaints in 2013 when the newly elected Francis said in his first meeting with journalists that he wouldn’t offer the traditional blessing his predecessors had because there were non-Christians in the corps and he wanted to show respect.

    “It was revelatory for me to see how conservative some of the media were to certain church teachings and practices. I don’t want to say they were more Catholic than the pope,” Thavis said, but to the conservative reporters, Francis’s efforts to reduce the pomp and royalty of the office were not only nontraditional but also a gimmick.

    The priorities of the rising new network of conservative Catholic media aren’t limited to issues around sex and ritual. Busch not only sits on the board of EWTN and many other Catholic organizations but is also the namesake for the business school at Catholic University, a graduate school known for working to reconcile free markets and capitalism and Catholic teaching. Francis, on the other hand, is more in the socialist model of Catholicism.

  9. David

    David Well-Known Member


    In 2011, Busch co-founded the Napa Institute, a swanky TED-Talk-like conference in Napa, Calif., for conservative Catholics, to prepare the faith “for the Next America,” its site says. The term is adopted from a book by conservative Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput that warns about a secularized America hostile to traditional religion.

    When he was in the United States, a prominent lay conservative leader said, Viganò traveled in conservative media circles, which sometimes spanned the ocean, such as when Tosatti would write for the influential U.S. conservative journal First Things. The U.S. and Italian conservative Catholic media are “all part of one world,” said the leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Viganò case is so divisive and this person didn’t want to be seen as adding to that.

    The National Catholic Register, Catholic News Agency and EWTN represent the center core of conservative Catholic media, with viewed as leaning more toward advocacy than journalism and even more so. ChurchMilitant is run by Michael Voris, a journalist who “carries a message of the need for a stalwart defense … of Catholic truth,” the site says. LifeSite was launched in the 1970s by a Canadian organization devoted to fighting “abortion, euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality” and other issues, its site says.

    Conservative Catholic outlets have stirred the pot before Viganò. A year ago, Catholic University’s Theological College seminary canceled an appearance by the liberal Jesuit James Martin, a prominent advocate for the acceptance of LGBT people, citing “increasing negative feedback from various social media sites.” The next day, the university issued a counter-statement, saying the cancellation was a decision of the seminary only — not the full university — and reflects “the same pressure being applied by the left for universities to withdraw speaker invitations,” wrote President John Garvey.

    Even as some conservative Catholics are inspired by what they hope is the letter’s potential to reduce Francis’s sway, they are skeptical of the way in which it was shared.

    “This whole episode seems like total Fake News,” said the conservative lay leader. The allegations of sexual abuse coverup “have to be investigated, wherever they lead. But the way this came out, it really struck me: ‘They’re really out to get Francis.’ ”

    But people who are part of the right-leaning news sphere don’t see it that way, any more than Catholic journalists on the left see their work holding up the pope’s efforts at reform as a vendetta against another part of the church. However, one commentator in the conservative Catholic media sphere, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there’s no question the journalists who published Viganò’s full letter without reporting on it had a mission.

    “I think they would all look at it like: They’re not trying to be objective,” the person said. “They are trying to evangelize; they’re trying to spread the good news, spread the message as they understand it. They are activists.”

  10. Richard Smith

    Richard Smith Member

    Our Lady has just told us - Talk less, pray more.
  11. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Yes Richard, you quote from Our Lady's words to Medjugorje visionary, Marija, just a week ago:

    "Dear children! This is a time of grace. Little children, pray more, speak less and permit God to lead you on the way of conversion. I am with you and love you with my motherly love. Thank you for having responded to my call."​

    Nevertheless, I hope you don't feel that we have no need to defend Pope Francis following on the latest and biggest attack on his pontificate so far. Increasing numbers of people are being influenced by an agenda being followed by sections of the Catholic media and it is important that accurate information is made available.

    Incidentally, there is a new article by Mark Mallett under the title, 'Pray more… speak less' at:

  12. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    Thanks for these videos & links David & Radhe. That Washington Post article is quite telling....left, right, conservative, liberal... I mean, phew! You need a political science degree to figure out what is going on between groups. As Mark Mallett says in his latest post, "The ugly political underbelly of the Church is being exposed as “collegiality” begins to disintegrate."

    I have to admit that I still haven't read the 11-page letter by the Nuncio and at this point I don't have any plans to do it either. What got me launched on my initial post above was reading much agitation about this on another forum, and then seeing that Robert Moynihan, whose writing I believe has been behind the pope, was also expressing "gravity" about it too.

    I think that things are serious but am back on track following Our Lady's advice about silence (at least in refraining from judging anyone) and prayer. That message to Marija was so short and to the point, it is obviously relevant to current events.

    Yes, the internet poses problems, but I still don't get it. Even if dozens of letters were written, we laymen still would not have all the "evidence" needed to judge anyone, let alone the Holy Father.

    I fear that all of this is about dividing wheat from chaff and I find it horrible to see fervent Christians getting tripped up by pride in thinking they can judge the clergy in its highest ranks.

    Those of us who can should console Jesus and Mary tomorrow on the First Saturday.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  13. Richard Smith

    Richard Smith Member

    Was it a day before the letter that our Lady spoke such words ?
    I find that very telling for us.
    Yes we must defend the Pope and all that God has called with prayer !
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  14. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I want to post just two more links under this topic. The first is a follow up article from the National Catholic Reporter website which, for me, has posted the most reliable analysis of these events:

    The second is a powerful homily by Fr Robert Altier given last month in a parish in North America. It presents the current crisis in the Church in very striking terms:
  15. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Some viewers of the forum may be familiar with the notable Christian witness, Marino Restrepo. I posted a video of his witnessings some 7 years ago. Here it is:

    Some background on him is at

    What has he to do with the Vigano affair? Well, he has just posted a very hard hitting defence of Pope Francis which is worthy of being shown here. It is perhaps more hard hitting than I am totally comfortable with but he clearly feels very strongly about the attacks on the Pope:

  16. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    Yes, he uses very strong words indeed. And here are a few from the Messages (Sept 20, 1989), equally strong :

    I call each one of My shepherds by their name, but very few hear My Voice ... I stifle, I suffocate to see them filled with dead words; hear Me, I have, daughter, called you to serve the cause of right, I have taken you by the hand and formed you to witness, I have shown you the Truth and I have unveiled your eyes to see whom I had chosen to sit in Peter's Chair, and to whom I once said: "you are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it; I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven;" 4

    I had given this man this Authority, and today you are trying to overthrow him and steal his shepherd's staff so that you rule with the sceptre of Falsehood and Vice; Peter? Peter-of-My-Lambs, My beloved shepherd, I know how your heart lacerates and bleeds in rivers for this ungrateful and unfaithful generation; I know how they have turned your eyes into a spring of tears; I know how many of your brothers have turned their backs to you; these are, My beloved, those shepherds who know nothing, feel nothing, they all go their own way, each after his own interest, serving Folly instead of Wisdom, Lust instead of Poverty, Disobedience instead of Obedience;

    I gaze from My Cross on all who inhabit the world, and I am telling you who people many nations, that soon the Hour is with you, the time is almost up, and the days will not last long before you pass your nights weeping, you unfaithful shepherds, shepherds who sin against Me by faithlessness, you who cry Peace! when there is no Peace; return to Peter, all you who have strayed away in a different direction; serve Me, why serve Unholiness? be Mine, not the Rebel's, why are you so willing to serve the Rebel? even foreigners, even these have listened to My Voice and have understood My Words; My Principles are Holy and I tell you most solemnly that Holy They shall remain forever and ever;

    daughter, read My Word;

    (The Lord indicated to me where. Again in Mt. 5:18-19.)

    read and write: "I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved; therefore the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven;"

    child, rest now; delight My Soul with your child-like faith; come, rest in Me; I, the Lord, bless you, love Me;

    To me, Pope Benedict is our model in all of this. He speaks little, prays much and remains faithful to Peter whom he promised that he would serve through prayer.

    Today is the first Friday, for those who can go to mass & say a rosary, they should be offered in reparation to the offenses towards the Sacred Heart.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2018
  17. Stephen

    Stephen Member

    I agree with David regards Lifesitenews it is an absolute disgraceful site that is notoriously Anti-Pope Francis from the beginning.

    Viganos letter is evidence of a power struggle in the Church between two groups who assume they're doing great holy things when in fact they're doing what is unholy. These are the modernists (those who spread outright heresy) and those who call themselves traditionalists when in fact they're fundamentalists. But the Church is more modern than the modernist and more traditional than the traditionalist. It's actually easier for well meaning Catholics looking for a bit of the mystical and further spiritual direction to fall into the hands of the fundamentalist camp and ...I dare say more difficult to be removed from than the modernist one as their hearts seem to be more hardened and impenetrable (in my experience of conversing with them).

    The advantage of the Popes silence is that it has given him (and those of us with some sort of common sense) the advantage to see who is enemy is. The enemy cannot contain himself from premature judgment and so those who do so may not all be bad Catholics in essence but certainly ones whose moral or spiritual directional compass of discernment isn't quite up to scratch. EWTN for example really took me by surprise (or did they. . . I've never really like this TV channel regardless of the good intentions of it's founder). All of the enemies who want to oust Pope Francis are coming out of the woodwork not just on the traddie side but also on the modernist side. Cupich interview was in my opinion a disaster and so himself and Cardinal Wuerl are suspect in my opinion. Most of the criticism of Pope Francis and calls for his resignation (typical Americans treating the Vatican as they would the white house and putting patriotism and politics above Catholicism) are coming from America. I really have a dislike for American Catholicism and its anti-mystical protestant cultural qualities.

    What we are witnessing is a tug of war where at either end of the rope is a desire for power. During the reign of BXVI it was the modernists trying to get him out of the Chair of Peter and now during Pope Francis reign the traditionalists are the ones trying to oust him from the Chair.

    Should Viganos claims be investigated? I don't know, he's broken a long standing vow to the Pope and it's such a betrayal and I feel possibly obvious strategic attack on the Papal Throne regardless if Pope Francis had made some error of judgment as he did with the Chilean Bishops. It is important for us to keep our distance from this issue because our frustration is unhelpful but our continued prayers for Pope Francis and his persecutors is very beneficial indeed.

    Whatever process is going on we must admit that the Church is being cleansed and like when I clean my own house out sometimes it gets even more messy and ugly looking before the dust settles and everything gets removed to the bin, so too the Church.

    In a war there's whats known as collateral damage and sadly during this tug of war for power we must pray for the Catholics caught up in this whose faith has been shaken.

    I recently did a photographic story on Fatima priest Fr.Michael Maher for Aleteia English (Catholic publication) who have not published it yet but in the course of our journey towards the ''priests beach'' we conversed about Fatima. I told him that I know I shouldn't interpret prophecy because nobody really knows what it all means but I told him my own thoughts on the secret of Fatima regarding the pope being killed by some with arrows and some with guns etc etc.

    I said I believed that the men with guns were the modernists and those with the more ''traditional'' weapon of the bow and arrow were the traditionalists. The mountain of people whose blood spilled was the martyred Catholics (living martyrs ) who defend the Pope and create a pathway for him to the Cross. Now whether or not the Prophecy is talking about Pope Francis or that the Pope in the secret symbolizes the actual Papacy I don't know.

    I said it to Fr.John Abberton and his only response was that is was '' very perceptive''. But don't take my word for it I may be totally wrong however with all that was going on in recent years I just couldn't look at that secret any other way.

    There is a war on and during this war we need to take shelter and allow the Lord to do his cleansing.

    The following is something I read the other night and I'm not inferring it's anything to do with the secret I spoke of just now or anything at all I just thought it was good advice as all scripture can be useful for instruction.

    Isaiah 26:20-21: Go, my people, enter your rooms
    and shut the doors behind you;
    hide yourselves for a little while
    until his wrath has passed by.

    See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
    to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
    The earth will disclose the blood shed on it;
    the earth will conceal its slain no longer.
  18. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  19. karnala

    karnala Well-Known Member

    ..."if the churches are able to go beyond the negative obstacles that hinder them to unite, obstacles that according to Scriptures are against the fulfilment of the unity of faith, love and worship among them, I will be faithful to My promise of releasing a time of peace in the entire world; this peace will draw every being into My Mystical Body,..." Dec 10, 2001
  20. Richard Smith

    Richard Smith Member

  21. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Yes Richard. An important development and I think the letter deserves to be copied here in full:

    Cardinal Ouellet Writes Open Letter to Archbishop Viganò

    The prefect for the Congregation for Bishops expresses his firm disagreement with the former nuncio’s testimonies, calling his position “incomprehensible and extremely reprehensible” and offers to help him “rediscover communion” with the Holy Father.

    Edward Pentin
    Here below is the full text of the letter (Vatican working translation), released this morning, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The letter was only sent to journalists accredited to the Holy See and did not appear in the bolletino. This text replaces an earlier Register translation:


    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.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2018
  22. David

    David Well-Known Member


    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.”

  23. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    I'm comforted to see any priest publicly affirming his fidelity to the successor of Peter, but this public display of arguments and counter-arguments is a very sad thing to witness. Just about the only positive thing that I can see in this, apart from consolation of seeing priests express communion with the pope, is that it is virtually impossible to deny the important prophecies of "bishop against bishop" that have been given to us through TLIG, Akita and others.

    February 12, 1996 still My land is being divided, riven, and in My House and My household there is selling and buying; to the prophets I am sending them, they say: "do not prophesy"; that time I was telling you previously has come, when Cardinal will go against Cardinal, bishop against bishop; priest against priest; the Divider's power has infiltrated like smoke into My House to besiege My land; his destructive work is strong and his favourite targets are My consecrated souls; he turns their thoughts to follow the passions of their hearts; the Rebel, wherever he passes leaves his curse behind .... he has sworn to lift you one against another; he has sworn, in his fury, to sift you all, especially My consecrated ones and plunder them; he has sworn to use you all as his toy; I tell you: anyone whose heart is not upright will succumb, but the upright will live through faithfulness;

    be strong Vassula, I, Jesus, bless you and your comrades; do not judge; we, us? I love you; peace; ic;
  24. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    In the Message that I quoted above, this part seems so true in these days where we see displays of anger and pride in all areas of life!

    I tell you: anyone whose heart is not upright will succumb, but the upright will live through faithfulness;
  25. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Yes, andree, we are certainly seeing the fulfillment of prophecy in our days, from TLIG and Akita particularly. I think I view Cardinal Ouellet's letter more positively because Archbishop Vigano's two accusatory documents needed to be responded to and Cardinal Ouellet's letter responds forcefully yet mercifully to Archbishop Vigano.

    It is ironic, yet not surprising, that one day after the publication of Ouellet's letter, the fiercely anti-Francis websites (churchmilitant, lifesitenews, onepeter5 etc) have hardly mentioned it! They highlighted Vigano's request that Cardinal Ouellet respond to Vigano's accusations yet don't want to publicize that response! All this confirms in a very clear way that they are driven by an anti-Francis agenda and are only interested in 'news' which fits in with that agenda.

    I would like to take this opportunity to quote some words from Vassula regarding the current situation regarding the attacks being made on Pope Francis. In response to a recent request which she received to comment on Pope Francis, this is what she said:

    Pope Francis has approached Unity with the Orthodox Church like no other Pope and this is the reason the devil has turned wild on him and has created all this chaos and persecution against him, vomiting on him by the so called stiff necked Catholics who still call the Orthodox schismatic and who would never want to BEND to be able to unite. The Catholics who are persecuting him should wake up !​

    This is the strong language of a prophet! We should read Cardinal Ouellet's letter with the knowledge that he is speaking honestly of the facts about events surrounding McCarrick. His forceful criticisms of Vigano's behaviour since the Archbishop issued his accusatory documents is well based yet merciful - "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"

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2018
  26. Stephen

    Stephen Member

    ''stiff necked Catholics'' haha I like that expression and sums it up nicely. It's funny how I got here as I initially came to view the messages in handwritten form to share them with friends. But just prior to doing that I got attacked by a member of the SSPX on social media for sharing the Cardinals new letter rebuking Vigano for his public display in which he called the Orthodox schismatic as well so reading Vassula's words was timely in that sense.

    Bishop against Bishop we are told but what is left to us is knowing which Bishop is right and which Bishop is wrong but I think those of us involved in TLIG already have an advantage when it comes to obtaining a compass in that regard as to where our loyalties should be and to whom.

    My opinion is that both these modernist bishops who are purposefully covering up stuff and those fundamentalist type who want a pre Vatican II Church are greatly damaging the Church as always leading many on the path of spiritual perdition. And because we do not have any knowledge as to what bishop is covering up and what bishop is not there is a temptation to get sucked into Church politics which is of no advantage to us whatsoever. In fact it is spiritually damaging to engage with these Catholic media outlets and infighting of clergy which are a distraction from prayer. We should just continue reading the messages, enjoying Sunday Mass and praying and so on and leave this fight and this mess to God and those with a vocation to sift through it all.

    Just as a final note, the saddest of all cases of these self styled Catholic media outlets would have to be Michael Voris and his vortex or church militant. I recall in the beginning me and Fr.John Abberton would enjoy his programs on facebook but I noticed something not right after sometime and it became very aggressive. I alerted Fr.John of this but he still didn't seem to mind until they attacked Medjugorje and then he began to see something isn't right. I think it's sad because Michaels story of conversion is very touching but as always happens during the conversion process there is a fight of the spiritual bodiless powers that be and the Devil always gets involved and derails you. If he doesn't get us into heresy he'll take us to the right and give us unholy motives to do holy things etc etc.

    We should pray for Michael.
  27. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Yes, Stephen, as you say, we do not have knowledge about who may or may not be 'covering up' and even if we did we shouldn't be judging them. Yet in the quote I've taken from your post you seem to have fallen into the trap straight away when you refer to "both these modernist bishops". This term 'modernist' is what all the critics of Francis use in large spoonfuls. I was banned from a forum for being a 'modernist'. It is a word that has come to mean, in religious circles, "people I disagree with"!
  28. Stephen

    Stephen Member

    I understand where you're coming from but in a classroom in 2010 whilst studying for B.A in theology I was labelled a ''Fundamentalist'' and by another priest a ''heretic'' for my views so the word fundamentalist has also become a word to mean ''people I disagree with''. I have also been called a modernist by the SSPX too. Whenever I try to reach out to either of these people they call me either a modernist or a fundamentalist depending upon which type of mindset I'm conversing with. When I use the term ''modernist'' I mean it in it's truest sense that there are modernist Bishops who hold very explicit heretical positions as well as theologians of the same. I'm talking big red flags like women being priests and contraception and the demise of the Liturgy.

    I don't mind people using these words as long as they're using them in their right sense for we cannot simply abandon the label just because some have abused it and tend to as you say use it in large spoonfuls in a very incorrect way. In any case we know that the Church will always be more modern than the modernist and yet more fundamental than the fundamentalist to quote Archbishop Fulton Sheen from his book ''Old errors new labels''. What Archbishop Fulton Sheen is saying I guess is that there is there's the fundamentalist, there's the modernist and then theres the CATHOLIC hahahaa.

    Congratulations on being banned from the forum what a blessing that must be. I never get banned from anything these days and everyone seems to be ok with me which makes me worried I must be doing something wrong hahahaha.
  29. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting this David. I believe what Jesus tells us about the importance of unity of course, but it has been through studying history that I am seeing just that the only forces that are truly united at the moment are evil! They are working together towards their twisted ideals, which I believe is based on occult knowledge. If the Church were to come together, ours would be the strongest power and we would defeat evil forces, so it's no wonder there is such opposition to any movements towards unity of Christians.

    But as God says through TLIG "anyone whose heart is not upright will succumb" and hence sins of pride, idolatry, etc lead the faithful to sin against the Church through attacks on the Holy Father.

    On a related note, I enjoyed reading this morning the translation of an interview of Alessandro Gnocchi in Robert Moynihan's latest letter. I see that Gnocchi is not a supporter of the pope, but that is not the part of the interview that moves me: it is his take on the problem in the Church, now and going back decades, before Vatican II. And the problem is a lack of Holiness. Here are a few good excerpts:

    This, for me, is the most painful point, because I too had fallen into the trap of the equation "good doctrine equals good Church."

    The facts show us that this is not the case.

    Among the vices of the Catholic Church is that of formalism linked to an excessively juridical mentality.

    The idea that one may simply state the letter (of the law) correctly to save any practice. In this way we have arrived, and not just over one century, to a Church founded on canon law instead of the Gospel.

    When we do not have holiness as our first goal, we end up corrupting everything that comes after, and I mean everything.

    Good doctrine is proclaimed only as a weapon to wage war on one's adversaries.

    But when the doctrine is used as a weapon, it always ends up being adapted to the war and, therefore, is altered.

    We start by considering the doctrine under a new, instrumental aspect, and we end up finding a new doctrine, perhaps more effective, but a new one in our hands.

    Not to mention that if you use it to wage war and the war is lost, the doctrine will succumb together with the defeated.

    I assure you that this is what has happened in the years we are talking about, involving names that I considered crystalline only because I applied the deceptive equation "good doctrine equals good Church."

    This is how we arrived at the famous midnight of October 10, 1962.

    If there is no faith, if there is no holiness, these are the results: good doctrine handled by a corrupt person is worth the same as bad doctrine handled by a person of integrity.​

    ...Only holiness is subversive with respect to this infernal order in which we are immersed.​
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  30. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add something related to the above interview with Gnocchi, which I read in Maria Valtorta. I can't find the exact quote right now but in one of the Notebooks Jesus says that some acts that were not exactly holy were rendered holy when done by Saints. In short, it is the great LOVE in them that makes some actions holy.

    So some Christians base their actions on copying actions of Saints. For example in criticizing the Pope, we can find that this Saint or that one wrote to the Pope, chastised him etc. But we can't necessarily follow that action of a Saint example because it's not necessarily that action that is good in itself, but the holiness of the Saint that made it right at the time. Plus, they could have been moved by the Holy Spirit or some mission from above. But when we do the same thing thinking that action is right, but with our lack of love, we end up sinning.

    I'll try to find the passage and post it later.

    This Valtorta passage reminds me of this passage in TLIG, both of which have a scriptural basis:

    - tell Me, what is religion? religion is when you have promised God to be dedicated to Him, committed to God, filled with trust and faith until the end comes, but never without love in you; for love forgives your sins; love is man’s constant calling; so no man should be surprised when I co-operate with those who love Me, with all those I have anointed and called to be My prophets, and for any other purpose;

    ah, there is one more thing; I heard your friend ask you a question to which I will answer: ‘if God is good, why is there so much suffering?’

    by My divine power I have given you all the things that you need for life – to be happy – however, how many in this world gave Me true devotion? devotion is lacking, and when devotion is not there, this alone alienates one to know Me and understand Me;1 I have called everyone by My own glory and goodness to be good; I have never ceased giving you gifts, gifts that will enable you to share the divine nature, escaping corruption in this world full of corruption and vice; but love is missing in this world, replaced by all sorts of vices that are self destructive, not only on your soul but on your body as well; you are suffering by your own fault, and from your own hand...not Mine;
  31. Radhe

    Radhe Well-Known Member

    Ah yes....slander, calumny the currency of the left, and liberals, and the "stiff necked".
    In the political arena in America this spirit of slander it appears is alive and well. Sadly also in the church.

    Yes andree about doctrine. I am chatting with other denominations.
    A guy I know raises his theology all the time I just dont engage but listen. The effects of tlig or am I just getting old? Trying to convince people I find tiresome.
    Padre Pio employed an economy of words. If you can evangelise convincingly you are blessed. Anyway maybe all this furore is a sign the devil is worried - good!

    Stephen I think you make your points very well. State your truth as best you can and leave it with them, the name calling is an admission they have no reasoned answer....
  32. karnala

    karnala Well-Known Member

    I read this recently from Archbishop Fulton Sheen (on Medjugorje Inspirationals yahoo group) -

    A liberal is one who has lost sight of the shore

    "Self-will always repudiates a truth which challenges it. However successful self-will may be, it is never satisfied; that is why the egotist is always critical. The ‘head that wears the crown is uneasy,’ not because he is tired of the crown, but because he is tired of himself. He has it within his power to do anything he pleases, and this living without boundaries and limitations becomes as dull and stagnant as a swamp. A river must be happier than a swamp because it has banks and boundaries; a swamp is a valley of liberty that lost its shores and became ‘liberal.’"
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  33. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Archbishop Vigano has now come back to defend himself against Cardinal Ouellet's letter copied above. This is a good example of why Pope Francis was wise to keep out of responding directly to Vigano. When I was on the anti-Francis forum I mentioned earlier, responding to specific accusations always led to more or modified accusations!

    Here is a response by Andrea Tornielli to the latest letter from Vigano. Mr Tornielli is a faithful defender of the Pope:

    Viganò admits that the actions against McCarrick were not sanctions
    New communiqué from the former nuncio who replies to Ouellet: he no longer asks for the resignation of Pope Francis but continues to accuse him of having covered up the American cardinal


    Pubblicato il 19/10/2018

    This new communiqué uses a partially different tone compared to the previous one, a sign that the harsh response of Cardinal Marc Ouellet, to whom the former nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò replied almost three weeks later, hit the mark. Viganò, the churchman behind the dossier released on 26 August by an anti-papal media network while Francis was celebrating the World Meeting of Families in Ireland, asking for the resignation of the Pontiff, now seems to have slightly changed in register.

    In the new document, released in Italy by the journalist Marco Tosatti (a direct collaborator of the former nuncio for the editing of the first dossier),responding to Ouellet's obvious accusation of being unfair to the Pope, Viganò replies: "It is not surprising that in drawing attention to these plagues, I am accused of being unfair to the Holy Father and of fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion. But the rebellion would imply pushing others to overthrow the papacy. I am not exhorting anything of the kind". Viganò and those who helped him with the editing, as well as the entire anti-papal media network that supported him, however, fail to remember that the dossier of 26 August ended with an attempt to take Francis’ papacy down by asking for his resignation.

    Now instead the former nuncio says: "I pray every day for Pope Francis more than I have ever done for the other popes. I ask, indeed ardently beg, that the Holy Father confront with the commitments he has undertaken. Accepting to be the successor of Peter, he took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and the responsibility of guiding all souls in following Christ, in spiritual combat, by the way of the cross. Admit your mistakes, repent, show that you want to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once repentant, confirm your brothers".

    Viganò repeats the accusation against Bergoglio, who in his opinion entrusted Cardinal Theodore McCarrick with "important new responsibilities and missions". Without however mentioning which kind of responsibilities, given that McCarrick, already over eighty years old at the time of Pope Francis’s election, traveled freely around the world both during the pontificate of Benedict and during that of his successor, until - faced with a new complaint that for the first time spoke of an abuse of a minor - Bergoglio himself for the first time harshly sanctioned the old cardinal.

    It is interesting how the former nuncio admits that the actions established by Benedict XVI against McCarrick were not and never have been "sanctions". In his first dossier, Viganò wrote: "Pope Benedict had imposed sanctions on Card. McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis." Circumstance absolutely not true, given that Francis publicly ordered the cardinal to live as a recluse and then took away his purple hat while those of Pope Ratzinger were, to use the words of Ouellet, "strong recommendations". Now Viganò recognizes that these were "instructions" and, as his supporters have already done in recent days in an attempt to belittle the scope of Ouellet's letter, affirms that "sanctions" or even "instructions" are and would be subtleties: "To discuss whether they were sanctions or measures or what else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view, it is exactly the same thing. Yet that is not exactly the case. This is demonstrated by the fact that McCarrick continued to do what he did before, during the pontificate of Benedict XVI without taking into account the "instructions" received without anything happening to him and without the same nuncio Viganò putting particular effort to ensure that they were respected, appearing instead at his side several times as if nothing had happened and as the video documents attest.

    In his reply Viganò argues that Ouellet's letter confirms everything he said. But it does not go into the merits of the political-media operation and of the attempt to have the only Pope to have heavily sanctioned McCarrick resigned. Moreover, the former nuncio in the new document states: "There is a point on which I must absolutely deny what Cardinal Ouellet writes. The cardinal states that the Holy See was only aware of simple "rumors", not sufficient to be able to take disciplinary measures against McCarrick". "I affirm instead that the Holy See was aware of several concrete facts and in possession of supporting documents, and that in spite of this the people in charge preferred not to intervene or were prevented from doing so. McCarrick's settlement to the victims of sexual abuse in the archdiocese of Newark and in the diocese of Metuchen, the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the Montalvo nuncios in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes on the matter to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete accusations against McCarrick, are they just rumours? They are official letters, not sacristy gossip. The crimes reported were very serious, there were also those of the acquittal of accomplices in disrespectful acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators, that of their protectors and the chronological sequence of events. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is necessary to recover them".

    Viganò also reiterates that homosexuality, the cause of "corruption of the priesthood and the hierarchy", is at the root of clergy abuses. It is an enormous hypocrisy to deplore the abuse, to say that one cries for the victims, but refuses to denounce the main cause of so many sexual abuses: homosexuality.It is hypocritical refusing to admit that this plague is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and not resorting to the means to remedy it".
  34. David

    David Well-Known Member

    And here Andrea Tornielli gives a more considered reflection on Vigano's third letter:

    The Viganò case and the religious’ justifications that divide the Church
    Analysis of the weaknesses of the political-media operation - episode 3 - organized by the former nuncio and his supporters

    Pubblicato il 22/10/2018

    The third episode of the dossier Viganò, the political-media operation with which the former nuncio to the United States and his supporters have tried - since 25 August last - to put the Pontiff on trial, going so far as to ask for his resignation, presents an incisive chronological summary of the statements claimed by Francis’ accuser. As has already been pointed out by more than one person, the tone - not the substance - of the third attack appears slightly different from the previous two. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in fact insists on the reasons that led him to his sensationalistic gesture by presenting religious self-justifications.

    The former nuncio to the United States who tried to force the Successor of Peter to leave office writes: “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”.

    That’s exactly what happened. Operation Viganò, i.e. the attempt to shift all responsibility onto the current Pontiff for the mismanagement of the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, further raised the level of tension in a Church already exhausted by the re-emergence of scandals mostly belonging to the past, which placed numerous bishops on the stand for not having acted correctly in the face of child abuse perpetrated by their priests. If Pope Francis considered it appropriate to invite all the faithful to pray the Rosary in the Marian month of October with a special intention for the Church under attack from the devil who wants to divide, dusting off the old prayer to St Michael the Archangel, this means that what is happening is particularly dramatic.

    For this reason, the following passages of Viganò’s third “communiqué” should be singled out: “Yet I believe that my continued silence - the former nuncio writes- 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 long-standing 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”.

    In this passage, Viganò reveals here for the first time that what moved him to implement his political-media operation with the attached request for papal resignation was not only the management of the McCarrick case. The former nuncio in fact is not concerned about causing scandal, creating confusion and dividing the Church - he himself is the one who explains it to us - only because, in his opinion, even before his sensationalist memorial and his indictment of the reigning Pope, the emeritus Pope and their holy predecessor, along with their respective entourages, the confusion and division reigned supreme.

    What exactly is Viganò referring to, when he claims that Francis failed in his mission to confirm his brothers in the faith? Is he perhaps thinking of the debate following the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris laetitia? Or is he referring to the constant and pounding refrain coming from certain media pulpits that every day attack the Pope and 99 percent of the bishops, creating confusion and then denounce that there is confusion in the Church?

    Here, however, is the justification: Viganò wrote what he wrote, and published it while the Pope was celebrating his meeting with families in Dublin, urging the resignation of the Bishop of Rome, without fear of creating scandal and division. Without caring what his gesture would mean in the eyes of the vast majority of the faithful, that is, an attack to the heart of the Church with the Pope’s indictment. The former nuncio acquitted himself, for he was convinced that “so much confusion” already existed.

    “Therefore I spoke- he writes again in his third “communiqué” - 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”. Viganò says he has done what he has done for the good of the Church and believes that the political-media operation he has set up, thanks to an organized network of supporters already trained daily from their web and social pulpits to charge the Pontiff with any kind of accusation, is justified. Indeed, he says that he would have feared the divine judgment if he had not spoken, instead of fearing him for having done what he has done. This insisted mystical-religious self-justification is therefore the newest element on the part of the archbishop, who does move back a millimeter from the operation he orchestrated. In what, then, would the “conspiracy of silence” consist? In the fact that McCarrick’s episcopal, archiepiscopal and finally cardinal nomination was a mistake?

    As for the accurate chronological summary, it is important to try to distinguish the facts from the forced interpretations and the obvious falsehoods. The attempt to place all the blame on Pope Francis for the handling of the McCarrick case appears in all its obvious bias. In order to achieve this objective - the only real goal, evident from the beginning in the whole operation - Viganò is forced to insist on alleged facts that are no facts, but rather fake news. The first of these concerns the metropolitan legend according to which Cardinal McCarrick was forced not to travel and live withdrawn during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, while during the pontificate of Francis he obtained “responsibilities and missions”.

    The former nuncio to the United States and his supporters continue to repeat this lie by pretending not to see the amount of documentation - available to anyone - that shows the opposite: McCarrick never stopped travelling, around the world, carrying out missions (never on behalf of the Holy See) meeting heads of state and religious leaders in Africa, the Middle East, Asia. And this during three pontificates, and even after receiving instructions or recommendations (never turned into real sanctions) that invited him to stop and live withdrawn. Viganò suggests that Francis changed Benedict’s (never obeyed) instructions and that too is false. It is true instead that, unlike his predecessor Pietro Sambi, Viganò himself as apostolic nuncio to Washington did not appear so prompt in insisting with McCarrick that he stop and retire to a more withdrawn life. The images of Viganò who in 2012 (during Pope Ratzinger’s pontificate) congratulated the American cardinal and greeted him affectionately with a kiss on the cheek are under everyone’s’ eyes to see.

    The bias of the operation lies precisely in wanting to put on trial, asking for his resignation, the only Pontiff who really sanctioned - and in a very serious way - McCarrick, when the accusation of having abused a minor were considered credible (still with the canonical trial not concluded), which emerged for the first time in September 2017. Even considering the memories of the former nuncio credible, to think that, having told the Pope a single sentence about the past of the over eighty-year-old (who had already resigned seven years ago) Cardinal McCarrick, without having brought, or sent later, any written note and without having communicated any element of denunciation or new report, to think that that would be enough to ask for the resignation of a Pontiff, indicates the point at which the awareness of what the Church is has dissolved.

    Another point that is now being passed for certain, without ever really being so, is the role of kingmaker that McCarrick would have had in some episcopal appointments in the United States. Viganò repeats it, as sites and blogs that now support the operation had already been doing before him, without bringing any evidence to support this thesis. What’s more, the former nuncio to the United States makes it clear that certain appointments to some important U.S. offices have marked a change in the Church’s doctrine on the subject of homosexuality and pedophilia. But even that is clearly false. All the more so because Viganò forgets two incontrovertible facts: the first is that each Pontiff, once elected, decides, for certain appointments and episcopal sees, not to always follow the indications of the nuncio or of the Episcopal Conferences. And then that the two American cardinals promoted by Francis and targeted by Viganò, Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark, did not become bishops and archbishops during the current pontificate, but under the two previous Popes.

    Equally questionable is the concerted insistence with which Viganò’s supporters follow the former nuncio in presenting clergy homosexuality as the problem that lies at the root of child sexual abuse. This is not a true theory, because any sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults by priests is first and foremost an abuse of clerical power and an abuse of conscience.

    Finally, in his third “communiqué”, Carlo Maria Viganò puts his finger on the scourge of undervaluation that led to the appointment of McCarrick as cardinal and for not having sanctioned him with greater determination. This is a problem that concerns the past and the process of selecting bishops. In his 27 years of pontificate, John Paul II has nominated thousands of them, and among them there has also been some “rotten apples”. It’s enough to mention the names of Cardinals Hans Hermann Gröer, Patrick O’Brien and McCarrick himself; or the cases of Archbishops Juliusz Paetz and Jozef Wesolowski, just to mention some of the most striking. Popes are not infallible when they designate a new bishop or a cardinal on the basis of the information available at that time. Karol Wojtyla’s holiness is not questioned by some of the historical choices he has made, as questionable and discussed are those of every Bishop of Rome, and the canonization of the Pope does not entail the halo goes also to his entourage, his collaborators, and their choices.

    Just as it would be equally wrong, to point the finger at Pope Benedict - the great initiator of a relentless struggle against the phenomenon of clerical pedophilia, with difficult and courageous choices - for not having sanctioned McCarrick harder after accepting his resignation from the diocese in 2006. Since there were no reports at that time of cases of abuse of minors (the complaint against the cardinal relating to this came, as already mentioned, only in 2017), and since he was a cardinal - by then emeritus - Pope Ratzinger’s collaborators chose to try and convince him to live in retreat and not to travel. Without acting harder in the face of the obvious disobedience of the person concerned. In the same way, the attempt to indict Francis, who arrived at the papal throne when the McCarrick question was considered closed, appears in all its specious enormity. The subsequent accusation of child abuse reopened the case, and the Pope acted, with a harshness that had not been recorded in the Church for 91 years, to the point of removing the purple hat from the archbishop emeritus of Washington.

    Does this mean then that everything, concerning the management of the case, was conducted to the best of one’s ability? Obviously not. The Pope, who in the case of Chile acknowledged his share of responsibility in not having given credit to the accusations of Father Karadima’s victims about the involvement of Bishop Barros, announced a thorough investigation into McCarrick. But the solution certainly doesn’t lie in listening to those who rise up as great accusers, to those who self-invest themselves in the mission of supreme judge, to those who rush to find the speck in the eyes of others forgetting the log stuck in their own. The Church cannot turn into a great tribunal, torn apart by powerful political-media lobbies that would like to dictate her agenda. There is no doubt that better procedures are needed for appointing bishops and a shrewder selection in the seminaries, going so far as to ordain only men who are able to live in celibacy, even if there will still be scandals because sin, as long as the world lasts, will never be eradicated. But first and foremost, it is necessary to rediscover the essential of the Christian message, namely that the Church is not founded on the skill of its pastors or its members - from the Pope to the last faithful - nor is it saved by the best business practices of those who mistake it with a multinational. The Gospel is saved and proclaimed, if those who are part of it look at the Another, recognizing themselves as fragile sinners in need of infinite mercy. All, from the Pope to the last faithful.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  35. David

    David Well-Known Member

    The Pope, Viganò and the “dossier war”: the background in a book

    The insightful inquiry by Tornielli and Valente, “Il Giorno del Giudizioˮ (Day of Judgment) on the conflicts and clashes of power rocking the Church, today in bookstores

    Pubblicato il 06/11/2018

    The urge is to tell you how it ends. But it can’t be spoiled. Because Il Giorno del Giudizio, (The Day of Judgment) the book written by Andrea Tornielli and Gianni Valente (ed. Piemme), is not a novel, but a journalistic investigation with the rhythm and twists of a thriller, whose ending, still to be written, could shake the foundations of the millenary solidity of the Vatican. An investigation rich in exclusive documents and unpublished testimonies, which photographs with surgical precision the assault on Pope Bergoglio’s pontificate by forces that can be traced back to the same stubbornly conservative sensibility, which, after six years spent plotting in the shadows, have decided to bring to light the resounding dissent towards a revolutionaryArgentine priest capable of rekindling the faith in the hearts of millions of people, downsizing the longings of the ecclesiastical hierarchies and focusing their attention on the poor, humble and outcastes. The message once again becomes more important than the medium. An unsettling reminder of the origins of Christianity that frightens consolidated power.

    But power does not let itself be attacked without reacting. And in this case, it reacted with such ferocity it makes the contemporary Church seem “more of a battlefield than a field hospital”. The terrain chosen for the assault is the most difficult one: pedophilia, exploited and hurled against the Pontiff who fought it more than anyone else, with a dossier by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States.

    Tornielli and Valente, two of the most well-known and informed Vatican journalists at international level, write in the introductory pages: “What we are witnessing is not only the emergence of the mysterium iniquitatis, of the mystery of evil and sin that shatters it from within and that has always existed. The novelty of our times is the disappearance, precisely in the Church and in some of her pastors, of the consciousness of what the Church is [...]. It is a self-referential and destructive cave-in. The following pages represent an attempt to help readers distinguish between truth, half-truths and the biased disinformation spread by different so-called “Catholic media”, as well as to accompany them in understanding what is really happening”. The journey is not only exciting, it is revealing.

    Tornielli and Valente, holders of a privileged relationship with the world of Bergoglio, do not rely on their own feelings or personal convictions. They rely on the existing papers. Using as a starting point, precisely that eleven-page dossier entitled “Testimony”, in which the former nuncio Viganò reconstructs the story of Theodore McCarrick, the disgraced cardinal and archbishop of Washington from 2000 to 2006, accused of sexual abuse of adult seminarians and a minor. Viganò accuses dozens of senior clergymen of having covered up McCarrick and points his finger at Pope Francis asking for his resignation. But how real and well-founded are the accusations?

    After reading this outstanding book-document that also criticizes a certain “Bergoglio-chic” world accustomed to projecting its own agenda and desires onto the Pope, it would be easy to answer: they are completely unfounded. But Il Giorno del Giudizio does much more than that. It tells the plots, the protagonists, the objectives and the reasons for the venoms, not only to set things straight, but also, to restore the stolen dignity of those priests who, far from the conspiracies, carry out their task in a coherent and truthful way.

    There are two Churches apparently: one of the truth and one of the devil. To the point that on 12 September the Washington Post wrote: “Time is running out, Pope Francis”. Is that so? The conflict in progress is the most delicate and dangerous ever. And it could result in a schism, or the rebirth of a new Church that is finally ready to recover its role of authentic leader of Christianity.

  36. David

    David Well-Known Member

    14 November 2018 | by Christopher Lamb
    New book throws light on Viganò and McCarrick


    The 288-page book, published last week, and so far only available in Italian, draws on sources who worked with Viganò

    “The truth emerges,” Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post once said.

    It’s a phrase that might usefully be applied to the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal ambassador to the United States, who in August called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly ignoring sexual misconduct allegations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In an explosive 11-page dossier of accusations, he claimed that the Pope had not only ignored formal sanctions that had been placed on McCarrick but had elevated him to a role as trusted adviser; he also made assertions about the pernicious influence of “homosexual currents” in the Vatican.

    Since then, Archbishop Viganò has pulled back from his call for the Pope to resign, and has admitted there weren’t formal sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick, only private restrictions.

    A new book, “Il Giorno del Giudizio” (“The Day of Judgment”), by two experienced Vatican journalists, Andrea Tornielli (whose interviews with Pope Francis were published in 2016 as “The Name of God is Mercy”) and Gianni Valente, helps to untangle Archbishop Viganò’s claims further, placing them into context and going some way to separating fact from fiction.

    The 288-page book, published last week, and so far only available in Italian, draws on sources who worked with Viganò and from inside the Vatican. Although many details of the McCarrick case remain mysterious, this is a forensic and sober analysis that sheds new light on the career of the 88-year-old McCarrick, who was removed from public ministry and the College of Cardinals by Francis when a credible allegation he had abused a minor emerged. What “Il Giorno del Giudizio” tries to demonstrate is that attempts to turn the McCarrick saga into a “J'accuse” against Francis involves twisting facts to suit an agenda. Viganò, Tornielli and Valente claim, built a castle of accusations on grains of truth.

    A new claim made in the book is that McCarrick’s sexual misconduct – which included inviting seminarians to share his bed at a beach house – was reported to the Vatican in 1999, a few months before Pope John Paul II appointed McCarrick Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, according to the authors’ sources, "wrote a heartfelt letter” to Rome in which he referred to “homosexual harassment” by McCarrick. “He declared that McCarrick was charismatic, very good at raising funds,” the book explains. “O'Connor remembered that he had recommended him in the past but that now, in conscience, he felt that he should not be chosen [for Washington].”

    The writers add that Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who held the post of “sostituto”, a papal chief of staff equivalent from 1989-2000 before becoming Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops two months ahead of McCarrick’s appointment to Washington, was also opposed to the nomination. If true this detail would correspond with Viganò’s claim that Cardinal Re had told him that McCarrick was fourteenth on the list for Washington. The decision to transfer Archbishop McCarrick from Newark to Washington, according to Tornielli and Valente, was made in the “papal apartments” without being discussed by the Congregation for Bishops. By “apartments”, read the Pope John Paul II and his closest aide, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, longtime personal secretary to the Polish Pope, and now the retired Archbishop of Krakow.

    Tornielli and Valente report how John Paul II was impressed by McCarrick during his 1995 papal visit to the United States, which had begun in Newark. McCarrick, then Archbishop of Newark, had learnt some Polish after spending two years working with immigrants from Poland. He was solid on doctrine and committed to social action. He would be able to wield the levers of power in Washington and was in the room when President Bill Clinton met John Paul II during that 1995 trip.

    Nevertheless, rumours about McCarrick’s behaviour with seminarians persisted with the United States nunciature receiving a letter from the Dominican priest Fr Boniface Ramsey in 2000. What sources tell the authors of the new book is that when confronted McCarrick emphatically denied claims against him, describing them as false and slanderous. No individual seminarians came forward with testimony, and there was a reluctance on John Paul II’s part to believe the concerns. Smearing priests with allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse was a strategy that had frequently been used by the Communist party in his Polish homeland.

    Benedict XVI took a tougher line against McCarrick, deciding to place the retired archbishop under restrictions. He was told not to travel, not to celebrate Mass in public, not to give lectures and to avoid taking part in public meetings. But McCarrick flouted the instructions as though they didn’t exist. He would become hostile when challenged and at one point complained during a lunch at the nunciature in Washington saying: “This is a persecution!” His complaints came after a 2008 letter detailing the sanctions, written in English, was sent by Cardinal Re to McCarrick via the then nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi. McCarrick was ordered in that letter to move out of the seminary he had been living in – he reluctantly obeyed the instruction. Nevertheless, McCarrick kept up his travels and continued with life as normal. He remained a member of two Vatican bodies, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the powerful APSA (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See), right up until he reached his 80th birthday in July 2010.

    After Archbishop Viganò was sent to Washington as papal ambassador to the United States in 2011 nothing changed for McCarrick and, if anything, life became more comfortable for the retired archbishop. Viganò invited McCarrick to the nunciature to attend receptions, McCarrick takes part in the US bishops 2012 “ad limina” visit to Rome, where he concelebrates Mass at the tomb of St Peter, and in the same year, he is described by Viganò as “much loved by us all” at a gala dinner. A year later, at the time of Francis’ election, McCarrick is now 82-years-old, long retired and no longer a voting cardinal. He greets Benedict XVI before the conclave and there are isn't any sign that restrictions are in force.

    As a cardinal over the age of 80, McCarrick plays a part in the pre-conclave discussions, but he is not a friend of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, nor, Tornielli and Valente say, does he play any kingmaker role in the 2013 conclave that elects Francis. They point out that six months after the election, at a conference at Villanova University, Philadelphia, McCarrick reveals he had been called by an Italian contact suggesting Cardinal Bergoglio might be elected. The Washington prelate said he had replied: “I don’t think so, because no one has mentioned his name.”

    Tornielli and Valente point out that after being elected to the See of Peter, the Pope gave McCarrick no official role, nor did he commission him to travel to China on his behalf, as implied by Viganò in his testimony. McCarrick was conducting his travels as a sole operator and often worked with charities and the US State Department. “Tomorrow, I am going to China,” he allegedly told Viganò after passing him in the lobby of the Pope’s residence. It wasn’t, Tornielli and Valente point out, the same as saying: “The Pope is sending me to China." They also cite an anonymous former collaborator of Viganò to dispute the ex-nuncio’s assertion that McCarrick was an influencer of episcopal appointments in the US, including the nomination of Cardinal Blase Cupich to Chicago. “This thesis … does not correspond to the truth,” the source who worked with Viganò says. Cupich’s name, the source explains, was already circulating and was being proposed as a candidate and the rumour about McCarrick’s influence originates from those frustrated that they no longer influence episcopal appointments in the US.

    Finally, on the constraints that McCarrick had been placed under, Tornielli and Valente point out that Francis never changed or altered the restrictions Benedict XVI had laid down. Had these sanctions had been “canonical”, or formal, as Viganò alleged in his testimony, they would have been put into effect after McCarrick ignored them. There is also a question mark over whether Francis had been fully informed of the restrictions he was supposed to have lifted on McCarrick, according Viganò. According to the former nuncio, during a 23 June 2013 conversation with the recently elected Francis, it was the Pope who first mentioned McCarrick and Viganò who informed him of the sanctions. There is no evidence that the nuncio followed this up in writing, nor was there any mention of the Pope being told about the allegation that McCarrick had abused a minor. For three more years Viganò continued as nuncio, ignoring what he later alleged were the canonical restrictions that had been placed on McCarrick.

    Tornielli and Valente point out that the retired archbishop’s testimony had the support of certain quarters in the US Church hostile to Francis’ pontificate. Viganò says that the Pope told him he did not want the bishops to be “ideologised” or to be culture warriors with a political agenda. While he was in the US, Viganò adopted many of the flagship issues of the culture warrior issues such as opposition too the legalisation of gay marriage and battling the government over contraception and healthcare. In a chapter titled “The American Schism”, Tornielli and Valente record that 24 US bishops issued statements praising Viganò following his 26 August testimony, without adding much in the way of support for the Pope he was attacking.

    The Pope has so far refused to say anything about Viganò’s testimony, simply urging journalists to analyse the claims and come to their conclusions. And he’s ordered an internal inquiry in the Vatican into the McCarrick saga. It is becoming increasingly clear that that will show that mistakes were made, and that different decisions should have been taken. But the attempt by Viganò and his allies to use this story in order to bring down Francis’ papacy seems to have stalled.

    “Truth is humble, truth is silent, the truth is not noisy,” the Pope said during Mass a week after Viganò had published his testimony. He added that “with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division” the only response is “silence”.

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