Former papal nuncio alleges broad cover-up of McCarrick’s misdeeds

In this 2010 file photo, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, concelebrate a Mass of thanksgiving in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) In this 2010 file photo, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, concelebrate a Mass of thanksgiving in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A former apostolic nuncio to the United States accused church officials, including Pope Francis, of failing to act on accusations of abuse of conscience and power by now-Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick.

In an open letter first published by Lifesite News and National Catholic Register Aug. 26, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who served as nuncio to the United States from 2011 to 2016, wrote that he was compelled to write his knowledge of Archbishop McCarrick's misdeeds because "corruption has reached the very top of the church's hierarchy."

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Archbishop Vigano confirmed to The Washington Post Aug. 26 that he wrote the letter and said he would not comment further. Despite repeated requests from journalists, the Vatican had not responded to the allegations by midday Aug. 26.

Throughout the 11-page testimony, which was translated by a Lifesite News correspondent, the former nuncio made several claims and accusations against prominent church officials, alleging they belong to "a homosexual current" that subverted church teaching on homosexuality.

Archbishop Vigano confirmed to The Washington Post Aug. 26 that he wrote the letter.

Citing the rights of the faithful to "know who knew and who covered up (Archbishop McCarrick's) grave misdeeds," Archbishop Vigano named nearly a dozen former and current Vatican officials who he claimed were aware of the accusations.

Archbishop Vigano criticized Pope Francis for not taking action against Cardinal McCarrick after he claimed he told the pope of the allegations in 2013. However, he did not make any criticism of St. John Paul II, who appointed Archbishop McCarrick to lead the Archdiocese of Washington and made him a cardinal in 2001.

According to the former nuncio's testimony, the Vatican was informed in 2000 of allegations that Archbishop McCarrick "shared his bed with seminarians" by two former U.S. nuncios—Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo and Archbishop Pietro Sambi. This corresponds to remarks by Father Boniface Ramsey, pastor of St. Joseph's Church Yorkville in New York City, who told Catholic News Service earlier in August he had written a letter "and it didn't seem to go anywhere."

Archbishop Vigano criticized Pope Francis for not taking action against Cardinal McCarrick after he claimed he told the pope of the allegations.

Archbishop Vigano said that in 2006, as the official in the Secretariat of State that coordinated relations with nunciatures around the world, he sent two memos recommending that the Holy See "intervene as soon as possible by removing the cardinal's hat from Cardinal McCarrick and that he should be subjected to the sanctions established by the Code of Canon Law."

"I was greatly dismayed at my superiors for the inconceivable absence of any measure against the cardinal, and for the continuing lack of any communication with me since my first memo in December 2006," he said.

The former nuncio claimed that Pope Benedict XVI later "imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis."

"I do not know when Pope Benedict took these measures against McCarrick, whether in 2009 or 2010, because in the meantime I had been transferred to the Governorate of Vatican City State, just as I do not know who was responsible for this incredible delay," he said.

Then-Cardinal McCarrick, he said, "was to leave the seminary where he was living" which, at the time, was the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Archbishop McCarrick, he added, was also "forbidden to celebrate Mass in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance."

Archbishop Vigano said that Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl was the first prelate informed of the sanctions against McCarrick.

However, no such sanctions, which normally are made public, were announced by the Vatican at the time.

The alleged sanctions, he said, continued to be in effect when Archbishop Vigano became apostolic nuncio to the United States in 2011 and were relayed to then-Cardinal McCarrick.

"I repeated them to Cardinal McCarrick at my first meeting with him at the nunciature. The cardinal, muttering in a barely comprehensible way, admitted that he had perhaps made the mistake of sleeping in the same bed with some seminarians at his beach house, but he said this as if it had no importance," Archbishop Vigano wrote.

Archbishop Vigano also said that Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C., was the first prelate informed of the sanctions against McCarrick. He said he spoke directly to Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions and that Cardinal Wuerl "failed to acknowledge receipt of my two letters, contrary to what he customarily did."

"His recent statements that he knew nothing about it, even though at first he cunningly referred to compensation for the two victims, are absolutely laughable. The cardinal lies shamelessly and prevails upon his chancellor, Msgr. Antonicelli, to lie as well," the archbishop wrote.

Archbishop Vigano himself has been accused of suppressing an investigation into alleged homosexual activity committed by retired Archbishop John Nienstedt.

He apparently was referring to Msgr. Charles V. Antonicelli, vicar general and moderator of the curia. The Washington Archdiocese chancellor is a layman, Kim Viti Fiorentino.

Contacted by Catholic News Service, Edward McFadden, secretary for communications for the Archdiocese of Washington, said: "In spite of what Archbishop Vigano's memo indicates, Cardinal Wuerl did not receive any documentation or information during his time in Washington, regarding any actions taken against Archbishop McCarrick."

He also alleged that several U.S. prelates were aware or should have known about then-Cardinal McCarrick's behavior, including retired Bishop Paul Bootkoski of Metuchen; retired Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark; Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, head of the Vatican office for laity and family and former auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., and Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Cardinal Farrell told Catholic News Service July 24: "I was shocked, overwhelmed; I never heard any of this before in the six years I was there with him."

In a June 20 statement, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark said: "The Archdiocese of Newark has never received an accusation that Cardinal McCarrick abused a minor. In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults. This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements."

In a July 29 statement, Cardinal Wuerl said: "When the first claim against Archbishop McCarrick was filed in the Archdiocese of New York, the Archdiocese of Washington reviewed its own files and found no complaints of any kind made against Archbishop McCarrick. Further, the confidential settlements involving acts by Archbishop McCarrick in the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark were not known previously to Cardinal Wuerl or the Archdiocese."

Cardinal O'Malley has apologized for what he described as an administrative communication failure in which his secretary did not relay to him a 2015 letter from Father Ramsey about allegations against Archbishop McCarrick.

Archbishop Vigano himself has been accused of suppressing an investigation into alleged homosexual activity committed by retired Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In a 2014 memo to St. Paul-Minneapolis Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piche. In the memo, Father Dan Griffith, a former delegate for Safe Environment for the archdiocese, said the former nuncio's call to end the investigation against Archbishop Nienstedt and to destroy a piece of evidence amounted to "a good old-fashioned cover-up to preserve power and avoid scandal."

Archbishop Nienstedt and Bishop Piche resigned in 2015 after the Ramsey County Attorney's Office filed criminal and civil charges against the archdiocese in its handling of sexual abuse perpetrated by former priest Curtis Wehmeyer in 2008-2011.

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Beth Cioffoletti
2 months 3 weeks ago

The ETWN approach blames Francis and his cardinals, Tobin, Cupich, McElroy and others, for the mess the Church is in, for promoting and tolerating the "homosexual culture”. All of this is an excuse for the ETWN-promoted homophobic attack on homosexuals.

The Vigano letter claims that Pope Francis' decisively incisive, accurate, right-on-target discernment of clericalism is the major cause of all these horrors. Vigano’s positiong - that the priest is sacred and untouchable - means a regress to an abominable homophobia that has no place in the Church - or society.

Francis may have made errors of judgment, but I  question any conscious and deliberate cover-up on his part. Vigano is, whether consciously or not, a spokesperson for EWTN's agenda to have Francis removed or totally discredited.

The decisive evidence, for me, is Vigano's quote of Janet Smith, a long-standing, arch-conservative critic and visceral opponent of Francis, a professor at the equally conservative University of Dallas, blaming the homosexual culture. Also, Vigano uses personal, insulting terms in describing Cupic and Tobin's decisions - a very disturbing and unprofessional way of expression for what is meant to be an objective report.

DISCERN carefully what Vigano says, there is an obvious ideological agenda, perhaps a well-funded support (EWTN) for his report.

Harvey Milk, MD
2 months 3 weeks ago

Beth,

I worked with Mother Angelica in the 1980s when her network was in Leeds. To her credit she did what a confernce of male bishops could not do: launch a satellite TV network. From there it was downhill. Angelica always cherry picked Popes, Liturgies, Bishops and disposition. Her wrath (a cardinal sin) set the template for NC Register, Edward Petin, Lifesitenewz and the usual rebellious, prideful satanic angels: scorched earth strategies

Thankfully we have history to remind us that these internet sites cant lay a finger to the blood of the martyrs. The former wage their wars from their comfortable, gluttonous, slothful homes and lifestyles, while the latter were killed for livimg their faith in person.

Homosexuals like my husband and me will not be dissuaded. Those who attack the Church can meet us in the trenches as we dirty our hands and smell like the sheep, but they will never join us. Theyd have to get uncomfortbale, disconnect from the internet and dirty their long silk capes.

Show me a picture of Carlo kissing the feet of children with AIDS or washing the feet of prisoners and perhaps he would have some credibility. Sadly you will find none but too many with his plush attire. We shall know them by their works

Viva Papa Francisco.

Ysais Martinez
2 months 2 weeks ago

D

James Haraldson
2 months 2 weeks ago

The idiotic contrivance of "clericalism" is a pretext to avoid identifying the depravity of homosexuality as the cause of the evils of homosexuality. Go ahead and invent caricatures. The evils of chastiphobia have existed for thousands of years, long before EWTN came into existence.
Even when a foolish man assumes the title of pope and abuses the very concept of mercy to where he limits it to alleviating guilt feelings and remains merciless to the victims of sin, the reality of immutable truth is not changed. The virtue of chastity is still a virtue, and the vices of sexual sins are still vices. Boneheaded cardinals can not change truth, which remains the unchanging reflection of the mind of God.

Lisa Weber
2 months 2 weeks ago

Beth,
Thank you for your comments. I think Cardinal Vigano's political stance in this letter is glaringly obvious. Pope Francis is being blamed for failing to deal adequately with McCarrick's misdeeds when McCarrick was appointed and elevated by other popes.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 3 weeks ago

The Archbishop delivers this with an oath to God as his witness, so his soul is on the line with these charges. He references many Church documents, and says they are available at the Secretariat of State of the Holy See or at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. Those documents, and some others in the Vatican, will need to be reviewed by the promised lay-led independent committee. We now wait for Pope Francis to announce the creation of such a committee.

Documents like this one “At the Nunciature in Washington there is a note, written in his hand, in which Cardinal Re disassociates himself from the appointment and states that McCarrick was 14th on the list for Washington. “ or an announcement [in an archdiocesan publication], inviting young men who thought they had a vocation to the priesthood to a meeting with Cardinal McCarrick.”
Archbishop Vigano has this quote from Pope Francis: “Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do ... If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.”
Vigano wrote Francis said to him, in June 23, 2013 “The bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing. They must not be left-wing, and when I say left-wing I mean homosexual.”

Harvey Milk, MD
2 months 3 weeks ago

“The Archbishop delivers this with an oath to God as his witness....”

so did Savonarola.

Catholic means universal, Tim. Try the other denominations who are founded on divorce (Anglican), protests (Lutherans) and autocephalus (Baptists)

Et unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam.

Its all pretty basic stuff

as for ideologies, Carlo is just that. Disparaging homosexuals as left wing reveals his animus and true color
I am decidedly homosexual and neither left wing nor right wing, but totally Catholic. Carlo is not.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Bill - understandable that the first reaction to the accuser is disbelief, denial and counter-accusation, as this was the painful response to so many cases of sex abuse. That is why I would like a formal lay-led investigation to separate the wheat from the chaff. As we saw from the Chilean episode, Pope Francis is not above making major errors in deciding who he believes and how he gets his information. Let's see what the investigation turns up. If Pope Francis doesn't approve one quickly, that will be a clear warning sign of his intentions.

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 months 2 weeks ago

“That is why I would like a formal lay-led investigation to separate the wheat from the chaff. ”

What gall

Yes, Tim, let the Holy Father follow your directives since that is after all what this is all about: you are Peter and Pope Francis is a hack. You will have to take a number, though. Vigano wants that Papal Tiara more than you, and you would do well not to mess with him or he will publish a letter outing all of your transgressions.

you have tremendous gall. Thanks for being consistent

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Guillermo - Several bishops have called for a lay-led investigation since the charge is clericalism and/or an internal homosexual lobby that is implicated in the cover-up. Contra your gallish suggestion, I do not suppose myself for this leadership. I just want want to support it. I do think the Gospel and Church would be served by ending the custom of the Tiara, and other medieval accouterments of royalty. But, Pope Francis is already doing that.

Crystal Watson
2 months 3 weeks ago

Depressing that the issue, sexual predation in the church, has turned into a contest between super-conservatives (anti-gay) and conservatives (gay-accepting). It's a political snake-pit where the actual victims don't matter except as pawns in a power struggle. If the general public knew what was really going on inside the church, they would throw up.

James Haraldson
2 months 2 weeks ago

I do so every time I read ridiculous characterizations like yours that absurdly seeks to project political spectrums onto the identification of truth.

Crystal Watson
2 months 2 weeks ago

I'm not saying the claims made about the pope are not true. Heaven knows his record on sex abuse isn't great. But to ignore political motives seems naive. It's not by coincidence the letter was first published at LifeSite.

Phillip Stone
2 months 2 weeks ago

Crystal, I am not American. What does your dialect of English mean by the word "political"? Simple words for the ignorant are necessary and omitting all the other words like left wing, right wing, conservative, liberal and Nazi and Fascist and Socialist and Communist if you wouldn't mind. I understand ancient Greek and modern Parisian French better than I do the perverted English of USA and Canada.

Crystal Watson
2 months 2 weeks ago

I just mean that there are factions in the church. The letter was written by a Traditionalist - the faction that dislikes Pope Francis because they see him as a reformer, someone too nice to LGBT people, someone who might change doctrine. So, it's possible the allegations against Francis weren't made with pure motives. That doesn't necessarily mean they aren't true, though.

James Haraldson
2 months 2 weeks ago

What she says is precisely the sort of cynical nonsense that has pervaded the Church for half a century. It is premised on the atheistic notion that truth is relative and dialectical, rather than an immutable reflection of the unchanging mind of God. There is nothing “reforming” about changing Catholic doctrine, which can not be changed, since it is the reflection of the mind of God.
God is not an idiot. Therefore, God can not change His mind. Self-worshiping “progressives” presuppose the idiocy of God and the superiority of themselves. So for them truth is always in flux. They fortify this fantasy with a false understanding of progress. It is true that discovery exists, and we expand knowledge about certain things. But we can only discover what God already knows and has known for eternity, and discovery must be coherent with all received knowledge. Since God is not an idiot, God did not abandon us to a capricious understanding of how we ought to order our lives together, as Jesus and His Church reminds us through eternity. Moral truth is innate and unchanging. Right is right, no matter how few are right, and wrong is wrong, no matter how many are wrong.

A Fielder
2 months 2 weeks ago

So Vigano blames Francis even though Saint JP2 made him a cardinal, and B16 apparently disciplined McCarrick. I can’t wait to see the evidence that McCarrick was disciplined about 7-8 years ago, even as Wuerl claims to know nothing about that. What a cluster...

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Vigano says Cardinal Sodano kept negative information on Maciel and McCarrick from St. Pope JPII. In any case, McCarrick was appointed cardinal by the Vatican's bureaucracy when the Pope was already incapacitated with Parkinson's disease. Let's have a full investigation and see where the chips fall.

Vincent Couling
2 months 2 weeks ago

"Vigano says Cardinal Sodano kept negative information on Maciel and McCarrick from St. Pope JPII."

What a trite argument ... if Vigano went directly to Pope Francis, then why not to JPII? Those abused by Maciel went public in 1997, when JPII was still of sound mind ... I find it hard to believe that he was not aware of the allegations! The other trite excuse trotted out is that in the Soviet Union, if you wanted to discredit someone you simply claimed that they were involved in matters gay, and that JPII dismissed such allegations against prelates as similar smear campaigns. None of this rings true, and it all warrants impartial and unfettered investigation ... including the Vigano / John "I'm a heterosexual man" Nienstedt angle.

James M.
2 months 2 weeks ago

If JP2 was too gaga to govern the Church, he should have been made to retire. The good of the Church is far more important than egoistic displays by any one Pope. He should have been turfed out as soon it was obvious that he was no longer capable of doing his job. If Sodano was keeping info from the Pope, he should be sacked. It’s high time the cardinals were called to account. This entire Vigano affair stinks. When is the Vatican swamp going to be drained ?

A Fielder
2 months 2 weeks ago

Tim, after I wrote this, I saw your link to the 11 page letter. I read it and thank you. The claim that McCarrick was actually disciplined. eventually, by B16 sounds quite credible. The conspiracy Vigano alleges is disheartening, to say the least. I have heard that people are also trying to expose the gay prostitution rings in Rome. I have a feeling things will get worse before they get better. In addition to the forensics, I hope we can have a real conversation about WHY such a high percentage of priests are gay. I hope that injustice to gay people had not laid the foundation for the mess we are in now. Monogamy should be encouraged, not secrecy and lies.

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 months 2 weeks ago

Thanks to Bill King for referencing Savonarola.
Birds of a feather!

“Girolamo Savonarola (Italian: [dʒiˈrɔːlamo savonaˈrɔːla]; 21 September 1452 – 23 May 1498) was an Italian Dominican friar and preacher active in Renaissance Florence. He was known for his prophecies of civic glory, the destruction of secular art and culture, and his calls for Christian renewal. ” - Wiki

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

The testimony of 2 witnesses makes the sanctions very likely: 1) Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, was first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d'Affaires ad interim after the unexpected death of Nuncio Pietro Sambi. He refused to give CNA an interview but confirmed “Viganò said the truth. That’s all.” 2) A priest in St. Thomas the Apostle parish confirms McCarrick moved into his rectory a few months after the sanction, and further suspicious details.

More detail

1) Viganò directly cites Msgr. Lantheaume as having told him about the encounter, following his arrival in D.C to replace Sambi as nuncio in 2011.
Apparently, he witnessed a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour, that Nuncio Sambi had with Cardinal McCarrick whom he had summoned to the Nunciature. Monsignor Lantheaume told me that ‘the Nuncio’s voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor."
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/former-u.s.-nunciature-official-vi…

2) Vigano claims Pope BXVI explicitly included an order to “leave the seminary where he was living” in his 2008 sanction. He moved from Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Seminary to the rectory of St. Thomas the Apostle in Woodley Park. A priest there has said he was told he would have to move out of his rooms in the parish to accommodate a “mystery VIP.” “It was all very sudden,” the priest told CNA. “I was moved around but given another room in the rectory.” The priest was later informed by the parish pastor that it was McCarrick moving in, that Cardinal Wuerl had ordered it, and that his arrival caused considerable upheaval. “There was significant construction to create his suite, which took over two prior suites and two full baths, as well as the single guest room next to me which was converted into a private chapel for McCarrick’s exclusive use.” The construction apparently continued during the first two months of 2009, with Cardinal McCarrick moving in either late February or early March.” So, who arranged and paid for this? More suspicious, McCarrick in 2010 moved to the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) on the property of St. John Baptist de la Salle in Chillum, MD, and had “for a time, an IVE brother in formation living in his residence, which was on the parish property but separate from the house of formation. At least two members of the IVE served as assistants to the archbishop emeritus between 2014 and 2018.” http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/where-did-cardinal-mccarrick-live-…

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 2 weeks ago

The high percentage of gays in the church is fallout for when the secular world persecuted gays. Gays could find refuge in an all male clergy; some , maybe most were genuinely called to be celibate priests and pious, and just gave in to temptations as the hierarchy protected them from prosecutions, creating a whole network of criminality, while others joined to become predators ,as did pedophiles[ not related to being gay]in this all male clerical niche. The laity persecuted gays and so we are not innocent either. Gay priests from decades past could be said to have been refugees from the time of gay persecution by the secular world I. e., the laity.

Vince Killoran
2 months 2 weeks ago

If what Vilano claims is true then let the chips fall where they will. But he has offered no proof. His own motivations, as well as his own silence until now about the many abuse cases (and his own hand in keeping some accusations and findings against clerical allies quiet), makes this all little more than political head-butting from the conservatives at this point.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Vince - Vigano has been very specific about names, dates and documents for nearly all of his accusations, so an investigation can confirm or disprove his claims. No doubt, Vigano is earnest. But, just like the Grand Jury accusations, not all earnest interpretations turn out to be true. That is why we have due process. Pope Francis needs to appoint an independent committee, led by professional lay investigators to look into this. It is separate from the sex abuse charges of minors, but not in the coverups. I expect some heads to roll.

Vince Killoran
2 months 2 weeks ago

Tim--If you could direct me to the documentary evidence, I would be most grateful. As it stands, the word of one disgruntled archbishop who is resentful about his fall from power isn't compelling. (The only document mentioned in this story is the one where Vigano's role in the St. Paul--Minneapolis cover-up a few years ago.) BTW, even grand juries aren't empaneled with this flimsy evidence.

I do, however, like your support of "professional lay investigators"! You would support this for the Church in general, right?

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Vince - I do support a "professional lay investigators" committee for the whole church, to look into clericalism and gay (and other) lobbies in the hierarchy. Since it is the clerical culture that is being investigated, it seems clerics have to recuse themselves to ensure an objective and credible outcome. To be clear, I do not trust Grand Juries of non-Catholics. I am willing to trust practicing and faith-filled Catholic laity (men and women) as they should love the truth and the Church, but be ready to evaluate the clerics. As regards evidence, it is a long letter will several accusations. Richard Sipe's correspondence with Bishop McElroy is a place to start (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/questions-raised-about-mcelroys…). I would also check out the documents of the Papal Nuncio in DC and how much Bishop Tobin knew (since the revelation of 6 priests in his diocese, published in the Register). The claim that Pope Benedict XVI removed McCarrick from a retirement home in a seminary should be easily verifiable by some CNA reporters (the secular media has less interest in this).

James Haraldson
2 months 2 weeks ago

What evidence do you have that he is "resentful" for his alleged fall from power?

Michael Barberi
2 months 2 weeks ago

Now we seeing Bishops and Cardinals accusing each other of irresponsible and immoral actions/non-actions and questioning the moral judgment and actions and inactions of Popes JP II, Benedict XVI and Francis. I hope this becomes the catalyst for the reform that our Church needs.

We need an impartial 'lay-led' committee (e.g., more independent and impartial lay members than bishops) to thoroughly investigate 3 popes for their knowledge, actions or inactions of Cardinal McCarrick sexual abuse crimes. We need this same lay-lead committee to investigate Cardinal Wuerl for his actions or inactions concerning priests accused of sexually abusing minors in Pittsburg as put forth by the Grand Jury in PA, or his knowledge, or lack thereof, concerning the sexual abuse accusations and crimes of Cardinal McCarrick.

I pray that we will not see another Bishops-only lead committee (or a dominant Bishops lead committee with token lay members) to investigate all of these accusations. IMO, this would be akin to "putting the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse"?

It is clear to me that the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal and coverup, including irresponsible and immoral actions and non-actions, seems to have been and continue to be widespread and 'systemic' from Popes on-down to Cardinals, Bishops and Priests.

Let's pray for our Church, Pope Francis and all the victims.

Ysais Martinez
2 months 2 weeks ago

as every allegation they should be investigated. This is the type of source I distrust: "Francis must resign!" and "The dossier is a lie and a tool of Francis haters." What about a middle ground: investigate it with transparency. At this point the American Church has nothing to lose. Their credibility with the faithful is very low. The laity extremely divided. Do something better than the two lines of bias being thrown around.

David Power
2 months 2 weeks ago

I once met the Pope when he was a cardinal.We spoke for thirty minutes and he seemed a lovely man and sent me books later on , one of the books was of a meeting between Pope John Paul and Castro. I was troubled by this knowing of the incredible behaviour of the Polish Pope nonetheless I rejoiced when Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope.From our meeting I thought him a little naive (rare that you say that about a pope), but after having canonized a known protector of pédophiles in Wojtyla and now this story I am just perplexed by it all .None of us can match recent popes for sins really.
Pope Benedict was the best in terms of performance on this issue but even he lied on it being "exaggeratted " , he knew otherwise.A saint..The bar is so low I am already there

Reyanna Rice
2 months 2 weeks ago

The canonization was approved and the ceremony for it set before Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the papacy. He could not back out of it had he wanted. Can you imagine the uproar, especially from the Polish church, if he had cancelled it?? They were unhappy anyway when he decided to canonize John XXIII in the same ceremony. I’m convinced based on watching his body language and facial expressions on the video of the canonization ceremony that he did not really want to do it. When the cardinal from the office for the causes of Saints read out John Paul’s name and requested that the pope raise him up to sainthood as the ceremony prescribes, before saying the words, Pope Francis turned his head to the side and down with a lock on his face of a man with serious doubts about what he was to do but knew also he was between a rock and a hard piace. I know it’s just intuition and body language is not completely reliable but it was my strong impression.

David Power
2 months 2 weeks ago

Reyanna , I really do not know .In his recent letter on the subject of sexual abuse he even quoted Wojtyla who as we know was afriend of Maciel, Groer, McCarrick and so many others.He must have known about the letter from Cardinal Hoyos which Wojtyla backed on praising a bishop for not going to the police about a pedophile Priest. I trust Marie Collins who is both a very intelligent and balanced woman , she lost faith in Pope Francis on this issue and resigned from the commission. It is all very sad as we wanted and needed a Pope who confront it face on. The only thing we can hope is that now after all of this that he refrains from elevating or tolerating those who abused and enabled the abusers.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

David - what chutzpah - you condemn 2 popes and elevate yourself! Since you cannot know the heart or mind of Pope JP II in these events, you are making yourself judge and jury based on media reports. Such intolerant judgmentalism! St. Pope JP II is canonized because of an exemplary life of holiness, his great contribution to the Church and the 2 miracles after his death. Have you examined those miracles?

jehannedomremy@gmail.com
2 months 2 weeks ago

This article, imo, makes clear that there are really three levels of scandal that indict the Church. 1 – massive clergy sexual abuse of minors continues for decades. 2 – a large number of bishops and/or cardinals knew of this and covered up for these abusers for years. Some of them also partook in these sins. 3 -- Pope Francis was made clearly aware of specific horrific crimes and situations involving cardinals and bishops and chose not to do anything about it.

John Paul II probably knew a lot, too, but things were different then in many ways and hard to comment on that for the moment. Benedict as well, but I believe he did what he could in many ways and then realized so many were against him the Church needed a stronger leader so he resigned for the good of the Church. Francis is so bold and radical in so many ways… why not on this one? This is not the first evidence against his terrible handling of these affairs. It is shocking to me that the enabling and coverup of this widespread corruption would rise to the level of the pope and then be too afraid or unwilling to act. What is it he is more afraid of, the Roman Curia or God? At a minimum, it makes no sense to me.

This is the greatest crime in Church history, especially based on its impact on the faithful as well as on outsiders. The Church is a laughing stock to the outside world with zero credibility to most of them. As one cardinal succinctly put it: “this is the devil’s masterpiece.”

rose-ellen caminer
2 months 2 weeks ago

Pope Francis did the right thing and apologized for the sexual abuse and coverup that took place in Ireland. I only wish he had had the "cojones" to then tell Ireland to apologize to the Church for voting to legalize abortion.

Paige Smyth
2 months 2 weeks ago

The fact trail actually speaks for itself with this issue. It is obvious Francis knew quite a bit. There is an obvious homosexual underground taking over the hierarchy of the church. Troubling times in the Catholic Church

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San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone speaks from the floor on Nov. 14 at the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller) 
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