Strange Twist to Pope Accuser’s Motivations…”The ‘coup’ against Pope Francis”

(CNN)Even before Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano called for Pope Francis to resign on Sunday, the two men had a history, and it wasn’t good.

Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the United States, angered some church officials in 2015 by arranging a meeting at the Vatican’s embassy in Washington between the Pope and Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to sign same-sex marriage certificates.

During his trip to the United States, the Pope had tried to stay above the country’s culture wars. Vigano foisted Francis right into the fray. The Vatican, which tried to distance the Pope from Davis, was displeased. Two years later, Francis quietly accepted Vigano’s resignation.

On Sunday, Vigano struck back.

Pope Francis silent on archbishop's call for him to resign

In an 11-page “testimony” released to conservative Catholic media, Vigano accused Francis of ignoring his warnings about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington from 2000-2006. Under Francis’ orders, McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals last month after accusations that he molested an altar boy and seminarians.

But Vigano said the Pope earlier had lifted restrictions on McCarrick put in place by Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2015.

“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church,” Vigano wrote, “he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

Vigano’s accusations come as Francis and his church are trying to contain a quickly escalating sexual abuse crisis that has spread from Australia to Pennsylvania. In Ireland, a country devastated by its own clergy abuse scandals, the Pope repeatedly apologized last weekend for the sins and crimes of church leaders, lamenting that “some members of the hierarchy didn’t own up to these painful situations and kept silent.”

Pope replaces ambassador to U.S. who set up Kim Davis meeting

On the plane ride home, the Pope himself kept silent about Vigano’s accusations.

“I will not say a single word about this,” he said. “I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have the sufficient journalistic ability to make your conclusions. It’s an act of trust.”

While journalists dig for the truth, and the Pope keeps silent, Vigano’s letter has emerged as a sort of Rorschach test for Catholics: Many conservative Catholics say the Pope must go. Liberal Catholics accuse the archbishop of launching a coup d’etat against his boss.

“This is a coup operation against Pope Francis,” said Massimo Faggioli, a professor of Catholic history and theology at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

“It is a stunning convergence between the personal agenda of Vigano and the theological agenda of those who do not like Pope Francis.”

Turning the tables on Vigano, the Archdiocese of Washington suggested his tenure in the United States should itself be investigated.

A 2014 memo shows that Vigano himself demanded that evidence be destroyed in an attempt to end an investigation against a former archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to CNN Vatican analyst John Allen.

But the Bishop of Phoenix, the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, issued a statement defending Vigano, whom he said he has known since 1979.

“Although I have no knowledge of the information that he reveals in his written testimony of August 22, 2018, so I cannot personally verify its truthfulness, I have always known and respected him as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity,” Olmsted wrote.

A ‘hit list’

Even before he tussled with Francis, Vigano was adept at courting controversy.

In 2011, when he ran the Vatican City State, the Italian churchman clashed with his superiors, accusing Vatican officials of corruption. The charges became enmeshed in the Vatileaks scandal, when former Pope Benedict’s butler leaked documents detailing the infighting.

“Vigano presented himself as a whistle blower,” said John Thavis, who was the Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service at the time. “But he also had a persecution complex. He saw conspiracy theories all around him.”

Thavis said Benedict didn’t seem impressed by Vigano’s views. “He sent him 4,000 miles away, to the United States.”

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Vigano was appointed the Vatican’s US ambassador in October 2011. For the most part, he kept a low profile, though some accused the archbishop of breaking with church protocol by appearing at an anti-gay marriage rally at the Supreme Court. (Typically, Vatican ambassadors — known as nuncios — do not publicly involve themselves in another country’s internal political debates.)

Besides representing the Pope, nuncios typically advise popes on whom to appoint as bishops.

In his letter Sunday, Vigano seemed bitter that Francis had relied on other Vatican officials for recommendations, saying that “the nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops.”

Instead, Vigano said, the appointment of several bishops to top posts in Chicago and New Jersey were “orchestrated” by McCarrick and his successor in Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, as well as Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a Honduran who is one of the Pope’s closest advisers.

More salaciously, Vigano said the Catholic Church is plagued by “homosexual networks” that “act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.”

Those “networks,” Vigano said, were complicit in a “conspiracy of silence” that allowed McCarrick’s and others’ alleged abuses to continue.

In statements, Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, both of whom were named in Vigano’s letter, denied any allegations against them.

“The factual errors, innuendo and fearful ideology of the ‘testimony,’ serve to strengthen our conviction to move ahead resolutely in protecting the young and vulnerable from any sort of abuse,” Tobin said, “while guaranteeing a safe and respectful environment where all are welcome and breaking down the structures and cultures that enable abuse.”

'No more apologies': Pope's visit fails to soothe Irish fury over abuse

The fact that most of the bishops Vigano criticizes are well-known liberals has led some church experts to suspect his motives.

“This letter is a hit list,” said Faggioli. “It’s all the people he thinks are bad for the church because of their ‘homosexual agenda.'”

Apparently, that includes Pope Francis.

Vigano saves most of his ammunition for the Pope, who he says he told in 2013 that McCarrick was “a serial predator” but “continued to cover for him.”

But the Pope didn’t cover for McCarrick. Unlike his predecessors, Francis forced the former cardinal to resign in July.

And Thavis said Vigano’s assertions about Benedict putting restrictions on McCarrick, including not allowing him to participate in church events or celebrate Mass in public, are patently false.

“McCarrick appeared at several high-profile events with Benedict,” he said.

Still, Thavis and Faggioli, as well as other church experts, said the Vatican should respond in detail to Vigano’s charges, even if the Pope himself refuses to do so.

“They still need to answer some questions,” Faggioli said. “This is something that cannot be ignored.”

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10 thoughts on “Strange Twist to Pope Accuser’s Motivations…”The ‘coup’ against Pope Francis”

  • August 28, 2018 at 7:21 am
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    Look for Vigano at lifesitenews, it is all there.

  • August 28, 2018 at 8:16 am
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    I am sorry but your report is very confusing and intentionally manipulative. The Catholic Christians are not dumb people. Lazy and lukewarm in general but there are still some who care about what is going on in their Church. We don’t need to be a Cardinal or whatever high ranking leader of the Church before we acknowledge the good or wrong direction the Church leaders are willing to lead the Faithful to.
    I don’t understand what exactly you are defending in this post. The pope is not God and willing to maintain Catholics in a kind of “say Amen to everything the pope says” is very silly. Even a child of 5 years would be confused by your article painting those who stand for the Truth as the evil ones. Why don’t give all the information related to different cases you are mentioning to prove to your readers that Cdl Vigano is the evil one? Why don’t you clearly remind them, for example that the same “Church officials” angered by him for arranging a papal meeting with K Davis, were at the opposite more than excited for the pope to officially meet up with a gay couple during the same visit? What exactly are you reproaching to this Cdl? Maybe this was a way for the Vatican to prove how they do not interfere in the “culture wars” of a country? And strangely the same pope and US Church leaders who you want to present as genuine Catholics did not hesitate to take position against Trump on his migration policy and even threatened innocent Catholics to apply canon law against them? Seriously, who are you trying to convince?
    What is the most grave sin?
    ” been accused of breaking with church protocol by appearing at an anti-gay marriage rally at the Supreme Court” or covering up sex abuse scandals in the Church? And you are not honest to pretend that Pope Francis “forced” Cdl McCarrick to resign. The pope was forced to act because the truth was widely spread in secular media. One has to be hypocrite to pretend the opposite.
    I used to think Mystic Post was on the side of the true faith but I am very disappointed by you showing your real face these recent weeks.

    • August 28, 2018 at 9:07 am
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      You should be a faithful Catholic and support pope Francis. Unfortunately we have some very extreme Conservative Catholics in our church who maybe unwittingly are being duped by Satan to try and cause a schism in our church.

  • August 28, 2018 at 8:19 am
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    Thank you for your comment.. I have removed the story from Facebook.. I think were some valid points in the article.. but I am removing

    • August 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm
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      Ryan, I am glad you took this post down. I also question why you would endorse an article published by CNN, they are the Anti-church in America and elsewhere. I grew up in Pennsylvania and was an altar server. The Church discredited victims of abuse and just transferred priests to other parishes. The same is happening already to Archbishop Vigano, discredit him and cover it up. There needs to be an investigation into the allegations he has made. Satan has entered the Church through sins of the flesh. It has been going on for way too long and yes the the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church. Maybe it is purification time! My faith remains in Jesus Christ and the Church he founded!
      We need to pray and fast for our shepherds. That truth prevails and no more of the Good shepherds be discouraged and leave the Church. Then satan have destroyed what God has ordained.

  • August 28, 2018 at 10:24 am
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    I believe this is all about,they waited all this time to make the accusations against Pope Francis,The Holy Spirit will Prevail,

  • August 28, 2018 at 12:06 pm
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    Ryan, I am glad you took this post down. I also question why you would endorse an article published by CNN, they are the Anti-church in America and elsewhere. I grew up in Pennsylvania and was an altar server. The Church discredited victims of abuse and just transferred priests to other parishes. The same is happening already to Archbishop Vigano, discredit him and cover it up. There needs to be an investigation into the allegations he has made. Satan has entered the Church through sins of the flesh. It has been going on for way too long and yes the the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church. Maybe it is purification time! My faith remains in Jesus Christ and the Church he founded!
    We need to pray and fast for our shepherds. That truth prevails and no more of the Good shepherds be discouraged and leave the Church. Then satan have destroyed what God has ordained.

    • August 28, 2018 at 12:09 pm
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      I despise CNN to be clear.. I did feel that the that the Nuncio confronting Pope Francis with Kim Davis in a surprise attack did speak to perhaps the nuncios motivations. God Bless you Steve ryan Mystic Post

  • August 29, 2018 at 8:27 pm
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    I believe it is quite obvious that the meeting with the pope with many Davis, the cardinal arranged was him making a statement to the pope,a nod to say,where do you stand? I think it’s now obvious where he stands,unfortunately not on church teaching, he is covering up the abuse agendas..the homosexual and pedophile underground that exists in the church worldwide..he is afraid to put a stop to it. I do not believe he is our true pope.i do not see him as representing Jesus Christ.

    • September 12, 2018 at 6:55 pm
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      The Book of Truth is correct! Thank Jesus for His sent end time prophet Maria Divine Mercy. The Holy Spirit had nothing to do with bergoglio getting elected. The process was rigged from the start. Wolves in sheeps clothing, Bella Dodd confessed the truth about 1,100 men were sent into seminaries to destroy the priesthood in the late 1930’s… some are now bishops and cardinals. These guys still need our prayers because hell is forever. That is what the Crusade Prayer Mission is all about. The Book of Truth exposed the enemies of God. It’s Crusade Prayers are from Jesus to save as many souls possible, even the blackest. God’s Remnant Army … Bless all of you!

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