In a statement issued Monday, Tobin and the Archdiocese of Newark expressed “shock, sadness and consternation at the wide-ranging array of allegations...which cannot be understood as contributing to the healing of survivors of sexual abuse.”
“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” and guaranteeing a safe environment for all, the statement said.
“Together with Pope Francis, we are confident that scrutiny of the claims of the former nuncio will help to establish the truth.”
Pope Francis on Sunday responded to questions about Vigano’s testimony by saying that he will “not say a single word about it” and encouraged journalists and Catholics to study the testimony and its claims and draw their own conclusions.
Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego is also mentioned by Vigano, who claims that his appointment to San Diego was also “orchestrated from above” by Cardinal Parolin. He also alleged that McElroy knew of “McCarrick’s abuses, as can be seen from a letter sent to him by Richard Sipe on July 28, 2016.”
In his response issued in a statement on Monday, McElroy slams Vigano’s testimony as a “distortion” that does not attempt to “comprehensively convey the truth.”
“In its ideologically-driven selection of bishops who are attacked, in its clear efforts to settle old personal scores, in its omission of any reference to Archbishop Vigano’s own massive personal participation in the covering up of sexual abuse by bishops, and most profoundly in its hatred for Pope Francis and all that he has taught, Archbishop Vigano consistently subordinates the pursuit of comprehensive truth to partisanship, division and distortion,” McElroy said.
“We as bishops cannot allow the pathway of partisanship to divide us or to divert us from the searing mission that Christ calls us to at this moment,” he added.
“We must make public our sinful past. We must engage and help heal the survivors of abuse. We must develop new, lay-governed instruments of oversight and investigation in every element of how we confront sexual abuse by clergy at all levels in the life of the Church. And we must reject all attempts to subordinate these goals to ideological or personal projects. For if we do not, we will have betrayed the victims of abuse once again.”
The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., of which Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the head, issued a statement reiterating that Wuerl has “categorically denied that any of this information was communicated to him” regarding any sanctions against McCarrick and his ministry.
“Archbishop Viganò at no time provided Cardinal Wuerl any information about an alleged document from Pope Benedict XVI with directives of any sort from Rome regarding Archbishop McCarrick,” the archdiocese stated.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“Archbishop Viganò has not produced in his testimony any objectively verifiable proof that he in any way communicated to Cardinal Wuerl restrictions imposed on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI. In fact, Archbishop Viganò’s testimony says that he did not.”
Vigano wrote it was “absolutely unthinkable” that Archbishop Pietro Sambi, nuncio at the time the restrictions were imposed, would not have informed Wuerl about the restrictions placed upon McCarrick.
Wuerl’s spokesperson Ed McFadden told CNA on Saturday that Vigano “presumed that Wuerl had specific information that Wuerl did not have” regarding any specific allegations or sanctions against McCarrick.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and McCarrick, both mentioned in the testimony, have not issued responses as of press time.
While Archbishop Charles Chaput is not directly mentioned in the Vigano testimony, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which he heads, is mentioned several times, and its leader is mentioned as someone opposed by Francis and McCarrick.
Chaput’s spokesperson said that the archbishop “enjoyed working with Archbishop Vigano during his tenure as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States and found his service to be marked by integrity to the Church.”