25 Aug 2018 Daily Mail UK
A former Vatican representative to the United States is calling on Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page testament that he knew of the sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick but covered them up.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016 said that Pope Francis knew of the allegations as early as 2013, according to the National Catholic Register.
Vigano said in his letter that he personally told Pope Francis that McCarrick was accused of inappropriate behavior and Pope Benedict XVI imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance.
According to Vigano, during a June 2013 meeting the Pope asked him what kind of man McCarrick was like. Vigano said he replied: ‘He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.’
He alleged that the Pope was trying to find out if he was an ally of McCarrick or not.
Vigano told the outlet that Pope Francis ‘continued to cover’ for McCarrick and ‘not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him’. Vigano said in 2009 or 2010, Pope Benedict implemented sanctions that stated McCarrick ‘was to leave the seminary where he was living. He was also forbidden to celebrate (Mass) in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lecturers, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance’.
He said instead of taking action, Pope Francis revoked the sanctions and made McCarrick his ‘trusted counselor’.
Vigano said he sent several letters to Vatican representatives about McCarrick but they fell on deaf ears. He said in his letter that ‘the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy’ and that’s why he’s speaking out publicly.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said he personally told Pope Francis about the abuse
The letter ended with Vigano asking Pope Francis, and others who allegedly tried to cover up the allegations, to resign.
‘He (Pope Francis) knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,’ Vigano stated, but although ‘he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.’
‘It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action (regarding McCarrick) to save his image in the media,’ he wrote.
Vigano wrote that Pope Francis ‘is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren,’ and urged him to ‘acknowledge his mistakes’ and, to ‘set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.’
The former DC nuncio also implicated Cardinals Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and Pietro Parolin as well as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as archbishop of DC.
Earlier on Saturday, Pope Francis traveled to Ireland and addressed the sex abuse claims plaguing the Catholic Church.
‘The failure of ecclesiastical authorities — bishops, religious superiors, priests and others — to adequately address these repugnant crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community,’ Francis said, according to NBC News.
Church attendance in Ireland has plummeted in recent years as people call on the Vatican to take action and tackle the abuse allegations. The area has also been hit with its own share of scandal after a mass grave was discovered in 1993 at secretive Catholic institutions of confinement for unmarried mothers, prostitutes and other ‘fallen’ women.
At least 796 children were found buried in the grave.
A priest in New York City has also spoken out saying that he repeatedly warned church officials about now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – who was suspended last month over sex abuse allegations.
Father Boniface Ramsey told CBS News this week: ‘I had the impression that virtually everyone knew about it.
‘Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house. There were five beds… and there were six people. Archbishop McCarrick arranged it in such a way that somebody would join him in his bed.’
The priest, an archbishop of Newark at the time, said he was informed about the inappropriate behavior in 1986.
Ramsey wrote in a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, of Boston, in June 2015: ‘Some of these stories were not presented to me as mere rumors but were told to me by persons directly involved.’
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The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
O’Malley said Monday that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 concerning McCarrick’s possible inappropriate behavior with seminarians.
‘I should have seen that letter precisely because it made assertions about the behavior of an archbishop in the church,’ he said.
O’Malley said his priest secretary told the pastor a recommendation to review cases fell outside the commission’s mandate.
He apologized Monday to the pastor and to anyone whose concerns were reflected in the letter.
Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he sexually abused a teenage altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with adult seminarians decades ago.
McCarrick has said he has ‘absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse’ and believes in his innocence.