What you are about to read is an explosive testimony of the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, implicating Pope Francis and several senior prelates in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians and priests.
In an extraordinary 11-page written statement (see official English text below), Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, claims that Pope Francis knew about strict canonical sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.
In his testimony, dated August 22, Archbishop Viganò, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C. from 2011-2016, states that in the late 2000s, Benedict had “imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis,” and that Viganò personally spoke with Francis about the gravity of McCarrick’s abuse soon after his election in 2013.
But he says that Francis “continued to cover him” and not only did he “not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him” but also made McCarrick “his trusted counselor” who helped him to appoint a number of bishops in the United States, including Cardinals Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark.
Archbishop Viganò also implicates Cardinals Sodano, Bertone and Parolin in the cover-up and insists various other cardinals and bishops were well aware, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as Archbishop of Washington D.C.
“I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions, and I certainly didn’t need to go into detail because it was immediately clear to me that he was fully aware of it,” he writes. The Cardinal’s “recent statements that he knew nothing about it … are absolutely laughable. He lies shamelessly.”
“Cardinal Wuerl, well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict, transgressing the Pope’s order, also allowed him to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C. In doing so, he put other seminarians at risk,” he attests.
A widely respected figure, Archbishop Vigano says his “conscience dictates” that the truth be known as “the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy.” He ends his testimony by calling on Pope Francis and all of those implicated in the cover up of McCarrick’s abuse to resign.
In comments to LifeSiteNews on August 25, Archbishop Viganò said: “The main reason why I am revealing this news now is because of the tragic situation of the Church, which can be repaired only by the full truth, just as she has been gravely injured by the abuses and coverups. I do this to stop the suffering of the victims and to prevent new victims, and to protect the Church: only the truth can make her free.”
Viganò said the second reason he chose to write his testimony is “to discharge my conscience before God of my responsibilities as bishop of the universal Church. I am an old man and I want to present myself to God with clean conscience.”
Asked if he is concerned about critics who might suggest he is breaking the pontifical secret — a code of confidentiality applying to matters that require greater than ordinary confidentiality — he said: “The secrets in the Church, also the pontifical ones, are not taboos. They are instruments for protecting her and her children from her enemies. The secrets are not to be used for conspiracies.”
“The people of God have the right to know the full truth, also regarding their shepherds,” he said. “They have the right to be guided by good shepherds. In order to be able to trust them and love them, they have to know them openly in transparency and truth as they really are. A priest should be a light on a candlestick always and everywhere and for all.”