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 See full bio.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 08, 2018 3:31 AM ET USA

    Ouellet just responded. His stated intent was to vindicate Pope Francis and undermine Abp. Vigano. But it came out to be the other way around, as he admits to "rumors" about McCarrick's homosexual activity.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Sep. 29, 2018 9:29 AM ET USA

    Wait a minute! Wait a minute! "Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial," the Vatican statement said. So, who is investigating and preparing the case for the canonical trial????

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Sep. 28, 2018 11:47 PM ET USA

    I pray these Cardinals will choose truth. It is long past due to clean out the lavender mafia in the Church at all levels. Beware of attacks from likes of Cupich and Tobin. They will bare their teeth soon. St Michael protect us. Mary pray for us. Jesus save us from the crimes that shout to heaven for justice.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Sep. 28, 2018 10:58 PM ET USA

    For the sake of the Pope's soul, the Church needs to continue to pressure him to come out and do the right thing. End the confusion! End the sabotaging of the Church! Clean up the corruption in the Curia!

  • Posted by: Acolyte - Sep. 28, 2018 10:57 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Viganò clearly dislikes Pope Francis and wants him to resign. Pope Francis is a man elected by the College of Cardinals to the Chair of St. Peter. The man can makes mistakes and no doubt he has, and he has repeatedly apologizes about the sexual abuse scandals that rock the Church. He is trying to make amends for the actions he mistakenly took early in his pontificate and should be forgiven for his weaknesses. Tu est Petrus! You are Peter, Francis! I trust you to shepherd the Church.

  • Posted by: filioque - Sep. 28, 2018 6:53 PM ET USA

    God bless Archbishop Viganò! Every prelate from the Pope on down should be met at every public appearance by laity chanting "Viganò! Viganò! Viganò! Tell us the truth!" Mail your bishop a letter with one word: Viganò!

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Sep. 28, 2018 4:43 PM ET USA

    The only ways we are going to find the truth are if Archbishop Vigano continues to turn up the heat, and if other members of the hierarchy with relevant information join him in turning up the heat.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Sep. 28, 2018 4:25 PM ET USA

    It is truly time--long past time--to choose sides. The choice (and choosing to not choose is a choice) will resound not only here in this vale of tears, but also before the Judgment Seat which we all must face one day.