Cardinal Ouellet rebuts Archbishop Vigano who demanded Francis resigns

Clay Curtis
October 12, 2018

"You have sufficient elements to "justify" your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes".

"The congregation's decision was inspired by prudence, and the letters from my predecessor and my own letters urged him, first through the apostolic nuncio, (Archbishop) Pietro Sambi, and then through you (Archbishop Viganò), to lead a life of prayer and penance for his own good and for the good of the church", Cardinal Ouellet wrote in an open letter to Archbishop Viganò.

"I strongly doubt that McCarrick concerned him to the degree you'd like to think, given he was an 82-year-old emeritus archbishop who had been out of a job for seven years", Ouellet wrote.

Cardinal Wuerl asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation on several occasions since the Pennsylvania report, but the pope demurred until now, according to a church official with knowledge of the discussions.

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"On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of October 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault", Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, said. Wuerl was in Washington on Friday morning. And on Labor Day, at a gathering for priests and seminarians of the archdiocese, seminarians even refused to pose for a picture with him. In a document in April on holiness in the modern world, Francis mentioned the devil more than a dozen times.

Ouellet's letter marked the Vatican's first direct response to Vigano's 11-page denunciation published August 26 in which he accused two dozen Vatican and US church officials of covering up for McCarrick since 2000, and demanded Francis resign for his role in the scandal. He said bishops were under attack from the "great accuser", another name for Satan. "It's true, we're all sinners, all of us bishops", Francis told bishops on September 11, adding that the great accuser "looks to reveal the sins, so that they are seen, to scandalize the people". They included a letter from the archdiocesan chancellor Kim Vitti Fiorentino, who lamented that Wuerl's "pioneering leadership in the enhancement, implementation and enforcement of historically innovative child protection policies was overshadowed by the (Pennsylvania grand jury) report's flaws and its interpretation by the media". Among the accusations against him is that he reassigned and reinstated some of them. Wuerl initially questioned Bendig's account but later accepted it and moved to oust Cipolla from the priesthood. "Do you have any plans to resign?" "And that was to introduce the zero tolerance and... any priest against whom there was a credible, proven accusation, that appropriate action was taken", Wuerl had said.

In a letter, Pope Francis called for "solidarity" to fight "all forms of corruption, especially spiritual corruption", and the Catholic Church must "be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable".

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