So Pope Francis CAN act quickly on cover-up charges, when he wants to

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

Archbishop Vigano has responded quickly and effectively to the charge that he sought to squelch charges of sexual misconduct by Archbishop John Nienstedt. (I suspect that when he released his testimony, Archbishop Vigano knew this attack would be coming, and he was ready for it.) He notes that the priest who was the main source for a New York Times story in July 2016 had not been present at the meeting under discussion, which had taken place two years earlier. And documents on file at the Vatican, Archbishop Vigano says, support his side of the story.

No doubt the argument over this incident will continue. Let the chips fall where they may. If Vigano really was involved in a cover-up, I have no interest in defending him for it. But without pretending to resolve all the issues involved, let me call attention to one sentence from Archbishop Vigano’s new statement:

On the very day the news appeared in the New York Times, on July 21, 2016, the Holy Father asked Cardinal Parolin to phone the Nuncio in Washington, DC (Christophe Pierre), ordering that an investigation into my conduct be opened immediately….

Did something strike you there? The same thing that caught my eye?

On the very day that a story broke, suggesting that Vigano had engaged in a cover-up, the Pope demanded an investigation. So we know that Pope Francis can act quickly, when he wants to.

But how many days—and months—and years—passed before he demanded a thorough investigation of Bishop Barros? Of Cardinal Danneels? Of Cardinal Errazuriz? Of Cardinal Maradiaga?

The Pope’s loyal defenders tell as that Archbishop Vigano is motivated by his personal dislike for Pope Francis. And what was it, do you suppose, that motivated the Pope to take such quick action on the charge against Vigano?

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 See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Retired01 - Aug. 29, 2018 2:42 PM ET USA

    It cannot be denied that more than the Smoke of Satan has entered the vestibule of the Church. Let's pray for a thorough cleaning of the modernist and homosexual filth that has contaminated the Church. Let's pray that Christ will purify her Bride, so that She can shine again and be a light to the nations.

  • Posted by: WNS3234 - Aug. 28, 2018 9:49 PM ET USA

    I wonder if I've landed in the 14th century, with all the intrigue that led to the mayhem of the so-called Great Western Schism. Isn't social media an awesome thing?

  • Posted by: feedback - Aug. 28, 2018 5:46 PM ET USA

    "Be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves" [Matt.10:16] comes to mind.