Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (r), former apostolic nuncio to the United States, German Cardinal Walter Brandmuller stands next to during opening prayer at a conference on Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” in Rome Oct. 28
A former apostolic nuncio to the United States has called on Pope Francis to resign over the developing scandal of clerical sex abuse that is casting a lengthening shadow over his visit to Ireland.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Holy See’s former ambassador in Washington, has accused Pope Francis of repealing sanctions imposed by his predecessor Benedict XVI on disgraced former Archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick.
Pope Francis last month accepted Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals and directed the 88-year-old former Archbishop of Washington to observe “a life of prayer and penance in seclusion” until the end of the canonical process against him.
Although Archbishop Viganò says McCarrick had been placed under sanctions by Benedict XVI, Church observers point out that the former Archbishop of Washington continued with an active schedule of pastoral engagements following his retirement.
Archbishop Viganò was sent to Washington as papal ambassador to the United States in 2011. According to Vatileaks letters, Viganò was exiled to the US from an administrative post in the Vatican for whistleblowing on mismanagement of Holy See finances. He is an ally of the “dubia” cardinals, who have publicly challenged the Pope to correct his family life teaching. Earlier this year he attended a conference of Catholic critics of Francis in Rome where the keynote speaker, Cardinal Burke, set out times when a Pope should be “disobeyed.”
Viganò served in Washington until 2016 and towards the end of his tenure was at the centre of a fiasco involving the Pope meeting Kim Davis, a clerk from Kentucky who refused to perform same-sex marriages, during a visit to the United States.
In his 11-page open letter released in during the Pope’s visit to Ireland, as Francis prepares to celebrate Mass for half a million people in pouring rain, and published by the Veritas Vincit conservative blog, Viganò goes into substantial detail of what he knew about these sanctions, and subsequent events.
He makes numerous statements against many members of the hierarchy, including Pope Francis.
Some commentators pointed out on Twitter that Viganò is a long-time critic of Francis.