Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claimed over the weekend that while he was the papal nuncio to the United States, he saw “documentation” alleging that the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America.
“Monsignor [Walter] Rossi is, without a doubt, a member of the ‘gay mafia,'” Viganò told Italian journalist Marco Tosatti on Saturday, bolstering George Neumayr’s hair-raising reportage on the “Gay Mafioso” in the American Spectator. The former nuncio said the fact that Rossi’s name was once proposed for a promotion to bishop “shows how the ‘gay mafia’ operates. ”
Viganò went into hiding last August, in fear for his life, after accusing Pope Francis of covering up sexual misconduct in an eleven-page bombshell letter. Almost a year later, much of his powerful testimony has been vindicated.
In a series of emails with the Post, he accused Pope Francis of lying in denying knowledge of the sexual abuse allegations against now-defrocked cardinal Theodore McCarrick and said Francis, as well as his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, must come clean about what they knew about the alleged abuse.
Viganò said it was “immensely sad” that Francis was “blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds.” He also reiterated his claim that a “corrupt gay mafia” is running the Church.
“[T]he ‘gay mafia’ among bishops is bound together not by shared sexual intimacy but by a shared interest in protecting and advancing one another professionally and sabotaging all efforts at reform,” Viganò wrote.
“It is not pedophiles but gay priests preying on post-pubertal boys who have bankrupted the U.S. dioceses,” Viganò, added, citing Fr. Paul Sullins’ groundbreaking recent survey on homosexuality and clerical abuse.
According to the whistleblower, the weak actions taken against McCarrick thus far show that the Vatican is engaged in a cover-up to prevent the exposure of other churchmen.
In comments to Tosatti on Saturday, the former nuncio noted that disgraced Bishop Michael Bransfield is “a perfect example” of the network of corrupt gay prelates connected to McCarrick, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and others who have for decades been covering up sex scandals and sullying the reputation of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Bransfield and Msgr. Rossi are perfect examples of “how the gay mafia operates,” Viganò said.
Via Church Militant:
Bransfield was suspended last fall after allegations of homosexual misconduct. A detailed Vatican investigation, obtained by the Washington Post, revealed that Bransfield harassed and assaulted seminarians and priests, and also misappropriated millions of dollars in diocesan funds for personal expenses, including thousands spent on alcohol, flowers, flying first class and sending cash gifts to fellow prelates.
“It is important to note that, before being appointed bishop, he was rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and was president of the [Board of Trustees] of the Papal Foundation, both linked to McCarrick and Cardinal Wuerl,” Viganò explained.
“In fact, his successor as rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Walter Rossi, he was appointed there by McCarrick the same year that Bransfield was appointed bishop,” continued Viganò. “Bishop Rossi is, without doubt, a member of the ‘gay mafia.'”
He added: ” I can say that, while I was a nuncio in the United States, I received the documentation that states that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America.”
Viganò told Tosatti that Rossi’s proclivities are well known at the Vatican.
“The Vatican, in particular Cardinal Parolin, is well aware of the situation of Msgr. Rossi, as is Cardinal Wuerl,” he said. “I can finally testify that Rossi’s name was proposed for promotion to my predecessor, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who blocked his progress. These facts clearly show how the ‘gay mafia’ operates. ”
Church Militant contacted Rossi’s office for comment on Viganò’s claims. Spokeswoman Jacqueline Hayes, director of communications for the basilica, responded with a statement calling Viganò’s charges “baseless and without merit”:
The National Shrine has never received any credible allegations of improper conduct by Monsignor Rossi. To the contrary, in 2018 Monsignor Rossi publicly condemned the issues of abuse that have plagued the Catholic Church (statement attached). The recent claims by Archbishop Vigano are baseless and without merit or substantiation.
Of course, Viganò said nothing about allegations at the National Shrine. He said he had “received the documentation that states that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America.”
In comments to LifeSite, Viganò explained why he did not make his concerns public much earlier.
“Why did I wait so long? First, I was confident that the Church would find within herself the energy to be renewed, especially after the investigation Benedict XVI had ordered.”
The former US nuncio explained this reason in his initial testimony last August. Indeed, he told LifeSite that he had already expressed this strong conviction as early as September 29, 2012, after Pope Benedict created a commission of three cardinals to investigate the leaking of documents in the Vatileaks case. He wrote to the three cardinals — Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi — saying: “The power of truth must flow from within the Church and not from the media… I pray for you Cardinals, that you may have the courage to tell the Holy Father the truth; and I pray for the Holy Father, that he may have the strength to make it come to light in the Church.”
“Whatever happened to the investigation ordered by Benedict XVI and conducted by the three cardinals? No one has said anything about this,” the archbishop observed. “If one wanted to clean up the corruption, addressing the findings of this report would be a good place to start. We all saw a box of documents handed over by one Pope to another at Castel Gandolfo, and now it’s disappeared.”
“The second reason I couldn’t do anything,” he went on, “was because as long as Cardinal Bertone was still serving as Vatican Secretary of State, to whom could I have recourse? We all know that he got rid of me because I refused to approve unworthy candidates that he was pushing to be made bishops and was fighting against the corruption in the Curia and the Governatorate.
Turning to the third reason, Archbishop Viganò explained that “shortly thereafter, Cardinal Pietro Parolin was appointed Secretary of State. At the time I was Nuncio in Washington. I wrote him a letter which I have mentioned numerous times, asking him if the measures imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict were still valid, and he never responded.”
Summarizing the nature of the obstacles he faced, he told LifeSite:
I couldn’t surmount the barrier of Cardinal Bertone. Cardinal Parolin didn’t reply, pretending nothing has happened. And no one has dared to ask him firmly if he received the letter or not. And then, having told Pope Francis in 2013, what more could I have done? I trusted that Pope Francis would do things as any Pope would have done. I always trusted in him. And then, once I saw that he himself was covering them up, I couldn’t remain quiet.
The frustration of all the avenues he had attempted placed the archbishop in a morally impossible situation. “A series of events over time first impeded me and later obliged me to speak out. I no longer had the confidence that the Church would renew herself from within. I spoke out when I realized that inside the Church they were all covering up the abuse. Before, I always thought they would remedy it.”
In an interview with LifeSite last November, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from 2012-2017, echoed Viganò’s claims about a “gay mafia,” lamenting that Church leaders still underestimate what he called a “homosexual network” wreaking havoc in the Church.
But the American Spectator’s George Neumayr believes a “day of reckoning” is quickly coming for the “gay mafia.” Indeed, if brave prelates like Vigano, Müller, and others continue to shine a light on these corrupt and decadent networks in the Church, true reform will not only be possible, but inevitable.