Vatican Defends Pope amid Cover-Up Accusations

Elias Hubbard
October 10, 2018

Cardinal Ouellet's letter marked the Vatican's first direct response to Archbishop Vigano's 11-page denunciation on August 26 in which he accused two dozen Vatican and U.S. church officials of covering up for McCarrick, and demanded Francis's resignation over his role in the scandal.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet's letter was issued Sunday, a day after Francis authorized a "thorough study" of all Vatican archives into how McCarrick rose through church ranks despite allegations he sexually preyed on seminarians and young priests.

Pope Francis was accused of lifting sanctions against McCarrick that his predecessor Benedict XVI had imposed - charges refuted yesterday by the Vatican's prefect for the Congregation for Bishops.

The Pope has blamed the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal on the devil.

Ouellet said there was no evidence of a cover up.

Cardinal Ouellet said: "I conclude, therefore that your accusations are a political frame job devoid of any real foundation".

The McCarrick scandal has thrown the US and Vatican hierarchy into turmoil, given that it was apparently an open secret in some USA church circles that he would invite seminarians into his bed.

Pope Francis has met the president of the U.S. bishops' conference as his supporters closed ranks over the pontiff's handling of allegations of sexual misconduct by a USA cardinal.

He accused Francis of knowing about sexual misconduct by a former USA cardinal with male adult seminarians but not doing anything about it.

Cardinal Ouellet did acknowledge that McCarrick had been "strongly exhorted" not to travel or appear in public, and to live a discreet life of prayer given rumours against him about his past behaviour with young adult men.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Monday he welcomes the Vatican's announcement of a further investigation into files on disgraced Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, praising the Pope's steps to end sexual assault.

Vigano claims the pope was informed of McCarrick's sexual liaisons with seminarians yet did nothing to punish him and in fact lifted sanctions imposed on the priest. "The reason is that back then, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged culpability".

"In addition, the written brief prepared for you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your service in 2011, said nothing about McCarrick other than what I told you in person about his situation as an emeritus Bishop who was supposed to obey certain conditions and restrictions due to the rumors surrounding his past behavior".

Cardinal Ouellet said in all his meetings with Francis about bishop nominations, he never heard him refer once to McCarrick as a trusted counsellor. But Ouellet said he couldn't believe Vigano had arrived at such a "monstrous" and "blasphemous" conclusion, given that Francis had nothing to do with McCarrick's career rise.

Secondly the letter mentions "friends" of Mgr Viganò who share his opinions and calls the former nuncio's accusations a baseless "political manoeuvre" and appeals to him to come out "of hiding", repent and retrieve "better feelings towards the Holy Father". I understand that bitterness and delusions have been a part of your journey in service to the Holy See, but you can not conclude your priestly life in this way, in open and scandalous rebellion, which is inflicting a very painful wound on the Bride of Christ, whom you claim to serve better, thus aggravating the division and confusion in the People of God!

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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