Choose sides! Archbishop Vigano puts two cardinals on the spot

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 28, 2018

One month after making his first damaging charges against Pope Francis, Archbishop Vigano has now ramped up the pressure on the Pontiff with a 2nd blast. Perhaps equally important, he is now also applying public pressure to other prelates, notably Cardinals Marc Ouellet and Daniel DiNardo.

“Neither the Pope, nor any of the cardinals in Rome have denied the facts I asserted in my testimony,” Archbishop Vigano says. Then he challenges them to speak up.

To Cardinal DiNardo, the president of the US bishops’ conference, the archbishop’s challenge is simple and straightforward. He wants the American prelates to announce to the world what insiders already know: that Pope Francis refused to authorize an apostolic visitation, thereby making it practically impossible to unearth all the facts surrounding the McCarrick scandal. Archbishop Vigano says that “the faithful deserve to know” what happened when the American bishops asked for an apostolic visitation. Actually we do know; by announcing plans for their own investigation, the leaders of the US bishops’ conference made it clear that the Pope had declined to order a Vatican-based inquiry. But by announcing that fact to the world, rather than letting observers draw their own conclusions, Cardinal DiNardo would be joining Archbishop Vigano in a public protest of the Pontiff’s policies.

To Cardinal Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Archbishop Vigano issues a different sort of challenge. He praises the Canadian cardinal for having “maintained his dignity” at the start of the current pontificate, but then says that Cardinal Ouellet “gave up” when he saw his work being undermined by members of the Vatican’s lavender mafia. So he is directly questioning Cardinal Ouellet’s integrity. But he offers the cardinal a simple means of proving his good faith:

You have at your complete disposal key documents incriminating McCarrick and many in the Curia for their cover-ups. Your Eminence, I urge you to bear witness to the truth.

Clearly, Archbishop Vigano is confident that these two cardinals will not contradict him—that any testimony they might offer would strengthen his case. He is prodding them to end their silence, urging them to choose sides. Cardinals DiNardo and Ouellet know the truth, Archbishop Vigano tells us. So why won’t they say it?

That sort of moral pressure may prove difficult for honest prelates to resist. And there’s no reason to doubt that Archbishop Vigano will continue turning up the heat.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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