In third letter Viganò repeats accusations but offers no new evidence on McCarrick case

 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)  Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to the United States, has written a third letter from his undisclosed hideout, reaffirming charges of “a conspiracy of silence” and “corruption” at the highest levels in the church in the pontificates of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis in a cover-up of “the aberrant behavior” of the former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

His new letter attempts to respond to his critics and to reassert his original accusations but does not include any new evidence to support the claims he made in his first “testimony” of Aug. 25.

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In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”

“They were not technically ‘sanctions’ but provisions, ‘conditions and restrictions’ but,” he argues, “to quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view, they are exactly the same thing.”

“They were not technically ‘sanctions’ but provisions, ‘conditions and restrictions’ but,” he argues, “to quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism.”

Archbishop Viganò repeats the accusation that there is a “conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church.” He attempts to prove this by providing a timeline for the allegations made to the Holy See, starting in 2000 and ending in 2008, about Archbishop McCarrick’s “homosexual behavior.”

He writes: “In 2009 or 2010 I learned from Cardinal Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, that Pope Benedict had ordered Archbishop McCarrick to cease public ministry and begin a life of prayer and penance.” He said Cardinal Ouellet, then the new Prefect of Bishops, told him the same in November 2011 before he went as nuncio to the United States and that the previous nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, and he communicated these restrictions to Archbishop McCarrick “face to face.”

At one point, the former nuncio flatly refutes Cardinal Ouellet. The cardinal had written in his response to Archbishop Viganò that “the Holy See was only aware of ‘rumors,’ which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick.”

Archbishop Viganò writes, “I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so.”

“I pray every day for Pope Francis. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter.” 

Among those he mentions “compensation by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to the victims of McCarrick’s sexual abuse, the letters of [Father Boniface] Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. [Richard] Sipe in 2008, my two notes to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick.”

“Are all these just rumors?” he asks. “They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy. The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators and their protectors, and the chronological sequence of the facts. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.”

Archbishop Viganò does not comment on an investigation of those archives ordered by the pope, according to a Vatican statement released on Oct. 6. It is also noteworthy that Archbishop Viganò no longer calls for the resignation of Pope Francis. He does not explain if his opinion has changed on that matter.

If there is something new in this third letter, it is Archbishop Viganò’s even stronger emphasis that homosexuality is the root cause of the sexual abuse scandal in the church, not clericalism. “This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality,” he writes, “in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons.”

Archbishop Viganò declares, “It is an enormous hypocrisy: Condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.”

“It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry.”

He acknowledges that there are “philandering clergy” in the church that corrupt souls and do harm, but he says, “These violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved. Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds—whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.”

Indeed, “it is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry. It is to pretend that a means, an instrument, is in fact the main motive.”

The former nuncio charges without evidence that Archbishop McCarrick “was part of a network of bishops promoting homosexuality who exploiting their favor with Pope Francis manipulated episcopal appointments so as to protect themselves from justice and to strengthen the homosexual network in the hierarchy and in the Church at large.” He charges that “Pope Francis himself has either colluded in this corruption, or, knowing what he does, is gravely negligent in failing to oppose it and uproot it.”

Archbishop Viganò states that “denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church.” He adds, “I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion. Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy. I am urging no such thing.”

Cardinal Ouellet in his letter had called on Archbishop Viganò to stop his “rebellion,” to repent and be converted. In today’s letter, Archbishop Viganò instead calls for Pope Francis to repent and be converted.

He writes: “I pray every day for Pope Francis—more than I have ever done for the other popes. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter. He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross. Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).”

The Italian journalist Marco Tosatti, who helped Archbishop Viganò write his first letter, released this new letter on his blog on Oct. 19 in Italian and English.

In it, Archbishop Viganò leaves no doubt that he was fully aware that his decision “to bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church” would bring “alarm and dismay” to his many former colleagues in the Vatican and in the church and 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.”

He says he decided to go public with his denunciation because he believed “my continued silence would put many souls at risk and would certainly damn my own.” Many have asked why he waited until two years after his retirement to speak out publicly about “the aberrant behavior of Theodore McCarrick” which he had known for almost two decades. Archbishop Viganò attributes the delay to “the gravity of the decision” and adds, “if I have some responsibility in this delay, I repent for that.”

Many have accused Archbishop Viganò of “creating confusion and division in the church” through his testimony. But his response to this in today’s letter reveals yet again that the abuse question is not his main concern because he blames Francis for “being negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine” by “contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines.”

Surprisingly, Archbishop Viganò concludes his letter by appealing yet again “to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt.”

He tells them: “You too are faced with a choice. You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption. You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning. You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.”

It remains to be seen if any will respond to his plea.

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Michael Barberi
10 months 1 week ago

What is the most alarming to me, and by that I don't mean to minimize the other accusations by VIgano, is this:

> Vigano says that documented evidence exists that in the year 2,000 many Cardinals and Bishops of the U.S. and the Apostolic Nucio to the U.S. (by Fr. Ramsey's letter or emails) knew of Bishop McCarrick's decades-long sexual abuse of seminarians. Yet, Pope JP II promoted him to Cardinal in 2001.

The questions are:

1. Did these Cardinals, Bishops and the Apostolic Nucio withhold the evidence about McCarrick's sexual abuse from JP II when they obviously knew JP II was considering promoting him to Cardinal?

2. If people in the highest levels of our Church withheld such information from JP II, then is this not a bigger scandal?

3. If JP II knew about the evidence and accusations against McCarrick before he promoted him to Cardinal, then was he not gross negligent in his responsibilities as pope?

4. If JP II knew of these accusations and evidence against McCormick, then at the very least should he not have called for a thorough investigation, and if the accusations were found to be true should he not have promoted him to Cardinal?

I seriously hope that the Church will thoroughly investigate Vigano's allegation that the hierarchy (Bishops, Cardinals, Apostolic Nuncio) knew about McCarrick's decades-long sexual abuse in 2,000 and either withheld information from JP II or told him about it. Nevertheless, I have serious doubts that the truth will be made transparent and public. After all, what will this say about the Church when we know that JP II was made a Saint of the Church?

J Jones
10 months 1 week ago

Michael, I agree with you.

And it continues to be stunning to me that Catholics, even thoughtful and educated Catholics like yourself, did not demand the same transparent, complete and neutral response tothe allegations against Kavanaugh and the effort to confirm him without a legitimate and full law enforcement investigation.

Michael Barberi
10 months 1 week ago

J Brookbank,
There were no corroborating evidence and nor corroborating witnesses to Dr. Ford's allegations. There were also no corroborating witnesses to the allegations of two other people who alleged sexual wrong-doing by Kavanaugh. One of them alleged he was part of a group of high school students who frequently drugged girls then gang raped them. Unfortunately, she had no evidence or corroborating witnesses to back up her allegations.

The Senate Judiciary Committee investigated all of these allegations and did not find any credible evidence to prove these allegations, none whatsoever, so did the FBI investigation.

If you don't think the Democrats were hyping all of these allegation to the hilt in an effort to deny Kavanaugh a confirmation, then you are being disingenuous. The entire confirmation process was a partisan and political circus. All the Democrats wanted to do was for the FBI to investigate dozens of people the Democrats claimed were reliable witnesses who could corroborate the allegations. They also wanted these so-called reliable witnesses to appear before the committee for questioning....all in an effort to delay the confirmation process to after the mid term elections.

I called for an appropriate investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and this means transparency. I called for the truth and for the Senate Judiciary to follow the Constitutional and Legal principle that you are innocent until proven guilty....not guilty until proven innocent. This principle must be followed in a political judiciary or legal process. Unfortunately, democratic leadership called their members to deny Kavanaugh a confirmation "by every means necessary" from the very moment he was nominated by President Trump.

If there was one corroborating witness to Dr. Ford's allegations, I called for Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination. I followed a consistent moral method for Kavanaugh and the sex abuse allegations (PA Grand Jury Report, McCarrick Scandal and Vigano's letter). I also gave you a list of the moral principles I used that were consistent between each....but you evidently chose to ignore them.

J Jones
10 months 1 week ago

Michael, the police (the FBI) never interviewed the accused and the accuser. They followed only those leads selected by the accused's advocates who had articulated their desire and conviction that the accused would be exonerated. Of course the accused was exonerated. The accused may well be innocent. We will never know because, despite the fact that many - you included - are satisfied, the process was so tainted and NOT transparent that the GOP Senate and the White House continue to make differing statements about who dictated the limits of the FBI's investigation.

Of course there were dirty politics involved. Many of the people who want the RCC investigated properly are anti-Catholic bigots. So what?

That is MORE reason to ensure the inquiry is conducted from start to finish according to the standard and best practices by persons with no vested interests.

Few of you who are satisfied with outcome of the Kavanaugh investigation ever have a response to the fact that 1) no FBI investigator interviewed the accuser; 2) no FBI investigator interviewed through accused; and 3) the White House and Senate GOP each continue to say that the other party dictated the directive which limited the FBI investigation. You have never responded to those facts and have, instead, insisted (I am paraphrasing) that the FBI was given carte blanche and that you trust they followed and would follow their own investigative judgment even if they were limited.

Those are just not the facts, Michael but you have based your confidence in the outcome in part on those ommisions and alternative facts.

A morally principled evaluation of the facts is not possible when the facts have been pursued through an opaque process designed by persons who were deeply invested in and publicly certain of the outcome before they designed, initiated and completed the process.

The venerable principle of "innocent until proven guilty" loses all meaning when the process by which the proof is pursued is controlled abd determined so as NOT to find guilt.

It is stunning to me that so many thoughtful, educated Catholics refuse to respond to those numbered facts and those realities. To acknowledge them does NOT mean you agree Kavanaugh is guilty. I don't know if he is.

There was not, by all professional standards for investigating allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, a credible investigation. THAT is the issue.

Perhapss only Catholics deserve that?

PS

I would put money on it that a rigorously confidential and anonymous survey of Anerican men and women who went to wealthy schools in the 1980s ---- and who were high achievers then and high achievers now ---- would reveal that the allegations in the Kavanaugh case do not seem outlandish when lodged against a high achieving nice guy, then and now. What we call rape and sexual assault now was simply NOT perceived that way in the 1980s when kids were drinking heavily in unchaperoned houses, which was most of the time.

Theodore Seeber
10 months 1 week ago

I sure wish we as Catholics would remove the log from our own eye, before trying to remove the splinter from somebody else's eye. McCarrick is OUR log. Let the secularists deal with Christine Ford.

Michael Barberi
10 months ago

J Brookbank - The accuser and accused gave sworn testimony and answered questions under oath for tons of hours in front to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The FBI decided it was not necessary to interview them. They had their detailed testimony and all their answers to questions. More importantly, there was no evidence 'whatsoever' that the Senate Judiciary Committee or the President directed the FBI who and who not to interview. If the accused and accuser did not give testimony under oath and answer hours and hours of questions, then I would call for the FBI to interview them. IMO, it was not necessary and "so did the FBI".

Another fact you missed: The FBI Director testified under oath that their investigation of Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford's allegations complied with the guidelines of other similar investigations. Such investigations are based on the judgment of the FBI investigators. This means that all important persons the FBI believed should be interviewed, were interviewed. There is no evidence that anyone directed the FBI not to investigate any person that the FBI believed should be investigated.

Here is a fact that should not surprise you: Given all the national media and press coverage, "no credible person" came forward with concrete evidence to corroborate Dr. Ford's allegations. This should tell you something.

I agree that we will never know the complete truth. However, this should caution us not to jump to emotional and irresponsible conclusions. It is not surprising that a poll showed that 89% of Democrats believed Dr. Ford and 89% of Republicans believed Kavanaugh.

I agree that the process was very partisan, extreme and irresponsible. However, I said that if there was one credible person who corroborated Dr. Ford's allegations, then Kavanaugh should withdraw.

We will have to agree to disagree on this issue. This is my last comment.

J Jones
10 months ago

Michael, this is not consistent with the facts.

The FBI director Christopher Wray was explicit in HIS congressional testimony that the FBI received and followed the LIMITED directive from the statutory body ordering the supplemental background check. He was explicit that, while the FBI investigation was consistent with background checks, "it was NOT the kind of investigation which criminal investigators conduct".

In other words, the FBI did its job. But its job was to limit its investigation to ONLY who and what the directive ordered it to investigate.

Wray said the FBI received the directive from the WH. The WH says the Senate GOP wrote that directive. The Senate GOP says the WHITE HOUSE wrote that directive.

There is not a law enforcement agency on earth that would ----------- unless it was directed to do so by its statutory leaders ------- accept as a legitimate investigatory interview of the accused and accuser those interviews conducted in a room with hundreds of observers and television cameras broadcasting live and 20 politicians masquerading as forensic interviewers in five minute bursts in between fights amongs themselves (and the occasional tantrum) and one sex crimes prosecutor working for the partisan defense.

The statements made in that circus would just be fodder for the REAL investigatory interview.

Of course the country's conclusions break down along partisan lines. The country conducted a partisan investigation and claimed it was a legitimate investigation so partisans have accepted the corresponding partisan assessment.

THAT is my point: a LEGITIMATE investigation of the sexual assault investigation may well have cleared Kavanaugh LEGITIMATELY.

And my question is why Catholics ---- who are living the destruction of their Church because of illegitimate investigations of sexual assault allegations by Catholics ---- are satisfied with an illegitimate investigation of sexual assault allegations made by ANYONE?

I am sincerely trying to understand this discrepancy. I am not arguing that Kavanaugh should not have been confirmed; I am not arguing that he is guilty; I am not arguing that I believe any of the accusers; I am not arguing about SCOTUS at all.

I am trying to understand why Catholics are not demanding that ALL sexual assault allegations --- not just those against clerics --- be conducted legitimately and transparently.

J Jones
10 months ago

The most likely reason no FBI interviews of Kavanaugh and Ford were equested by the WH/Senate GOP is this:.

They did not want to run the risk that the FBI receive different answers on ANYTHING from Kavanaugh.

They were protecting him from the possibility of having ro decide whether to lie to the FBI or be found to have perjured himself in his testimony to Congress.

I get that. I have no problem with his supporters wanting to protect him and get him nominated. They just shouldn't have been running the investigation.

Hello? Anyone Catholic around here?

Tim O'Leary
10 months ago

Brookbank "Anyone Catholic around here?" Really. You don't follow what the Church teaches. Anyway, you are still on your worst recent mistake and can't get over it. Since the hearings, we have learned that the Katz lawyer (courtesy of the Feinstein referral) kept key information away from Dr. Ford AND kept other damning information on Dr. Ford away from the Senators (polygraph notes, WaPo notes, therapist notes). They wouldn't have given them to the FBI either, claiming MeToo protections ("traumatizing the victim"). Lawyers are now being investigated. I would still like Swetnick investigated, as she and Avenatti are as truthful as Elizabeth is Native American (i.e. <1%).

J Jones
10 months ago

Tim, great! We agree: these allegations of sexual assault, like ALL allegations of sexual assault in ALL contexts, should have been conducted from start to finish by law enforcement with a mandate to interview the accused (all 3) and the accused and to pursue ANY and all leads.

One possible -- and, by your assessment, likely -- outcome would have been libel charges against Ford, Ramirez and Swetnik as well as bar complaints filed by law enforcement and/or criminal charges against Katz, Avenatti and perhaps whoever leaked Ford's letter.

With that outcome ---- which requires a full law enforcement investigation ---- Kavanaugh would have been legitimately cleared; a vast left wing conspiracy would have been factually documented by the FBI; the Democrats would have been unassailably proven corrupt right before the midterms in which case dems and independents would stay home in droves; Pelosi would have been DONE as speaker.

Instead, because the WH and Senate GOP knew they could get away with this sham investigation of sexual assault investigation of SA allegation against a powerful man --- just as the RCC knew it could get away with its sham investigations of SA allegations against powerful men --- none of those outcomes were achieved.

Kavanaugh's name will NEVER be cleared; the entire country is on tippy toes hoping/fearing he falls flat on his face; the accusers will NOT be charged; these lawyers will almost certainly NOT be charged or sanctioned by their bars; we will never know what would have been provided to the FBI by Ford and her attorneys; and we will almost certainly never know who leaked the letter to the press.

You have all these questions and frustrations precisely BECAUSE the investigation was a sham.

A real investigation very well might have delivered EXACTLY the outcome you want. And it wouldn't be tainted by partisanship.

And we would know that EVERYONE --- accused and accuser in sexual assault cases --- can expect a just and truth-seeking investigation and outcome.

Kind of like peiole seem to expect in the RCC...

This mess will continue to create conflict and anger until there is an Adminisyration-wide and Congress-wide law that requires a full and best practice law enforcement investigation of allegations of sexual assault against any and all nominees. But Justice Kavanaugh is and will remain tainted by the fact his supporters did not have enough faith in him to insist on a full, legitimate and transparent investigation. That reflects very poorly on the Justice and every one of his supporters most especially, I think, his Catholic supporters because no group of Americans knows as well as Catholics dohow much harm is done when investigations of sexual assault are not properly conducted.

Tim O'Leary
10 months ago

So many typos. You're sputtering because you know your are continuing a charade. You feign committment to an investigation but have shown no interest in the evidence. You wanted completely unsubstantiated allegations treated as substantiated to derail an innocent man by postponing the vote until AFTER the mid-term elections, in hopes of a Democrat take-over of the Senate (now looking unlikely b/o their Kavanaugh scheming - how ironic). You didn't even wait for the FBI investigation to call for him to withdraw, like this journal. Well, you lost, this journal lost and the Democrats will lose. Justice won, at least this time.

J Jones
10 months ago

Tim, You misrepresent the Editors' call for Kavanaugh to withdraw. They published their editorial when the GOP announced a vote would be taken BEFORE the FBI, under explicit and limited defined orders, performed a limited investigation of the allegations. (As did I.) So, while it is fact that the allegations were unsubstantiated at that time, that fact is reflective of the underlying facts that 1) ALL allegations are "unsubstantiated" until a legitimate investigation either does or does not substantiate them and 2) no legitimate investigation had occurred at the time the editors published their editorial.

By your reasoning (and the many others who agree with you), the RCC was absolutely right and moral and just when it promoted sexually abusive clerics based on what were only unsubstantiated allegations. After all, most were well qualified for the roles; many if not most were well respected and even beloved; they had all dedicated their lives to God and to service 24/7/365. Why, by your logic, SHOULD the RCC have declined to promote these holy men just because someone made an accusation?!

Perhaps you see my point now?

PS i lost my dollar store reading glasses but that was funny.

J Jones
10 months ago

Tim, I am very interested in evidence collected in a legitimate investigation. I am absolutely not interested in the after-the-fact "evidence gathering and analysis" obession you have devoloped. It is an old old story. "How DARE you allege ______ against OUR man? We will not tolerate a full investigation of HIM but, believe you us, we will NEVER quit investigating YOU." It is a page --- a full chapter --- out of the playbook of the RCC and its attorneys. The message is targeted at current AND future persons who dare make allegations about "OUR man". It is intended to intimidate people into silence.

It is despicable inside and OUTside of the church. Current and future sexual assault victims are listening, Tim. Shame on you.

Judith Jordan
10 months ago

Tim O'Leary--If the Dems are guilty of your accusations, then why didn’t the Dems do that to Roberts, Alito, and Gorsuch?

J Jones
10 months ago

BTW, good for you for calling me on the question "anyone Catholic around here?" As stated, it is repugnant question. No Catholic has the right to judge another's right to Catholic identity. So thank you, Tim. I apoligize.

My intention was to ask, "do you any of you Catholics recognize that the RCC went the route of dismissing allegations when the powers-that-be in the RCC didn't think the allegations were true or meaningful or serious or widely accepted enough to derail a promotion? And it is destroying the Church? I meant "are any of you using what you learned from the RCC disgrace as context for analyzing your response to the lack of a legitimate investigation into the Kavanaugh allegations?"

Thank you for telling me how my statement sounded. It sounded awful. And again I apologise.

Tim O'Leary
10 months ago

Brookbank - To be substantiated means there must be sufficient detail, consistency and credibility in a charge that it can be investigated. A political motive, resistance to share data or cooperate with the preliminary investigation (like the Senate investigation) suggested a major credibility concern even before the hearing. Dr. Ford failed to be substantiated in multiple ways (see Mitchell's conclusions). The failure of all named witnesses alone would end most investigations. Same for Ramirez. Swetnick's charges were frivolous, but believed by the crazy "women-must-be-believed-period" left. This was a transparent political hack job, and it was morally negligent for anyone to call for withdrawal when they did - equivalent to the witch drowning test. Speaking of which, some pro-abortion witches tried to put a hex on Kavanaugh this weekend - which they say is "all about causing suffering" to him. You have some great allies in this misbegotten farce.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j534xx/antifa-witches-putting-hex-on-brett-kavanaugh-brooklyn-catland-books-vgtrn

J Jones
10 months ago

Tim, allegations lead to investigations; substantiated allegations lead to charges; charges lead to prosecutions. ALL allegations are unsubstantiated until investigated. Law enforcement agencies, not prosecutors, conduct investigations.

Mitchell's report that she would not bring charges was explicitly based on information gained in a sham investigation in the form of "interviews" conducted in a room with hundreds of observers, television cameras broadcasting live, more than a dozen politicians masquerading as forensic interviewers who then asked only a few questions each while pontificating and throwning tantrums (Graham). Many of those politician -interviewers had publicly stated what they believed the investigation would reveal. (That should have disqualified each of them, Democrat and Republican, from participating even in a sham investigation.)

As a sex crimes prosecutor, Mitchell almost immediately and publicly *******volunteered ******* that the hearing designed by the GOP was NOT the right way to conduct an interview in the case of sexual assault allegations. She is a well respected prosecutor who inexplicably allowed herself to be used by the GOP. She was, indeed, their "female assistant".

After having publicly and voluntarily established that these were inappropriate interviews in both setting and process, she concluded that the improperly conducted "interviews" had not yielded information that would allow her to pursue charges were she to receive this case.

Wow! THAT was a surprise!

In fact, it was a poorly designed and poorly executed magic trick and, thus, it was a failed magic trick.

Conclusions based on the outcome of a flawed investigation are not valid conclusions, Tim.

If you are indeed a medical professional, you know that.

Bottom line here is that a whole lot of Catholics have accepted from Congress a sham response to sexual assault allegations against a powerful Catholic, even as Catholics are waging war against the hierarchy for a very similar kind of sham, though repeated thousands of times over.

Why?

The hex story is good entertainment. It only got better when a diocesan exorcist got involved. Saturday Night Live could not have done it better.

Judith Jordan
10 months ago

J Brookbank, I agree with you. I am dismayed and perplexed by the circular logic of those who claim there was no corroborating evidence when there was not a thorough investigation to ascertain any corroborating evidence.

James Haraldson
10 months ago

There was a full law enforcement investigation, even though there was no basis for one, given the obvious fact that his accuser was an obvious pathological liar for whom only a profound amoral idiot would find any credibility whatsoever.

J Jones
10 months ago

Law enforcement did not interview the accuser or accused.

Tim O'Leary
10 months ago

Brookbank - your inability to separate child abuse from this political fraud is amazing. Law enforcement (Maryland Montgomery Police) are still free to interview the accuser. The accuser is the only one with standing in this case. The obligation is on her or lawyers (who don't really work for her, as we learned in the hearing) to file a charge, but they know they would be in danger of a frivolous charge and have to pay BK's legal fees. Unless Ford files a charge, the only reasonable conclusion is to presume innocence of BK. That is our legal system. I know from some of your comments that you are not a doctor and not a scientist. You are also obviously not a lawyer, even if you set yourself up as a judge & jury.

J Jones
10 months ago

Tim, the decision in the Kavanaugh hearing was that the allegations of sexual assault required investigation by the FBI. That was appropriate and reflected 2018 societal expectations. The WH and/or Senate then directed the FBI to NOT interview the accused and accuser. That was a rigged investigation.

The basic components, principles and safeguards of an investigation of sexual assault, whether the alleged victim is a child or an adult, are the basic components, principles and safeguards of a sexual assault investigation.

I have made ZERO comment about the guilt or innocence of the accuser or any of the accused.

Your assumptions are showing, Tim.

For instance, I happen to be willing to trust Susan Collins' assessment that Justice Kavanaugh has no intention of voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, which he called "settled law". She and others insist he has integrity and doesn't lie. So I am good with that. The guy is qualified, except for the parts of his professional self he revealed in his prepared statement and his conduct in the hearing. But the majority of senators are fine with what he revealed. So be it. We live in a representative democracy. Conservative Republicans are in power. This is how it works.

Nonetheless, the Senate GOP designed, initiated and concluded a rigged investigation of sexual assault allegations. And a big part of the rigging was that the FBI was directed NOT to interview the accused and accuser.

You don't have to be anti-Kavanaugh to know and acknowledge those facts. You DO have to believe that there is a right way and a wrong way to respond to sexual assault allegations, ********regardless****** of who is involved.

We are good. You and others have answered my question.

You and others do not believe there should be a standard investigative process for any and all allegations of sexual assault.

The RCC is blowing apart because the hierarchy didn't believe that sexual allegations against clerics should be handled the way ALL other sexual assault allegations are investigated.

It seems that you and many other Catholics have not ----- or WILL not ---- generalize the lessons inherent in that tragedy. It doesn't reflect well.

Tim O'Leary
10 months ago

Brookbank - willful denial never reflects well. Vindictiveness even worse - every voter in the mid-terms should realize that a Democrat majority in the House will result in trumped-up impeachment of Justice Kavanaugh, and possibly even Justice Thomas. A mob mentality is very bad for democracy.

J Jones
10 months ago

Tim, absolutely there are/were dirty politics coming from every corner and at every level, just as there are in the Church. THAT is one of the best arguments for EVERY sexual assault allegation to be conducted from start to finish by neutral and career law enforcement officers no matter who the accused and the accuser and their friends are. Dirty politics are, in fact, one of the reasons it is a guiding principle of all sexual assault investigations that they NOT be designed, driven and conducted at any point by persons who have ANY interest in the outcome, and why the investigation should be conducted in a standard process. And that is Not what happened in the Kavanaugh hearings. Hence the politics and the investigation are one thing and Kavanaugh is going to suspected and investigated until there is a straightforward, full and transparent law enforcement investigation where the investigation and facts are insulated from those politics.

I agree. The investigation was NOT insulated from politics and, thus, as in the RCC, there will be further investigations.

I agree. Kavanaugh may face impeachment hearings if he is found to have lied to Congress in the hearing and/or the FBI when he IS interviewed.

His supporters did him NO favors by giving him special treatment.

Catholics certainly should understand THAT by now.

There is rough road ahead for Kavanaugh ---- and for the RCC ----- until a proper and transparent and neutral investigation is conducted.

Better that his supporters had encouraged him to humble himself and ask for a full and unlimited investigation or, if he couldn't tolerate that, withdraw rather than face a future with the likelihood at some point in the future that he will be impeached and, if he lies to law enforcement, faces jail time.

An interesting spiritual question: why did this reportedly profoundly faithful and holy Catholic man NOT humble himself to the suffering of being investigated like every other person accused of sexual assault? Where was his spirituality? Where was his willingness to take up his cross and suffer with grace and in communion with Christ?

A Fielder
10 months 1 week ago

I’m getting tired of Viganò. Does he really expect Francis to throw Benedict under the bus for a very weak slap on the wrist followed by virtually no effort to enforce the sanctions/provisions? Church leaders have been disregarding bishops’ indiscretions and mistresses for decades. Now that Viganò is retired, he thinks Francis will shoulder all the blame. How ridiculous!

Theodore Seeber
10 months 1 week ago

You do not understand the accusation. Benedict's slap on the wrist may have been weak, but it did exist. McCarrick had been retired, and sentenced to a life of penance and prayer, out of the limelight (some would suggest, given where he was put to live, still with opportunities to abuse, but that had NOTHING to do with the now credible accusations against him).

In comparison, Pope Francis sent him to China, to live in a seminary and rape seminarians, while negotiating the current agreement with the Chinese government.

I'll take a weak slap on the wrist to actively supporting abuse any day.

Rob Lopez
10 months 1 week ago

I always wonder why Vigano never felt it was important enough to go to law enforcement when it first happened.

Vincent Couling
10 months 1 week ago

Perhaps he was hoping for an appointment to the cardinalate, and so didn't want to rock the boat (especially under the pontificates of JPII and BXVI) ... when he eventually realized that wasn't going to happen, perhaps he became bitter and sought revenge against Pope Francis. Inevitably, the law of unintended consequences will have its way with malevolent schemers ... in their attempt to besmirch Pope Francis' legacy, the Vigano cabal seem to have undermined the Petrine office itself ... what is particularly ironic is that it is the so-called traditionalists who have wrought such incalculable damage on the very tradition they have idolized.

Gregory Graham
10 months ago

As I said in another comment, homosexual acts against adults are sinful, but not strictly criminal under U.S. law. Whether or not Vigano is bitter about his career, he presents very specific charges and claims that there is very clear evidence in Church records that you and I don't have access to, but those he is accusing do. Instead of producing documentation to refute Vigano's allegations, his opponents attack his motivation, question his loyalty, and come up with conspiracy theories. This is not a credible defense, but looks an awful lot like evasion, which is the tactic of the guilty.

Gregory Graham
10 months ago

Whether or not Vigano is bitter about his career, he presents very specific charges and claims that there is very clear evidence in Church records that you and I don't have access to, but those he is accusing do. Instead of producing documentation to refute Vigano's allegations, his opponents attack his motivation, question his loyalty, and come up with conspiracy theories. This is not a credible defense, but looks an awful lot like evasion, which is the tactic of the guilty.

F C
10 months ago

Try as one might Gregory, one cannot prove unicorns don't exist.

Gregory Graham
10 months ago

Homosexual acts are sinful, but not strictly illegal. Even if there were still sodomy laws on the books at the time, they were not being enforced. There is now evidence that at least one of McCarrick's victims was under-age, but I don't think Vigano knew that. I am not a lawyer, but I think the seminarian victims could have sued for sexual harassment, but I think that is a civil issue, not criminal.

JOHN GRONDELSKI
10 months ago

Was it his role as a diplomat to do that? His role was to inform his superior, and he did.

Frank T
10 months 1 week ago

The Church has been guilty of scapegoating minorities in its' past.
Let us not go down that ugly path.
I am guessing that some Saints have been declared far too early as well.
Let us not repeat our recent mistakes. Let's learn from history.

Vincent Couling
10 months 1 week ago

Vigano and his co-conspirators initially tried to force Pope Francis to resign, blindsiding him with an unprecedented attack which was carefully orchestrated and timed to maximize its damaging impact ... Pope Francis was shortly to board the plane from Ireland, these trips home always including a press conference, thereby ensuring Francis would have to answer questions from the press while on the back foot, exhausted from the gruelling World Meeting of Families. Cardinal Ouellet appears to have hit the nail on the head in describing Vigano's attack on Pope Francis as a "political frame job"!

In their initial broadside, Vigano and his co-conspirators made the patently false claim that BXVI had corroborated (via a mole) that he had imposed formal sanctions upon McCarrick, sanctions which they falsely claimed Pope Francis had subsequently lifted. It was on the basis of this calumny that Vigano called on the Pope to resign. This appears to have been the primary objective of the Vigano cabal ... to force Francis to resign (as BXVI had) while there still remains a critical mass of ultra-conservatives in the College of Cardinals, thereby maximizing the chance that his replacement might be a man like Burke rather than Bergoglio. The longer the Francis pontificate continues, the more dramatic the change to the body of men who will meet in the next conclave ... with each added year of the present pontificate, so their window of opportunity continues to close ... soon to be closed shut for good.

Vigano's lies have been consistently interspersed with a vile homophobic rant, seeking to establish homosexuality as the scapegoat for a multitude of ecclesiastical ills. How dare Pope Francis suggest that clericalism is the underlying cause of the clerical abuse crisis when the conservatives want to proffer the scapegoat of homosexuality in the priesthood as the principal cause of this crisis!

My prayer is for Pope Francis to be granted at least another 5 years as the vicar of Christ, so that he can effect lasting change on the church, which he says has been afflicted by the "perversion" of clericalism: in Francis' words, "what needs to be done today is to accompany the church in a deep spiritual renewal ... just 50 years ago, the Second Vatican Council clearly said the church is the people of God ... I know that the Lord wants the council to make headway in the church ... it takes 100 years for a council to be applied. We are halfway there, so, if you want to help me, do whatever it takes to move the council forward in the church. And help me with your prayer. I need so many prayers."

James M.
10 months 1 week ago

“They were not technically ‘sanctions’ but provisions, ‘conditions and restrictions’ but,” he argues, “to quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view, they are exactly the same thing.”

The distinction is important, at least for the purposes of canon law. Denying the distinction matters allows Vigano to attack Pope Francis, without having to bother about whether his accusations are strictly true. Canon law is important, and so are its distinctions, even if he does not think so.

It is atrocious that he is making a public issue of this. Causing scandal is a sin, not a virtue. That being so, the only excuse one can have for commenting on this evil, is that it is already public knowledge, so one is not making it any more public than it is.

“At one point, the former nuncio flatly refutes Cardinal Ouellet. The cardinal had written in his response to Archbishop Viganò that “the Holy See was only aware of ‘rumors,’ which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick.”

Archbishop Viganò writes, “I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so.””

Vigano has denied what Cardinal Ouellet says, but has “refute[d]” nothing. Refutation =///= denial. A refutation is a demonstration - not a bare assertion - that a statement is ill-founded. Merely to deny what Card. Ouellet says, falls far short of refuting it. Vigano can “affirm to the contrary” until he is blue in the face, but mere affirmation, without solid evidence that the affirmation is well-founded, is of no force whatever. Vigano cannot say anything whatever, and expect it to be believed, for no better reason than that “This is the word of Abp Vigano”.

His affirmations are worthless and mischievous, and come very close to slander, unless he can show, not indeed that they are true, but, at the very least, that they are well-founded. It is not a trivial matter to speak evil of the Pope, or to break a promise; both of which Abp Vigano has done.

“He acknowledges that there are “philandering clergy” in the church that corrupt souls and do harm, but he says, “These violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved. Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds—whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.””

And that makes clerical unchastity of non-SSA clerics no big deal, because...? He is thinking like a politician, not like a man of God. And that is as distressing as any other clerical failing. Corruption of souls by the clergy is damnable, regardless of how the cleric does it.

Vincent Couling
10 months 1 week ago

James M., your insights are, as ever, profoundly illuminating. Yours are the posts I especially keep an eye out for. You have your finger on the pulse!

Vincent Gaglione
10 months 1 week ago

I am having a very hard time deciding WHETHER the failure of bishops to take immediate and forceful actions in their dioceses after the clerical abuse scandals were uncovered and publicized OR Vigano’s three letters are the most significant source of scandal to the Faithful in the Catholic Church. The profound damages incurred among the Faithful by both are frightening in their enormity.

Daku Mundi
10 months 1 week ago

Michael i definitely agree with you.
Regards,
Appflix

Michael Barberi
10 months ago

Here is another question that is unanswered.

Who are the investigators?

> Everyone has called for an independent lay-lead investigative committee with full access to all records including Vatican emails, etc. DiNardo was supposed to get Pope Francis's agreement on the investigative plan he proposed. YET, WE HAVE HEARD NOTHING.

J Jones
10 months ago

Glad to see you recognize that who the investigators are matters.

Daku Mundi
10 months ago

And you think that's got some shady reason behind it?

Regards,
CotoMovies

Michael Barberi
10 months ago

Baku Mundi - The bishops cannot investigate the bishops...pure and simple. It is like asking the fox to guard the hen house because many hens have been killed and expect the fox to report the truth that he or another fox killed the hens. Could the bishops report the full truth.....probably not. Consider how many sexual crimes were covered up and not reported and how many times the bishops refused to fully cooperate with law enforcement and legal authorities.

Keep in mind that it was the bishops themselves by their immoral actions and inactions that caused them to lose their credibility. I have consistently called for a lay-lead independent investigative committee. If this committee is made up of all bishops and clergy, or with bishops and only a few token lay people, the findings will be met with skepticism.

J Jones
10 months ago

I agree, Michael. Process protects validity of outcome. Thus, the rigged Congressional investigation into Kavanaugh will always be met with suspicion and sexual assault victims know that the Congressional GOP is willing to use the strategy that is destroying the RCC.

James B
10 months ago

The pontificate of Francis is compromised in many ways now, but this is one of the most scandalous.

F C
10 months ago

James - it is indeed a scandal that someone as senior as an archbishop attacks the Pope (and slanders a healthy chunk of the clergy to boot) with nothing more than hearsay and innuendo.

Christopher Scott
10 months ago

This is just a bunch of double talk nonsense. Is Vigano telling the truth, yes or no? Of course it’s yes, at no point do you refute his spacific allegations, you just talk in circles while Pope Francis sits silent hiding behind non credible spokesman

It’s game over for the pink palaces in the Church. Catholics will not get the truth from the clergy, we’ll get the help from outside the Church, it will come from the US federal government investigations spreading nationwide. You might as well come clean because it’s all going to get exposed anyway!

Christopher Scott
10 months ago

This is just a bunch of double talk nonsense. Is Vigano telling the truth, yes or no? Of course it’s yes, at no point do you refute his spacific allegations, you just talk in circles while Pope Francis sits silent hiding behind non credible spokesman

It’s game over for the pink palaces in the Church. Catholics will not get the truth from the clergy, we’ll get the help from outside the Church, it will come from the US federal government investigations spreading nationwide. You might as well come clean because it’s all going to get exposed anyway!

justinreany@gmail.com
10 months ago

It is very humorous to read those attacking Vigano can only offer ad hominem attacks. REFUTE HIS CLAIMS!!!! Pope Francis is silent as can be...probably because he was complicit in reinstating homo-predator to active ministry knowing of his sin. We have to remember that many of these homo-predators, excuse me, "clericalists" were allied with Bergoglio in the satanic San Gallen group. A group that included such deplorables as Martini, Daneels, Bergoglio, etc. They cuddled with each other plotting the undermining of Pope St. John Paul II and Bensdict XVI because they were too faithful. Evil men covering for evil men. May God render judgement on them all and may we be ready for the same.

F C
10 months ago

justinreany@gmail.com
Have you ever tried to refute the claim that unicorns exist? BTW you seem to have your political prejudices a little muddled - please note that if there is truth in Vigano's "testimony", then it applies contra Popes JPII and BXVI as well as Pope Francis.

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