Vatican City, Oct 7, 2018 / 02:39 am
The Vatican’s prefect for the Congregation for Bishops released a letter Sunday morning refuting charges Pope Francis lifted sanctions against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and saying that charges made by a former Vatican ambassador are an “unjustified attack” on the pope “cannot come from the Spirit of God.”
“Your current position seems to me incomprehensible and extremely reprehensible, not only because of the confusion that sows in the people of God, but because your public accusations seriously damage the reputation of the Successors of the Apostles,” wrote Cardinal Marc Ouellett, in an Oct. 7 letter addressed to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
“I tell you frankly that to accuse Pope Francis of having covered with full knowledge of the facts this alleged sexual predator and therefore of being an accomplice of the corruption that is spreading in the Church, to the point of considering him unworthy of continuing his reform as the first pastor of the Church, is incredible and unlikely from all points of view," Ouellett added.
The letter, released by the Vatican press office, was written in response to two letters from Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., which charged that the Vatican had ignored reports from him and others about sexual immorality on the part of McCarrick for several years, until Pope Benedict XVI imposed “sanctions” on McCarrick’s ministry in 2009 or 2010.
Vigano alleged that Pope Francis lifted the restrictions on McCarrick’s ministry after his election to the papacy, and that McCarrick became an adviser to the pope. He then called for the pope to resign.
He also suggested that Ouellet had direct knowledge of the history of allegations and responses in McCarrick’s case, and urged him to “bear witness to the truth."
Vigano claims that Ouellet told him in 2011 about sanctions imposed on McCarrick, but added that the cardinal’s “work as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops was being undermined because recommendations for episcopal appointments were being passed directly to Pope Francis by two homosexual 'friends' of his dicastery, bypassing the Cardinal, he gave up. His long article in L’Osservatore Romano, in which he came out in favor of the more controversial aspects of Amoris Laetitia, represents his surrender [to Pope Francis].”
The cardinal refuted those claims.