In an interview this week, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò challenged journalists to investigate what happened to the “cache of documents” Benedict XVI delivered to Pope Francis after his election. Some sexual abuse victims and journalists seem to have heeded the call, demanding the documents outside the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C.
Viganò is the author of an extraordinary 11-page letter that sent shockwaves throughout Christiandom this week.
In the letter, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States accused several senior prelates of covering up allegations of McCarrick’s sexual abuse for more than a decade. He also claimed Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI on then-Cardinal McCarrick (which forbade him from traveling and speaking in public) and chose not only to repeal them, but to make McCarrick a “kingmaker” for appointments in the Curia and the United States. Viganò further claimed that the disgraced cardinal became the pope’s most trusted advisor in the Vatican for relations with the Obama administration.
The National Catholic Register’s Edward Pentin reported on EWTN earlier this week that Viganò had gone into hiding, fearing that his life was in danger. Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, the former first counsellor at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, D.C., backed Viganò’s explosive allegations, saying he told “the truth.”
Lantheaume also apparently fears for his life, writing on his Facebook page, perhaps only half-jokingly:
These may be the last lines I write… if I am found chopped up by a chainsaw and my body sunk in concrete, the police and the hacks will say that we have to consider the hypothesis of suicide!!!
Viganò had a message for journalists in a follow-up interview with Aldo Maria Valli, the Italian journalist who helped him publicize his letter.
The Archbishop said, “I spoke out because at this point the corruption has reached the top levels of the hierarchy of the Church. I ask journalists: why are they not asking what ever happened to the cache of documents that, as we all saw, Pope Benedict had delivered to Pope Francis at Castel Gandolfo?”
On Thursday, groups representing survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests called on the Vatican to publish a list of clerics accused of sexual assault.
The Vatican’s dossier on McCarrick contains “underlying facts concerning Pope Francis and two other popes, Benedict and John Paul” including details on how they covered up the sexual abuse, said Peter Isley with the group Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA).
The information “is in the pope’s file, let’s see it,” Isley said at a press conference outside the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C.
OAN correspondent Jack Posobiec went to the Vatican embassy Friday morning to request the release of the Vigano documents and was turned away.
“The Pope said that he wants journalistic inquiry into this matter and wants all sides to know what’s going on, so why then will they not allow us access to those documents? We’ve made a formal request. We were denied.” he said.
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) August 31, 2018