Action Alert!

How could you, Archbishop Vigano?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 11, 2018

“How can you celebrate Mass,” Cardinal Ouellet angrily demands of Archbishop Viganò, “and mention the pope’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer?”

An excellent question. It forces us to ask whether we have ever imagined that in praying for our shepherds we were thereby paying tribute to their rectitude and decency. Think of the faithful whose priests, over, say, the last 30 years, have invited them to pray for John Paul our pope, or for Benedict our pope …

  • “… and for Rembert our bishop”—who used $450,000 of his flock’s contributions to buy the silence of his partner in sodomy.
  • “… and for Lawrence our bishop”—who throttled a male prostitute who was in the act of fellating him.
  • “… and for Thomas our bishop”—who struck a pedestrian with his Buick and drove off leaving him to die.
  • “… and for Patrick our bishop”—who outfitted his catamite with a beeper to summon him for sex.
  • “… and for Theodore our bishop”—who slept with priests and seminarians and fondled boys.
  • “… and for Robert our bishop”—who gave $30 million in no-bid construction contracts to a tri-athlete and “special friend” and paid out $100,000 in another settlement with an unhappy (male) roommate.
  • “… and for Donald our bishop”—who turned up at the hospital beaten to a pulp and claimed he fell down the stairs.
  • “… and for Daniel our bishop”—who had a screaming spat with an angry rent-boy in his driveway.
  • “... and for Joseph our bishop”—who tweeted “Nighty-night, baby” to a chum and claimed he was texting his sister.

Now that you mention it, Your Eminence, “Francis our pope” fits into the roster with hardly any trouble at all.

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 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Oct. 19, 2018 10:54 PM ET USA

    Outstanding! Thank you Phil! It has finally come down to questioning if it is ok for sinners to pray for other sinners. I wonder, is it ok for sinners to pray at all. God help us. ...ooops.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 17, 2018 6:40 PM ET USA

    One or two commenters here seem to have missed the point, which is that Ouellet is wrong to say that if Viganò believed his own accusations against PF, he shouldn’t pray for the Pontiff during Mass. As you remind us, when we pray for our bishops at Mass, we don’t endorse their sins and errors, which you illustrate with some pungent examples.

  • Posted by: timothy.op - Oct. 16, 2018 7:06 PM ET USA

    Francis has his vices, to be sure, but to liken him to those on that list is outlandish.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Oct. 13, 2018 11:35 PM ET USA

    Your list may be too short. Consider all who were mentored in some way by Mccarrick and are now bishops and Cardinals. The beast has been loose among the hierarchy. St Michael protect Arb. Vigano. The minions of the beast are looking to destroy him. Even the Pope given his record of coverups is also worrisome. His synod packing with Mccarrick related buddies should give us cause for concern for young Catholics.Mary help us. Jesus save us.

  • Posted by: msrsm19887530 - Oct. 12, 2018 11:08 PM ET USA

    "Now that you mention it, Your Eminence, “Francis our pope” fits into the roster with hardly any trouble at all." Except that all the entire roster consists of homosexual offenders and one hit and run driver. Despite his serious failings, the pope is not accused of any such crimes against man or nature. A rash comment.

  • Posted by: DanS - Oct. 12, 2018 10:19 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Ouellett doth protest too much!And in so doing betrays is disinterest in the truth, his desperate clinging to "clericalism." PF these days spares no opportunity to condemn the very behavior Ouellett puts on full display! Scandalous! Why should the faithful expect the full truth from a Vatican-sponsored inquiry?! The Pope himself lies among the accused!

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 12, 2018 2:08 AM ET USA

    It is profoundly sad that so many at the top of the hierarchy of the Church can't accept that someone in their ranks could become a whistleblower purely out of their Catholic and Apostolic faith, and out of their love for God and for the truth. With so many ongoing devastating scandals in the Church, why the assumption that Archbishop Vigano acted out of spite? It becomes evident that the Archbishop had the right instinct to go into hiding since he knew exactly who he was dealing with.

  • Posted by: jlw5094538 - Oct. 11, 2018 9:49 PM ET USA

    Terribly painful reading, Phil, but I'm glad you said it. I teach my RCIA'ers that the 8th commandment forbids the sin of detraction (needlessly exposing others' faults), while at the same time requiring that we speak up honestly when souls are at risk. You've had a lifelong vocation to this kind of discerning, yet unflinching truth-telling, and I thank you for it. Like you, Abp Vigano can hold his head up as an honest man. Pray for the guilty and the innocent. That should about cover it.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Oct. 11, 2018 2:09 PM ET USA

    Satan has his teeth and claws deeply embedded into too many of our prelates, which is why they scream so vehemently when confronted by any who might contribute to their being exorcised. Deus non irridetur, so I know they will eventually get their due, but I grieve for the souls of so many who will be unnecessarily lost along with them.