Statement from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki Regarding the Testimony of the Former Apostolic Nuncio

by Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki

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Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, issued this statement on August 28, 2018, in response to Archbishop Vigano’s letter on the cover-up of sexual abuse by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

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Diocese of Springfield, IL, August 28, 2018

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has revealed a set of facts and circumstances that are deeply troubling as they relate to the awareness, actions, and inactions at the very highest levels of the Church. Archbishop Viganò has provided his written testimony stating that Pope Francis “must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests. In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him.”

When asked about this aboard the papal plane on his return flight from Ireland on August 26, Pope Francis said, “Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this.” Frankly, but with all due respect, that response is not adequate. Given the gravity of the content and implications of the former Nuncio’s statement, it is important for all the facts of this situation to be fully reviewed, vetted, and carefully considered. Toward that end, Pope Francis, Vatican officials and the current Apostolic Nuncio should make public the pertinent files indicating who knew what and when about Archbishop (formerly Cardinal) McCarrick and provide the accountability that the Holy Father has promised.

In this regard, I concur completely with the statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who yesterday “reaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement. The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”

© Diocese of Springfield

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