TESTIMONY

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ROME, August 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — What you are about to read is an explosive testimony of the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, implicating Pope Francis and several senior prelates in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians and priests.

In an extraordinary 11-page written statement (see official English text below), Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, claims that Pope Francis knew about strict canonical sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò at the Rome Life Forum on May 18, 2018.Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews

In his testimony, dated August 22, Archbishop Viganò, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C. from 2011-2016, states that in the late 2000s, Benedict had “imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis,” and that Viganò personally spoke with Francis about the gravity of McCarrick’s abuse soon after his election in 2013.

But he says that Francis “continued to cover him” and not only did he “not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him” but also made McCarrick “his trusted counselor” who helped him to appoint a number of bishops in the United States, including Cardinals Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark.

Archbishop Viganò also implicates Cardinals Sodano, Bertone and Parolin in the cover-up and insists various other cardinals and bishops were well aware, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as Archbishop of Washington D.C.

“I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions, and I certainly didn’t need to go into detail because it was immediately clear to me that he was fully aware of it,” he writes. The Cardinal’s “recent statements that he knew nothing about it … are absolutely laughable. He lies shamelessly.”

“Cardinal Wuerl, well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict, transgressing the Pope’s order, also allowed him to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C. In doing so, he put other seminarians at risk,” he attests.

A widely respected figure, Archbishop Vigano says his “conscience dictates” that the truth be known as “the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy.” He ends his testimony by calling on Pope Francis and all of those implicated in the cover up of McCarrick’s abuse to resign.

In comments to LifeSiteNews on August 25, Archbishop Viganò said: “The main reason why I am revealing this news now is because of the tragic situation of the Church, which can be repaired only by the full truth, just as she has been gravely injured by the abuses and coverups. I do this to stop the suffering of the victims and to prevent new victims, and to protect the Church: only the truth can make her free.”

Viganò said the second reason he chose to write his testimony is “to discharge my conscience before God of my responsibilities as bishop of the universal Church. I am an old man and I want to present myself to God with clean conscience.”

Asked if he is concerned about critics who might suggest he is breaking the pontifical secret — a code of confidentiality applying to matters that require greater than ordinary confidentiality — he said: “The secrets in the Church, also the pontifical ones, are not taboos. They are instruments for protecting her and her children from her enemies. The secrets are not to be used for conspiracies.”

“The people of God have the right to know the full truth, also regarding their shepherds,” he said. “They have the right to be guided by good shepherds. In order to be able to trust them and love them, they have to know them openly in transparency and truth as they really are. A priest should be a light on a candlestick always and everywhere and for all.”

This is a breaking story. Follow LifeSite for further updates.

Here below is the official English text of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s Testimony. (You can download a PDF of the English translation here, and a PDF of the original Italian here.) Emphasis not added.

 

TESTIMONY

by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana Apostolic Nuncio

In this tragic moment for the Church in various parts of the world — the United States, Chile, Honduras, Australia, etc. — bishops have a very grave responsibility. I am thinking in particular of the United States of America, where I was sent as Apostolic Nuncio by Pope Benedict XVI on October 19, 2011, the memorial feast of the First North American Martyrs. The Bishops of the United States are called, and I with them, to follow the example of these first martyrs who brought the Gospel to the lands of America, to be credible witnesses of the immeasurable love of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated.

To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden. We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. “Whatever you have said in the dark … shall be proclaimed from the housetops” (Lk. 12:3).

I had always believed and hoped that the hierarchy of the Church could find within itself the spiritual resources and strength to tell the whole truth, to amend and to renew itself. That is why, even though I had repeatedly been asked to do so, I always avoided making statements to the media, even when it would have been my right to do so, in order to defend myself against the calumnies published about me, even by high-ranking prelates of the Roman Curia. But now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths regarding the heart-breaking case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, which I came to know in the course of the duties entrusted to me by St. John Paul II, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, from 1998 to 2009, and by Pope Benedict XVI, as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, from October 19, 2011 until end of May 2016.

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