"It seems unfair to me to conclude that the persons in charge of prior discernment are corrupt even though, in the concrete case, some clues provided by the testimonies should have been further examined. The prelate in question was able to defend himself with great skill from the doubts raised in his regard."
Regarding charges that a homosexual network of clerics has exercised undue influence on the appointment of bishops, Ouellet wrote that "the fact that there may be people in the Vatican who practise and support behaviour contrary to the values of the Gospel in matters of sexuality does not authorize us to generalize and to declare this or that and even the Holy Father himself unworthy and complicit. Should the ministers of truth not, first of all, guard themselves against slander and defamation?" he added.
McCarrick has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians during decades of ministry as a bishop. In June, the Archdiocese of New York announced that it had completed the first stage of a canonical process investigating one of those charges, and had found one allegation that he sexually abused a teenage boy to be "credible and substantiated." McCarrick was subsequently ordered to withdraw from active ministry, and his resignation from the College of Cardinals was accepted.
On. Oct 6, the Vatican announced it would conduct a review of its files pertaining to the McCarrick case.
Ouellet's letter expressed his hope that "the investigation under way in the United States and the Roman Curia will finally give us a critical overall view of the procedures and circumstances of this painful case, so that such events do not recur in the future."
The cardinal's letter including some strong charges against Vigano's letter. He wrote that Vigano's accusation regarding Pope Francis is "a political set-up without a real foundation that can incriminate the Pope, and I reiterate that it deeply hurts the communion of the Church."
The cardinal added that because of his own experience with the pope, he "can not question his personal integrity, his consecration to the mission and especially the charism and peace that inhabit him by the grace of God and the power of the Risen One."
He added that Francis "treats people and problems with much charity, mercy, attention and seriousness, as you yourself have experienced."
Because of this, Ouellet wrote, Vigano's charges against the pope's character "seemed to me really too sarcastic, even blasphemous!"
He urged Vigano to "repent of your revolt and return to better feelings towards the Holy Father, instead of exacerbating hostility against him. How can you celebrate the Holy Eucharist and pronounce his name in the canon of Mass? How can you pray the holy Rosary, Saint Michael the Archangel and the Mother of God, condemning the one she protects and accompanies every day in her heavy and courageous ministry?"
"I understand how bitterness and disappointment have marked your path in service to the Holy See, but you cannot end your priestly life in this way, in an open and scandalous rebellion, which inflicts a very painful wound on the Bride of Christ, whom you claim to serve better, worsening the division and bewilderment in the people of God!"
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