Ex-Vatican envoy urges Pope Francis to resign over abuse case
Ex-Vatican envoy urges Pope Francis to resign over abuse case
Papal visit: Pope Francis travels to Knock Shrine
28 August, 2018, 15:00
Pope Francis accepted the US -born, 88-year-old's resignation on July 28, effectively stripping him of his cardinal's title, following the surfacing of decades-old sexual misconduct allegations that involved the abuse of boys, including one as young as 11, and wrongdoing with adult male seminarians.
The former nuncio claimed that Pope Benedict XVI later "imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis".
"He (Pope Francis) knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator", wrote Vigano", adding that "he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end".
Vigano also claims Pope Benedict XVI was aware of the allegations and had asked McCarrick to "withdraw to a life of prayer and penance".
According to Mr Vigano, McCarrick's misconduct was known in the Catholic hierarchy for years, and former Pope Benedict XVI ordered him to seclusion for prayer and penance almost a decade ago. "I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely ... read the statement carefully and make your own judgment", he said.
These have added to testimonies from several former seminarians who claimed that McCarrick abused and harrassed them.
"I repeated them to Cardinal McCarrick at my first meeting with him at the nunciature".
In 2016, the National Catholic Reporter said Vigano allegedly ordered the investigation wrapped up and a piece of evidence destroyed.
"Regarding Cardinal Sean O'Malley, I would simply say that his latest statements on the McCarrick case are disconcerting, and have totally obscured his transparency and credibility", Vigano wrote.
He has been accused of sexually abusing children since the church's sex abuse scandal broke in 2002, following which the Vatican has asked the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C.to cease public ministry.
But Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Texas found the allegations in Vigano's letter "credible", and called for a "thorough investigation", into the pope, according to LifeSiteNews.com.
88-year-old McCarrick resigned last month in disgrace and was stripped of his title after allegations that he had abused a minor almost 50 years ago and also forced adult male seminarians to share his bed.
The pope accepted the resignation of McCarrick, now 88, in July, making him just the second cardinal ever to lose his status.
The US based Survivors' Network for those abused by priests (SNAP) said in a statement that if Vigano's allegations are true "this situation provides a dramatic illustration of the gap between rhetoric and decisive action".
Some Catholic scholars question the motives behind Vigano's inflammatory accusations, but also say the claims are deeply serious as scandal continues to wrack the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who spoke ahead of the Pope on Saturday, did not skirt the current abuse revelations that have emerged in Pennsylvania.
His trip was also met with protests, with about 5,000 abuse victims and supporters attending a "Stand for Truth" rally in the capital Dublin, while another "Nope to the Pope" demonstration called for gay and transgender recognition.
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