There’s a quick way to learn the truth about Vigano’s accusations

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 29, 2018

Kudos to Father Raymond de Souza, who noticed something that the rest of us had missed. In a Catholic Herald column, Father de Souza explains how the release of the Vigano testimony affects the US bishops’ plans:

The American bishops have already asked Pope Francis to appoint an apostolic visitor to investigate the entire McCarrick matter. It is likely that the visitor, when appointed, would have interviewed Viganò in any case. His “testimony” will now be part of the material that the visitor must examine. Viganò has not provided documentation to support his charges, but has indicated where that documentation could be found—memoranda that he wrote, conversations that he had—with dates and places. An apostolic visitor, with investigative authority from the Holy Father, will have no trouble obtaining that documentation to see if it supports the charges Viganò has made.

Just let me suggest a slight revision of the last sentence there: the apostolic visitor would have no trouble obtaining documents—if an apostolic visitor were appointed. But to date, there has been no response from the Vatican to the request from Cardinal DiNardo— made two weeks ago and repeated this week—for a visitation.

““I am eager for an audience with the Holy Father to earn his support for our plan of action,” Cardinal DiNardo said this week, hinting that he might be a bit impatient for an answer. It would be easy enough for the Pope to say that he will organize an apostolic visitation, even if the process didn’t begin right away. These things aren’t organized overnight. The announcement of a plan would be a clear sign that things were moving in the right direction. To date, however, the Vatican has given no such sign.

So now, in the aftermath of the Vigano testimony—and Father de Souza’s astute observation—is it more or less likely that an apostolic visitation will be ordered? That might depend upon how anxious Pope Francis is to uncover the truth about Vigano’s charges.

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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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Ken - Aug. 31, 2018 5:58 PM ET USA

    “Move right along, please. Nothing to see here.”

  • Posted by: gj_brunning1835 - Aug. 31, 2018 10:56 AM ET USA

    Don't hold youe breath.

  • Posted by: Eric - Aug. 29, 2018 10:29 AM ET USA

    This all assumes that the Pope's "friends" in the Vatican aren't shredding like mad right now.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Aug. 29, 2018 10:04 AM ET USA

    What is that sound I hear in the background? Shredders running full time in every church office. This kind can only be cast out with prayer and fasting. My emphasis on the "cast out".

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 29, 2018 8:48 AM ET USA

    A brief examination of Pope Francis' track record might reveal his will regarding an apostolic visitation. (1) No direct answers to the dubia. (2) No answers to the questions raised by theologians, clergymen, and an other leaders en masse in a letter. (3) No clarification of the precise meaning of "Who am I to judge?" What is this question to mean in the confessional? (4) Dr. Seifert has still not been reinstated. On the other side is the accusation of "rigidity," "black and white," "sinners."