By now, you are probably aware of the letter (testimony), dated the 22nd of August, written by the former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. In this letter, he details and denounces the cover-up of the abusive and criminal behavior of Cardinal McCarrick by numerous Church authorities, including Pope Francis.
He writes that Pope Benedict had imposed canonical sanctions “to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance” on Cardinal McCarrick. These sanctions were, he writes, lifted by Pope Francis, who allowed Cardinal McCarrick to travel, give speeches and interviews, say Mass publicly and even advise him on the appointment of new bishops and cardinals. According to Archbishop Viganò: “Although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end; indeed, he made McCarrick’s advice his own…”
Archbishop Viganò continues:
“…on Sunday, August 12, 2018, Pope Francis said these words: ‘Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do ... If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.’ If this is rightly to be considered a serious moral responsibility for every believer, how much graver is it for the Church’s supreme pastor, who in the case of McCarrick not only did not oppose evil, but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!
“Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.
“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, 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.”
In his letter, Archbishop Viganò says that the resignation of those involved in the McCarrick cover-up will not suffice; the problem is larger than that:
“A time of conversion and penance must be proclaimed. The virtue of chastity must be recovered in the clergy and in seminaries. Corruption in the misuse of the Church’s resources and of the offerings of the faithful must be fought against. The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced. The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated, as Janet Smith, Professor of Moral Theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, recently wrote. ‘The problem of clergy abuse,’ she wrote, ‘cannot be resolved simply by the resignation of some bishops, and even less so by bureaucratic directives. The deeper problem lies in homosexual networks within the clergy which must be eradicated.’ These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., 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.”
Thus far, Pope Francis has refused to comment on Archbishop Viganò’s very serious charges.
Friends, in addition to prayer, penance and mortification, we should make our voices heard. Please consider writing charitable but firm letters to each of the following shepherds of the Church:
Archbishop Bernard Hebda (for those in the St. Paul Archdiocese)
777 Forest Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106-3857
His Eminence, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
1700 San Jacinto St.
Houston, TX 77002
Archbishop Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio of the United States
3339 Mass Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610
His Holiness, Pope Francis
(Note: Postage to Vatican City is $1.15)
Below is a sample letter:
Your (Excellency, Eminence, Holiness):
The purpose of this letter is to ask you to address the problem of sexual abuse and its cover-up by priests, bishops, cardinals and religious. These scandals are causing incalculable damage to the moral authority of the Church.
What specifically, do I suggest?
Pope John Paul II himself set an example. To restore the confidence of the faithful, His Holiness required a Profession of Faith by Cardinal Designate Keith Patrick O'Brien in 2003 at St. Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. This Profession of Faith included these words: “… I accept and intend to defend the law on ecclesiastical celibacy as it is proposed by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church; I accept and promise to defend the ecclesiastical teaching about the immorality of the homosexual act; I accept and promise to promulgate always and everywhere what the Church's Magisterium teaches on contraception. So help me God and these Holy I Scriptures, which I touch with my hand.”
I propose that all clergy and religious, regardless of rank, be required to sign this same Profession of Faith. Those who refuse to sign this oath should have their faculties suspended, effective immediately. If after taking the oath they subsequently violate it, they should then have their faculties immediately suspended.
Please remove these wolves in sheep’s clothing from our midst, and if the accusations against Pope Francis by Archbishop Viganò are, in your opinion, true, I entreat you --- again in the words of Archbishop Viganò --- to ask Pope Francis “to set a good example… and resign.”
The testimony of Archbishop Viganò is available on the SMB website: smbtv.org. It is very worthwhile reading.
In the midst of this, it’s important not to lose faith or become discouraged. St. Thomas More, disappointed by the inaction of the English bishops in his day, recalled that during the agony in the garden all of the apostles (bishops) were asleep, except the betrayer. The words of Bishop Sheen also come to mind: “Judge the Catholic Church not by those who barely live by its spirit, but by the example of those who live closest to it.”
In addition to calling for reform, we need to express our support and gratitude to those priests, bishops and religious who live holy and edifying lives. With this in mind, programs this month will include both those that are critical of the current situation in the Church, and programs about saints who were priests, such as St. Damien of Molokai, so that we might be uplifted and inspired by their example.
Please continue to support St. Michael Broadcasting by telling others, by contributing if you are able, by offering up your suffering if you wish you could contribute at this time but cannot, and by offering to volunteer if possible.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
Michael Bird, President and volunteer